Last night, the president sat somberly behind his big desk, folded his hands next to the red phone, and droned on about the Gulf oil crisis.
He spoke of:
"A battle plan."
A "new organization."
A "long-term-Gulf Coast Restoration Plan."
A "national commission."
Not accepting "inaction."
"The time to embrace a clean energy future is now."
"Even if we don't yet know precisely how to get there, we know we'll get there."
Greater presidential pablum has never been spoken.
Trite, meaningless, wispy, cotton candy rhetoric may have worked during the campaign, but it's not cutting it now, in the middle of a disaster.
In a crisis, leaders lead. Politicians give speeches. Obama has given a lot of speeches, including last night's.
Where are Reagan, Nixon, Bush, Truman, FDR when we need them? They were men who understood executive leadership. Were they perfect? Of course not. But when called upon by unexpected and unpleasant events, they led. And they didn't spoon-feed us mushy mush and call it "bold vision."