Several points I'd like to make with 12 hours of objective distance.
1. I think my disappointment stems from the first half not matching the second half. It sounded like he was ready to reach for the big goals on energy and climate and end decades of talking with a bold announcement. But I think I was deflated when his only specific legislative mention was the House bill, and then he followed it up with a ghost from the healthcare reform era: he'll listen to good ideas from both sides. He lost me here.
2. That said, if the president did one of these Oval speeches every month or two, his approval numbers would be around ten points higher. He's good with the big speeches, but he's especially good talking to the camera.
3. Anyone who says he needs to show "leadership" needs to define what that means. What specifically does the president need to do in order to fulfill this role? If they can't define the specifics, then the term is meaningless and is nothing more than a hollow platitude to shout into the nearest microphone. Besides, if the president was somehow bolder and tougher on BP, the opposite-day party would shout "socialist tyrant!"
4. While we're praying for the Gulf Coast, the BP Atlantis is currently operating in deeper waters than the Deepwater Horizon. There are no plans to shut it down.