President Obama's Speech: What I Hoped For Versus What I Got
President Barack Obama's speech on Sunday night came with a lot of hype. It was a primetime speech to be given from the Oval Office — which he'd only done twice before, he usually talks from the East Room.
The speech was pumped up on every news channel as pundits eagerly anticipated what he would say. I mean, NBC cut off Sunday Night Football talk for the speech.
Given the timing and placement, I was sure it'd be a pretty big deal.
Maybe he would be announcing a totally new plan for how to tackle ISIS. I started getting worried for friends in the military, thinking he'd say we were entering a large-scale ground war in Syria.
Maybe this speech would be a big f*ck you to Congress — the kind of speech I've been really hoping for — announcing he was putting in an executive order for more restrictive gun control.
Instead, Obama's speech was nothing new.
There were no new plans introduced and really no news at all. He said we'd continue doing what we've been doing to counter ISIS.
He said we had to be respectful of Muslims, but also Muslim leaders need to look out for extremism within their communities.
He said Congress had to do better on gun control.
These are all good things to hear, but it didn't actually change anything. I've heard all this before from Obama. There wasn't even any new information on the San Bernardino attack.
The speech itself was pure reassurance — “relax, we've got it covered.” The New York Daily News put the tone of the speech best in today's front page.
I felt like I should be crowding around the radio with my family, like FDR's fireside chats where he explained what was going on in the government.
Except nowadays with the Internet, we have much more access to information and can actually know things without hearing them straight from the president's mouth.
The speech didn't make me angry or scared. It just irritated me. Obama's approval rating dropped after the Paris attacks, and a New York Times/CBS poll showed a lack of confidence in Obama's strategy to deal with ISIS.
It swiftly became clear Obama was making this speech in an attempt to change those negative opinions and assuage the public. I wondered why I bothered interrupting my Netflix binge of “The Walking Dead.”
Obama's speech was fine, and I'm sure some people felt reassured of his competence. It was good to hear his plans laid out clearly and concisely.
But I don't understand why it had to be hyped up the way it was. As far as I see, this was an address just like any other from the president.
The next time I hit pause on a zombie chase, it better be for something significant.
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