We are going to “mobilize.” We are going to have a “battle plan.” We are going to set up a “fund.” And we are going to get the tourists “to come back.”
We are going to have a “long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan.” We have established “a National Commission.” And we are going to build “a new organization.”
We are in a crisis because of “a lack of political courage and candor.” But “the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.”
“There are costs associated with this transition,” but the one thing the president “will not accept is inaction.”
Do not worry.
“Even if we don’t yet know precisely how to get there,” said the president, “we know we’ll get there.”
How? Why? Because we won World War II. And we landed “a man safely on the surface of the moon.”
All we need now is “courage.” And a “hand” to guide us “towards a brighter day.”
And that was pretty much President Obama’s entire speech to the nation Tuesday.
The president is trying to pull off a tough trick: He is trying to do what Lyndon Johnson did when Johnson used a stunning tragedy - - the assassination of John F. Kennedy - - to bludgeon Congress into passing Johnson’s Great Society. And Johnson succeeded. He got the Civil Rights Act, the War on Poverty, Medicare and Medicaid.
But that was then. And this is now, and the nation is not stunned the way it was when Kennedy was killed. Today, the nation is nervous, twitchy, angry.
Why is that evil black cloud of oil still gushing? Who is going to stop it? When? How? And why haven’t they done it already?
“What sees us through - - what has always seen us through - - is our strength, our resilience and our unyielding faith that something better awaits us if we summon the courage to reach for it,” the president said.
Uh, yeah. Nobody is more impressed than I am in the president’s ability to inspire. But I am not sure his speech was all that inspirational.
Maybe the location was wrong. Maybe using the Oval Office - - and it was the first time the president has used it for a speech - - upped the ante too much. Maybe we expected too much.
In that same office on Friday, I interviewed Obama, and he told me that what the American people “hope and expect is for the president to do everything that’s within his power. They don’t expect us to be magicians.”
But I am not so sure that is true. Don’t we expect our presidents to be just a little magical, to be able to do things that ordinary mortals cannot? Isn’t that why we elect them?
“If something isn’t working, we want to hear about it,” the president said Tuesday. “If there are problems in the operation, we will fix them.”
Well, something isn’t working, Mr. President. And there are problems in the operation.
So maybe now is the time to dig real deep in your hat and see if you can find a rabbit. Or two. (By Roger Simon - Politico)