What An Odd Little Speech

Brand Obama played its first gig in The Big Room tonight. We join what we think is the growing consensus: it was oddly vapid, vague, passive and timid. We expected something similar but still surprised at 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 about 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 does every 4 hours they get the disasters unfolding. They understand the lies and incompetence, they get it that beaches and oceans are ruined; they see once again feared corporate mendacity; they see and have enormous empathy for dying animals, reefs and ecosystems.

And tonight they saw weakness and rudderless detachment. Why didn’t they just put a cardigan on Obama, too?