Obama Oil Speech Bombs

Too vague to put teeth into battle for alternative energy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2010 8:53 PM CDT
Updated Jun 16, 2010 7:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama's Oval Office address last night drew tepid-to-furious reviews, especially on the push for clean energy:

  • Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, MSNBC: The two onetime Obama fans ripped into the president almost immediately for "what they perceived as a lack of leadership and direction, and, especially in Matthews’ case, and over-reliance on meritocracy," writes Frances Martel at Mediaite. "Where was the how in this speech when Americans are crying out for how?” asked Olbermann.

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  • Marc Ambinder, Atlantic: "On the small-medium-big scale, Obama went medium. Leaving out an explicit call for cap-and-trade was a deliberate choice, obviously. But Obama wants action on climate change, and the only way to wean our dependence off fossil fuels is to put a price on carbon. He did not make that explicit. ... He did not call upon Congress to make the political sacrifices necessary, and it may be difficult to reconcile his words, laced with an urgent tone, with the actions he is willing to put his weight behind."
  • Ezra Klein, Washington Post: "The optimistic take, at least for environmentalists, is that this is the language and approach Obama uses when he really means to legislate. The pessimistic take is that Obama 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."
(Read more President Obama stories.)

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