June 16th, 2010
11:10 AM ET
13 years ago

Borger: Obama, the PowerPoint warrior

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.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Stacie

    I don't know about anyone else, but I wanted to hear what other resources the federal government was sending to help the region. You can babble on about the battle, blah, blah, blah, strength, blah, blah, blah, but I wanted to hear what else was being done. So, I for one, welcome the additional National Guard troops, the additional boom, the new islands and the continued skimming and burning of oil.

    June 16, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. snow

    The speech was nothing more than nobummer trying and unsuccessfully to appear Presidential. The handling of this crisis is his blunder and he wants to use it to pass his cap and trade legislation which is nothing more than a giant increase in energy costs. You liberal idiots might remember when he was campaigning he stated over and over his cap and trade policy would necessarily cause energy costs to skyrocket(his own words). Well you fools voted for him so I hope you enjoy the tax increases he will bring to us because of his spending. Quadrupling the debt and deficit. You cannot blame this on President Bush, it is nobummer spending the money and printing money we do not have.

    June 16, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Jon

    I thought President Obama's speech was right on the money.
    He has a great grasp of the problem, and is dealing with the issues in exactly the correct way. It is so great to actually have a clear thinking person in the White House – at last!

    June 16, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. joe m

    broad brush strokes where not needed in this speech, rather substantive detail. the president could have included a pitch for serious efforts towards transition to renewable energy sources, but not in the manner and amount he presented. it was also disappointing that the president, instead to taking to heart that old addage 'the buck stop here', meaning his own desk, again harkended back to the failure of the previous administration. lofty rhetoric that focused in on the clean up effort was the prescirption for a succesful address. instead what we got was further politicization of this tragedy. i am disappointed with teh president as he could have easily soared above expectations by actually veering away from politics as usual mode.

    June 16, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Jilli

    Yeah, I felt much better with the Crawford Cowboy throwing out tough talk with disasterous results.

    I welcome an intellectually curious, poised and deliberate president. Only the weak need actors and daddy figures like bush and reagan – we adults can deal with the truth.

    June 16, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    More crap from one of the many CNN talking heads that tries to rev up ratings for that TV entertainment/gossip channel.

    When I want truth, i GO to C-Span or one or two of the reputable newspapers on-line.

    NO MORE CNN rabble-rousing. It's divisive and counterproductive for this country.

    June 16, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Jeff from Chicago

    Blah blah blah blah blah!

    All the guy can do is talk, promise everything, and underdeliver.

    June 16, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Hammerer

    This is what you get.
    Lots of talk and no leadership.

    June 16, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Lili, FL

    How is Cap & Trade going to plug the hole?

    June 16, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. j russ

    We need to remember that this well was drilled, inspected and managed with the authorization and oversite of the federal government according to all requirements devised by a bunch of lawyers that probably couldn't even put gas in their cars.

    June 16, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Obama the liar

    Another day, another series of lies from the liar-in-chief.

    June 16, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." So said Rahm Emanuel.

    It's fairly contemptible that Obama tried to justify what amounts to an enormous tax hike by invoking an environmental catastrophe.

    June 16, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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