I wasn’t sure why President Obama decided to deliver his first Oval Office speech on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I’m even less sure now. If he had been in the habit of giving regular White House news conferences, this would have been an ideal occasion for him to make a 10-minute statement and take questions. Instead, he raised expectations and failed to meet them. It was an entirely political speech, driven by perceived political need.
Understand that I’m talking about rhetoric, not reality. In fact, I don’t have a huge problem with the way the federal government has responded for two simple reasons: It didn’t cause the explosion, and it can’t stop the gusher. Those are the facts. Everything else pales in importance.
I’ll be rounding up media reaction for the Guardian tomorrow morning. No doubt the right will hammer him. Based on the initial reaction of Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman on MSNBC, it looks like liberals are going to hammer him as well. It’s going to be an interesting morning.