Obama's speech on the environment had excellent optics -- but they could have been even better
By Reilly Capps
Barack Obama's speech on the environment this afternoon was forceful, cogent and clear. But what seemed to get the most reaction on Twitter and elsewhere was the fact that he kept wiping his brow with a white handkerchief. This signified to the viewing audience that is hot in DC, meaning that global warming is real. (Never mind that it is always hot in DC in June.) If Obama wants to attract more global warming converts, he should have probably kept lifting up his arms and showing off the stains. "Nasty, huh? It's like the Mississippi Delta in my pits!"
He should probably also do the following:
1. Give a speech in the Mojave Desert. Have his staff replace his glass of water with boiling hot chocolate.
2. Go stand in the next hurricane in Florida like a first-year weather reporter. Anchor: "We're going live to Barack Obama on Vero Beach, he's hanging from a light pole horizontally."
3. Transport his normal speech giving apparatus to the living room of one of the homes burning to the ground in Colorado. This one could be tricky. He'll need to make it a short speech.
4. What about swapping out the presidential limousine for a Smart car? Did anyone suggest that yet?
5. Change the official White House dress code from suit and tie to Hawaiian shirt. Walk around saying: "This heat is brutal, but at least we're all going to get lei'd!"
If he's not going to do any of those, what he did today was a pretty good substitute. He called for a reduction by 20% in the government's output of carbon. He seemed to signal that he is not going to approve the Keystone pipeline. And he uttered the word "divest," a codeword meaning that people shouldn't give their money to giant oil companies anymore.
Environmentalists are ecstatic. Optics people loved that he kept having to wipe his brow.