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Leadership, the Gulf, and Obama

President Obama addressed the nation on the Gulf crisis. We look at the speech and American priorities with top thinkers.

President Barack Obama after delivering a televised address from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, June 15, 2010. (AP)

It wasn’t Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office this time, talking about the Challenger disaster. Or Bill Clinton on the economy. Or George W. Bush on 9/11. 

It was President Barack Obama, in the familiar setting, talking about an environmental catastrophe that he put in terms of assault and war. 

On the 57th day of the Gulf oil spill, in the first Oval Office address of his presidency, Obama was speaking to the immediate, enormous challenge in the Gulf, and to the country’s long-term energy future. 

This Hour, On Point: leadership and the nation in the Gulf oil crisis.

Guests:

Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University. His books include “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America” and “The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Naomi Klein, bestselling author and columnist for the Guardian and The Nation. She’s author of “No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies” (just reissued for its 10th anniversary) and “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” She has been reporting from the Gulf on how the oil spill is affecting people and the environment.

Julia Reed, author of “The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story” and “Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomenon.” She was born in Mississippi and lives in New Orleans.

More:

Bystanders greet the President's motorcade in Florida this week. (AP)

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Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

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WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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