Obama's Oval Office Address: Your Reaction

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Weigh in with your thoughts on the President's Oval Office address about the worst environmental disaster in US history. Alex Wagner, White House Correspondent for Politics Daily, offers her take. Plus, Wesley Warren, the National Resources Defense Council’s director of programs, breaks down the state of climate change legislation and the specifics of what the President was prioritizing last night.


Alex Wagner

Comments [26]

g..e.Taylor from Bklyn., NY

Dear Mr. President:

It seems that you are totally unaware of what was involved in the commitment to "put a man on the Moon".

The rhetorical promise was put in the charge of experienced engineers, pilots, chemists, etc. . . , who, though they sometimes made fatal errors, were not handicapped by hidden, political agendas that militated against the realization of the goal. (Why I am I not convinced that your world view would not be served by a successful capping of the current oil leak?)
The country's political leaders were not afraid of the responsibility of taking action to achieve a stated goal - now it seems you are more interested in obtaining or establishing some form of "insurance" to protect against failure.

Jun. 22 2010 10:39 AM
Amanda from Briarwood, NY

I'm sorry, but I had to stop listening to this segment halfway through. Since when does the Brian Lehrer Show do talking-heads-pseudo-news-analysis. If Obama didn't address the Boxer-Kerry cap-and-trade bill last night, here was WNYC's chance to springboard into that topic or some other equally specific area of energy policy.

Jun. 16 2010 09:39 PM
David from Boston

Please no more soaring rhetoric. No more references to our going to the moon or winning WWII.

Lots of pretty words, as usual, from Obama, and as usual a lack of forcefull specificity. A watered down, simplistic speech. The president sounds small.

Jun. 16 2010 01:11 PM

count me among others who felt disappointed by the speech. What I was glad to NOT hear was the "placate the Republicans / coal-state Dems" mantra of "nukes and 'clean' coal" -- those words were missing and they have been his favorites -- and are not the answer... and in the case of replacing oil are apples and oranges (electricity vs. gasoline).

Jun. 16 2010 12:20 PM


Obama is the Whiner-In-Chief

Jun. 16 2010 11:06 AM
Paula from New York

I didn't listen to the speech but going by the comments the President didn't address education. I wish his response was more like going to the moon: expand and emphasize education in physics, biology, chemistry and other natural sciences. We need discoveries of new sources of energy because the experts seem to agree that wind and solar will not meet all of our neeeds.

Jun. 16 2010 11:01 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

The Truth from Becky,
I guess you favor the cooperate state being the government.
With that, may be we should stop voting and just turn it over to BP and other rapacious corporations.

Jun. 16 2010 11:00 AM


Jun. 16 2010 10:58 AM
The Truth from Becky

The appropriate amount of action has already been taken on the part of the White House Administration. The rest is up to BP.

Jun. 16 2010 10:51 AM
lauren from NYC

It's just so hard for me to think he's sincere. After all, only a few months ago he was promoting increased offshore drilling. Based on that, I'm sure he wasn't very interested in more stringent regulations for the oil industry's offshore rigs.

Seriously, how come this is never mentioned? Google "Obama" 'drill" and "March 31" (or some such combo) and you get tons of articles about this, which everyone has somehow forgotten about.

Jun. 16 2010 10:50 AM

There's a lot of petty meandering criticism of the speech. BP is obviously indisputably financially responsible for the current spill clean up. The mentioning of taxes is outrageous especially when it's clear that money is mismanaged or corruptly put to non community use. At the core of the issue though IS the larger community and if there was the choice of taxing then it should be on all gas/oil usage as the human need for destructive environmental behavior is the real culprit of the issues today. I think the Qualified Community Responders program pooling from the unemployed community is a good idea and more practical thinking and more importantly ACTION based plans are a good sign. I would have preferred to hear that type of rhetoric in the Oval Office speech. It seems that the reactions are emotionally based or rather geared towards politically placating the emotional reactions of American Citizens (more specifically the Gulf Coast members).

Jun. 16 2010 10:47 AM
lauren from NYC

It's just so hard for me to think he's sincere. After all, only a few months ago he was promoting increased offshore drilling. Based on that, I'm sure he wasn't very interested in more stringent regulations for the oil industry's offshore rigs.

Seriously, how come this is never mentioned? Google "Obama" 'drill" and "March 31" (or some such combo) and you get tons of articles about this, which everyone has somehow forgotten about.

Jun. 16 2010 10:41 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

I didn’t get a sense that Mr. Obama is in charge. There is no mention that a central command headed by an experienced non-partisan manger, which would be directly responsible to the President is to be named.
I believe that this administration may be incapable of handling this. They acquiesced responsibly to BP early and now there is feeble attempt to take the initiative. The president is an hour late and a dollar short.

