Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Obama's "speech was necessary, realistic and unsatisfactory."

Almost immediately after Obama's speech last night on Libya, Chuck Todd put out a tweet that said "Here's a premise to discuss: POTUS speech was necessary, realistic and unsatisfactory." With all the violence it Libya, it was quickly becoming apparent that some sort of action was needed. Nonetheless, it still unclear what our actual goals are there and the exact role that the US will be playing now that NATO is taking over. That is why I was hoping that the president would be able to provide a clearer picture of what our action will look like in the future.

While Obama rightfully provided the American people a reminder of why we needed to take action in Libya, he should have done a much better job of providing a glimpse into how we move forward. That is why I agree with Chuck's premise that the "speech was necessary, realistic, and unsatisfactory." It appears as though some members of the Democratic leadership in Congress also had some mixed reactions to the speech. Rep. Steny Hoyer said that he supports "this lifesaving effort" and highlighted how the action has a lot of international support -- something that separates these efforts from the War in Iraq. Despite this praise of taking action, Hoyer also reminded the president that "it is essential that the president continue to inform and consult with Congress as long as American troops remain part of this mission."

What this all means is that the Administration still needs to do a better job of giving the American people a better idea of the road ahead. A prime example of what's a little unclear is how the country now fits into the leadership of the mission now that NATO is taking the lead on enforcing the flyover and how do we define a successful mission. And that is why Members of Congress like Steny Hoyer spoke out about the Administration's responsibility to continue updating Congress and the public.

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