The screaming headline at The Huffington Post says it all. I think it’s safe to say that Barry & Co. never imagined they would wake up to the words “JUNK SHOT” in response to The One’s first Oval Office speech. The words that follow are just as harsh:
Reviews of the speech were harsh. Environmental reporter Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones wrote:
On the Gulf disaster, Obama could have offered clear direction on several issues: for instance, by clarifying the administration’s stance on eliminating the liability cap to protect oil companies from damages following a spill, or by offering a hard number for how much money BP must set aside for the independently administered fund the government has proposed.
Then there are the questions about wider energy and climate policy that remain unanswered. Obama largely avoided the issue of climate change, only uttering the word “climate” once as part of the phrase “a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill.” He at least hit the right notes on clean energy, talking about solar power, wind, efficiency, and electric cars, an improvement over his State of the Union address this year, where nuclear power, “clean” coal, and offshore drilling figured heavily. But what his speech lacked was specific directives, which is what the Senate needs at this point. There wasn’t even a clear call for a carbon cap, which I fear all but dooms its chances this year.
Similarly, the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein noted the “pessimistic take” on Obama’s vague language about an energy bill was that the president “shied away from clearly describing the problem, did not endorse specific legislation, did not set benchmarks, and chose poll-tested language rather than a sharper case that might persuade skeptics.”
MSNBC personalities Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Howard Fineman were particularly disappointed. “It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days,” Olbermann said, adding, “Nothing specific at all was said… I don’t think he aimed low, I don’t think he aimed at all. It’s startling to have heard this, isn’t it?” Fineman agreed: “He wasn’t specific enough,” and failed to lead as a “commander-in-chief” should.
There is a link to the MSNBC video. I highly recommend it. I’m a sucker for punishment and watched the Keith & Chris smackdown after the speech and had to lift my jaw off the floor at their comments delivered with such snark.