June 15th, 2010
03:59 PM ET

Obama's Gulf address should be 'battlefield report'

Ed Hornick

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/06/08/rage.obama/smlvidrage.gi.jpg caption="Historian Douglas Brinkley says President Obama's speech must be "warlike" report" width=300 height=169]

President Obama must angle his address to the nation on the Gulf oil disaster as more of a "warlike update" than the kind of addresses given by past presidents on national tragedies, a top presidential historian said.

"This is going to be a different kind of president address ... like we're in the middle of the war and he's giving an update on the war on the Gulf," said Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University. "It's a battlefield report - particularly trying to show that progress is being made, although it's not fast enough for him."

Brinkley, who has lived and taught in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been a vocal critic of BP's cleanup efforts. He also has taken aim at Obama's response - noting that he should have given the speech weeks ago.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. James D in Monroe Ga

    How do we explain to the masses that this oil well was built during the Bush term the problems were already there. Now we hear comments like President Obama has to do something for the Gulf Coast I believe that they are doing the best that they can. The one that we should be mad at is BP

    What I think that we should do is since we can find money to bail out the banks, find the money to clean up the coast and put a lien on BP that should be simple enough. We might own BP

    June 15, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  2. Andrea

    I was thrilled when hearing the President of the United States holding a Big Business accountable for their actions. The oil spill is completely BP's responsibility to clean up and repair the damage their company has caused. In addition to the government holding private business accountable I would also like to see someone address or explain how this is the governments problem other than people needing financial help that could be provided by the government. I find it confusing when political parties demand less government involvment in private business then turn around and demand that the government take over a private companies problem. I say well done Mr. President for taking on another problem created by private industry.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  3. Smith in Oregon

    The only way the American Taxpayers are not going to pay for Big Oil's blunders, mistakes and spills is for a Democratic leader such as President Obama standing up with courage against the Big Oil attorneys and demand their company's pay to substantially cleanup and repair the damages the Big Oil company's have caused.

    June 15, 2010 at 8:54 pm |