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