Jun. 16 2010 10:41 AM

All this talk about inspiring others to do something about environment...the world reacts mostly to Wall St. Impact Wall St, and you'll get environmental change. Sad, but true.

Jun. 16 2010 10:36 AM

all I hear is a bunch of babies whining

Jun. 16 2010 10:36 AM
Gary Nickerson

I would have liked the President to announce the creation of a Crisis Response Team within the EPA similar to the epidimology (sp?) teams that the CDC has that go immediately and take charge when there's a health outbreak. We see the EPA as a regulation enforcer; we should see it as the agency that manages the safety and quality of our environment not just regulations.

Jun. 16 2010 10:35 AM
Robert from NYC

My reaction?

zzzzz zzzzzzz zzzz zzzz zzzzzzz zzzzz
zz zz zz zz zzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz

The same Oh Bummer speech reworded. Maybe the most intelligent president we've had in decades but he's veering off to Nowhereland, sadly. I've become bored with the intellectual exercise.

Jun. 16 2010 10:31 AM

Where do Americans get the idea that we owe the President anything? Not one of us ever took a pledge of allegiance to President Zero or any other president. We owe him NOTHING. He owes us. He works for us. He is our public servant. He takes an Oath of Office that stipulates exactly that.

Jun. 16 2010 10:30 AM

as jay said "lax government oversight" reagan deregulation gone wild.

Jun. 16 2010 10:28 AM
Ellen from williamsburg

I was so disappointed that there was so little said in the speech about mounting an all out effort to clean what's already been spilled, to clean the water before it hits the shore.

There was a man from Jefferson Parish on the Newshour last night, John Young, I believe was his name - they have done 'cajun engineering' -putting huge vacuum trucks (like for port-a-potties) on barges and are sucking it up on their own. While this is great, it shouldn't be left solely to local gov't to deal with something of this magnitude. Regardless of who pays, we need the Gulf cleaned, and the longer it sits, the worse the damage to the environment, both micro and macro.

Jun. 16 2010 10:23 AM
doris from allenhurst, nj

i am tired of hearing what's GONNA happen. FILL THE HOLE and then DO what comes next.

of course bp is financially responsible for clean up. t

Jun. 16 2010 10:21 AM
Anthony Ina from Brooklyn, NY

This is Obama's "we choose to go to the moon" moment, and he's blowing it. Well said, Chris Matthews.

Jun. 16 2010 10:16 AM
Jay from Brooklyn

I understand the disappointment in last night's speach, I expected more detail myself and was stunned that it only lasted 18 minutes. But I'm also dismayed at the "piling on" on Obama by pundants. Someone needs to drop the yellow flag and remind people that this is an act of negligence by a private corporation aided and abetted by lax government oversight, policies in place long before Obama took office. Much of the anger is misdirected.

Jun. 16 2010 09:43 AM

What Obama missed:

Requiring oil drillers apply at least the same environmental standards for drilling (once they are presumably developed) wherever their drilling takes place, regardless of nationality, before they are allowed to extract American resources.

Lord knows how many of these spills are taking place every week that are unknown or underreported, but I can't imagine this spill is the first.

On that note, how is the Mexican govt. reacting to this spill, and what is their leadership demanding of BP?

Jun. 16 2010 09:33 AM
trh from New Canaan, CT

When it comes to the escrow account, BP shaved safety and cut corners thereby saving $7 million here and $21 million there. If the well had been brought into production without incident and no catastrophic spill, how much did BP stand to gain on this one well alone? At 2.5 million gallons per day and $40 per barrel, that's approximately $2.4 million per day. Was the greed really worth it?

Jun. 16 2010 08:50 AM

Holy Cow, Day 57 of the Gulf Oil disaster and Obama delivers an Oval Office speech on the subject. What was his hurry? Why didn’t he wait till Day 100 or wait until after his photo ops with the Chicago Blackhawks and the winner of the Celtics/Lakers series?

I voted for Obama over Clinton and McCain, but his response to this crisis has been a profile in jaw-dropping incompetence. His speech placed appropriate blame on BP, but not enough blame on himself. His boasts of actions he’s taken don’t match the reality of on-site reporting that I’ve seen. I don’t believe his claim of 90% recovery within weeks.

The Gulf Oil Disaster was Obama’s 3am phone call, but instead of reacting with the “fierce urgency of now” he responded with a “benign shoulder shrug of whenever”.

Jun. 16 2010 08:27 AM

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