This is the nation's first president who seems to truly believe he can govern with oratory alone.
But how can anyone have expected anything different? The man had no executive experience whatsoever, and voters selected him primarily based upon his ability to make speeches.
Even so, Mr. Obama's address to the nation Tuesday night was sorely lacking -- perhaps the worst in his public life -- and even his most ardent supporters on the far-left margins of American society gushed with condemnation of his performance.
"I think the American people, both in the Gulf and everywhere else, wanted to know more how this was going," Howard Fineman said on the liberal cable network MSNBC.
"There wasn't any specificity to it," added Keith Olbermann. "I'm going to revise my (earlier) remark. ... I don't think he aimed low. I don't think he aimed at all about this. It's startling to have heard this, isn't it?"
Noting the Obama administration's chirping about its Nobel Prizes and college degrees -- but having precious little experience in managing and in the fields they're trying to manage -- MSNBC personality and former Democratic aide Chris Matthews said, "This meritocracy has gone too far. ... I`m not sure whether these degrees are going to help, or these awards from overseas."
Citing the president's announcement of a new commission to probe the oil spill's causes -- (wouldn't you rather have it plugged first?) -- Matthews said, "Can`t we move a little quicker than that, than to name a commission?
"I don`t sense executive command. And I thought that was the purpose of this speech tonight, command and control."
Was it that -- or merely to project an image of command and control?
Either way, even according to the president's biggest fans, he failed thoroughly Tuesday night to show any real leadership.
Instead, content to convey anger at British Petroleum -- and to try to exploit yet another crisis, as is his administration's stated aim, by pushing his job-killing carbon tax legislation that's stalled in Congress -- Mr. Obama inexplicably chose not to map out any strategy, share any details, give any overview, regarding how the leaking well will be capped.
This was a political speech aimed at plugging his own leaking presidency. Not even that worked; not even his base is buying what he's selling. Politico.com Wednesday detected "a barrage of criticism from commentators and political analysts across the ideological spectrum -- the most intense negative reaction to any major public appearance he has given as president," adding that the speech was "an emphatic failure."
Liberal columnist and Obama cheerleader Eugene Robinson, admitting that "my heart sank" a minute into the speech when the president trotted out an administration Nobel Prize "for the umpteenth time," wrote that "Obama's speech pretty much went downhill from there."
Left-wing Internet magazine Salon.com wrote, "Just words: Oval Office speech fizzles."
Yet, bizarrely, the Associated Press' Ben Feller wrote that reaction to the president's speech was "mixed." Yes. In the same way a double-scotch, no ice, no water, is a "mixed drink."
This man is clearly out of his depth. Yet, his rhetoric still soars: He claims he'll not only stop the leak and clean it up, but will leave the Gulf better than before. Even those on the left have to be snickering at those platitudes.
If only words could harness the wind and seas.
Ultimately, Mr. Obama seems to see this disaster as a policy issue rather than a catastrophe nipping at his heels; again, no management experience. We don't need to break British Petroleum, Mr. President, and now isn't the time to debate the entirety of our energy future.
Focus. Get every nation, every oil company, every military, civilian, public and private entity that can help - and just plug the leak!