What An Odd Little Speech

Brand Obama played his first gig in The Big Room tonight. We join what we think is the growing consensus: oddly vapid, vague, passive and timid. We expected something similar but still, its suckitude. Bono et al. probably liked it.

One can only imagine the initial tension in BP executive suites easing into slow smiles, finally turning into smirks. Their unsigned pro forma terse press release to Brand Obama after the speech instructive.

The Boy King puts the fear in no one. His feeble declarations about “What I will not accept is . . .”? Came across as empty foot stamping, like a step parent vainly trying to assert authority over defiant adopted teenagers, knowing the argument already lost. One can only shudder thinking how world capitals internalize it.

If a catastrophe and an oil company treating the United States as a third world nation won’t galvanize leadership, resolve and definitive to-dos, it’s pretty much a punt across the board. Not much more to say.

Wonks who argue his failure to raise details about this or that in his energy bill? More Norwood-Dingell inside baseball irrelevance. To the average American not focused on what the D.C. circle-jerk, they get the disasters unfolding. They understand lies and incompetence, they see beaches and oceans ruined; they know corporate mendacity; they feel enormous empathy for dying animals, reefs and ecosystems.

And tonight? They saw weakness and rudderless detachment. Why didn’t Obama wear a cardigan, too?


  1. RedPhillip says

    @Dr Leo Strauss

    And yet further demonstrative proof of the First Corollary to Murphy’s Law, i.e., The perversity of the universe tends to a maximum. Personally I have found it far more useful in understanding events and people that the Law itself and wholeheartedly endorse it to the entire Stiftung community.

  2. Comment says

    Have to say we did not watch the speech until now and we were opposed to his giving a major address with the leak still going and legal issues totally opened – Because of the rhetorical constraints – That being said , we just watched and saw it as perfectly adequate and a good preface to the solid 20 billion etc, Feinberg agreement. This is far more money than people were asking for earlier – Plus he avoided bankruptcy and court fights etc – All in all, he did all anyone could do. That being said – politics are not fair and he will be blamed for the spill even thought it ain’t his fault. If we were Pres, we’d be far less gracious – we would have been shoving blame at Cheney (partially to blame anyway) and Newt (just for the hell of it).

  3. Comment says

    “The thing that amazes me is that the blogosphere thinks they can deconstruct other people’s stories … Do you even know anything about me?”

    James Risen

  4. RedPhillip says


    Thank you, Comment, for correcting my errant memory. I caught the soundbite on The Weather Channel, and had been so busy tuning out the drone of the Ken Doll that I almost missed the ‘small people’ bit. At first I wondered why on earth there was special concern for dwarfs with regard to the catastrophe, and that prompted more attention on my part. No midget-tossing after all, but plenty o’ fun!

    By the spelling of the BP mandarin’s name, I’m guessing Nordic of one flavor or another. Yes, according to his entry in Wikipedia, he’s a Swede. With a *Masters* degree in Applies Physics and a *Bachelor’s* degree in BusAdmin. He even has a couple of honorary doctorates. We are clearly in the hands of the best and the brightest, so no problem, then. Let’s move on to the part where we wave dead chickens over the boats and get on with things.

  5. Comment says

    “He [Obama] is frustrated because he cares about the small people, and we care about the small people…we care about the small people.”
    ~Carl Henric Svanberg

  6. RedPhillip says

    Good Doctor, did you catch the performance of the BP Board brass at their post-Prez media opportunity? Such lulz, I swear. I didn’t catch who it was, but some BP mandarin held forth about how they all came away impressed by how much Obama *cares*. This guy’s first language is clearly not English, so I might cut some slack. Whatever errors may have occurred in his translation circuits, he made me giggle saying how Obama and BP both care so much for “the little people” hurt by their catastrophe. I mean, OMFG LULZ!

  7. hidflect says

    It’s not that Obama’s speeches are getting worse. I think it’s that people are starting to get a bead and “zero out” the cr@ptitude. So in the beginning if his speech was an 86, he got a 95.Now if he turns in a clean 100 he can only score an 89 at best. That speech was a 45 and got scored down to around 33 accordingly.

    Guantanamo, Rahm, Geitner, Pakistan drones, Afghanistan, bank bailouts. It’s all dragging him down one stone on another.

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