Bloggers, politicians and pundits on both sides - and even the company at the center of the crisis - were quick to respond to President Obama's Oval Office speech last night.
'IT'S STARTLING': "It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days," said Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." "I don't think he aimed low; I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."
NO NEW TAXES: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that the White House should keep its focus on stopping the spill and cleaning up the mess, rather than thinking about clean-energy legislation, as Obama suggested. "Until this leak is plugged, [the American public isn't] in any mood to hand over even more power in the form of a new national energy tax to a government that, so far, hasn't lived up to their expectations in its response to this crisis," McConnell said in a statement.
GLAD HE'S PUSHING: Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., issued a joint statement applauding Obama's use of the address to push clean-energy legislation. "There can be no doubt that the president is rolling up his sleeves to ensure we establish a market mechanism to tackle carbon pollution, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs each year, strengthen energy independence and improve the quality of the air we breathe," the senators said. "We will continue working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass comprehensive reform this summer."
NOT FAR ENOUGH?: Joshua Green, senior editor of The Atlantic, wrote that Obama didn't go far enough in his push for climate-change legislation. "Not once did he utter the phrase, 'It's time to put a price on carbon.' And that suggests to me that this speech was primarily about containing the damage to his administration, and was not the pivot point in the energy debate that many people were hoping for."
BP RESPONDS: BP responded with a brief statement a few moments after the speech, saying that it shared Obama's goal of cleaning up the oil and helping the people and environment affected by the spill. The company said that it was looking forward to its meeting with Obama today "for a constructive discussion about how best to achieve these mutual goals."
RESPECT THE OFFICE: Daniel Foster, a blogger for National Review Online, asked if this was the best use of Obama's first Oval Office address. "I have to admit I was somewhat surprised to see President Obama use his first Oval Office address to repeat populist platitudes about 'making BP pay' and hit the bullet points, for the umpteenth time, of the Democrats' ill-advised cap-and-trade scheme. Oval addresses are best reserved for wars and resignations."