Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "AC360°" and "State of the Union" as well as participating in special event coverage.
Washington (CNN) - We're not used to seeing President Obama in the Oval Office, and that's for a good reason: He's never spoken to us from there. Yet Tuesday night, he chose to address the nation from behind the desk on the stage that yells a few things before a word is even spoken - importance of topic, urgency of task and, of course, commander in chief.
Trappings in place, Obama did sound like a president waging a fight, using the language of war to talk about the "battle" in the Gulf, one that is "assaulting" citizens; a "siege" for which he has a "battle plan."
But the warrior soon morphed into a company man with a PowerPoint presentation: an authorization to deploy 17,000 National Guard members, 5.5 million feet of boom laid across the water, the building of new islands in the barrier reef, more burning and skimming to collect the errant and ugly oil.
If you wanted to hear inspiration about the cleanup effort, it happened in the last paragraph of the speech when the president invoked the national "strength" and "resilience." But this was about a president asserting control on the ground, not soaring rhetoric.