From The Washington Post:
Senior administration officials said Obama’s address — which they described as coming at an “inflection point” in the crisis — will help adjust the nation’s focus from the immediate spill to a longer-term strategy for restoring the gulf region and changing the way the country uses energy. Obama said he has assigned Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, to draw up a long-term strategy for the gulf “as soon as possible.”
Privately, one senior official said the speech was a direct effort to “wipe the slate clean,” adding that the goal now is to “shift the conversation to something more future-oriented.”
When things get tough focus things elsewhere. Great plan. People will forget about all that nasty oil still spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Even his water carriers at The New York Times notice the difficulties:
For eight weeks, the spill has seemed somehow too big and too difficult to meet as the president struggled to contain it while trying to demonstrate leadership, sympathy and anger. It was not clear that this was one of those dramatic moments that alter the arc of a political crisis.
Until now he has employed most of the tools of his office, imposing a deepwater drilling moratorium, traveling repeatedly to the region, firing an agency director and appointing a commission. He used a few more Tuesday night, summoning the cameras to the Oval Office, appointing a long-term recovery coordinator and demanding that the company responsible, BP, set up a multibillion-dollar escrow account to compensate the victims.
And for good measure, on Wednesday he will subject BP executives to a perp walk of sorts across the White House driveway into the West Wing for a presidential scolding.
That he would feel compelled to devote his first Oval Office address to the nation after 17 months to the spill, and not the Great Recession or two actual shooting wars still raging overseas, only underscored the profound impact on his presidency.
And just for good measure, the AP shortly after Obama’s speech issued this fact check: Obama inflates hopes in spill recovery
The full address is available below.
Ironically, President Obama uttered, with a straight face no less, this unintentionally hilarious line.
“The one approach I will not accept is inaction“
I guess if you’re going to “wipe the slate clean,” you can wipe away your own inaction…