FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
While BP struggles to get control of the gulf oil spill, President Obama is going to try to get control of the story line.
Tomorrow night he will make his first address to the nation from the Oval Office since being inaugurated. The speech will follow a 2-day visit to the Gulf region nearly 60 days after the start of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The stakes for the president are high. It is his fourth trip to the region since the April 20th rig explosion; he continues to come under fire for being slow to respond.
The trip, the Oval Office address and his first face-to-face meeting with BP executives since the spill are all meant to show that the president in charge. The question is whether it's too late and whether the remainder of his presidency will be damaged as badly as the Gulf Coast – much the way George Bush's presidency was damaged by Katrina.
In the Oval Office speech tomorrow night, President Obama is expected to call for BP to create an escrow account reportedly in the amount of $20 billion to pay for damage claims to businesses and individuals whose lives have been destroyed by the spill.
He's also expected to call for an independent third party to handle the claims process.
The cries for Mr. Obama to step up have been getting louder. Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. recently called on the president to "level with the American people", use the crisis as a way to create jobs and "stop the blame game."
The spill has tested President Obama's leadership perhaps more than any other single event in his presidency.
Here’s my question to you: What do you want to hear from President Obama about the oil spill in tomorrow’s Oval Office address?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Most of all I would like to hear that the booms are working, skimming is working and the marine biologists can treat the estuaries, marshes and wetlands. And that they believe fish, animals and fauna will be able to reproduce and grow back to normal life ecosystems within 2 or 3 years.
He needs to lay the groundwork for a new energy policy in the U.S. Yes, this will include oil, but this is the perfect opportunity to sway public support for new clean energy sources, like solar, wind, and yes... nuclear. We can not have a green energy future without nuclear power.
Remo in Texas
Jack, The reality of it all is that he's blown it. He had the chance and responsibility to act 45 days earlier and he didn't. This is his defining style and these are his results.
A. in Baltimore
I'm not sure that there is anything he can say tomorrow that will make people feel any better. Obviously, the technology required to fix this issue needs to be greater than the one that created it, and sadly, it doesn't exist at present. Why no one is being tasked to create it, I'll never know. This is the country that has sent men to the moon!
Geoffrey in Lowell, Massachusetts
Just the facts. I think he has been telling the truth but the unvarnished truth is that BP was not prepared for this and did not take steps to prevent it… The government does not have all the answers. People who have been asking for small government need to consider what they wished for.
President Obama should explain to us again how he would meet with no precondition with Ahmadinejad. Then explain why it took nearly two months – and only after incredulity on the part of the citizenry – to meet with someone atop the ladder at BP.
It's a little late for talk. 56 days?