Iraq Speech: O’Reilly Slams 'Boring Prof'

Pundits underwhelmed by 'grim' war-end speech
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2010 1:20 AM CDT
Updated Sep 1, 2010 6:45 AM CDT

The verdicts are in on President Obama's Oval Office address to mark the end of major US combat operations in Iraq, and he apparently didn't please many people.

  • The president just wasn't entertaining enough for Bill O'Reilly. The president seemed like a "boring professor," the O'Reilly Factor host complained, criticizing even the way Obama held his hands. "You can’t get him on substance, so you go over his style," guest Alan Colmes retorted.

  • Obama's "grim little speech" failed to ask—or answer—the important questions: "Did it make America safer, and was it really worth it?" complains Roger Simon at Politico. The president, he writes, let George Bush off the hook for a costly war that "began as a fraud."
  • Obama portrayed the official end of the war not as an opportunity to refocus on Afghanistan, but as the time to get America back to work, notes Alex Pareene at Salon. "I don't think it was a particularly great or memorable speech," he writes. "I also think it scarcely would've mattered if it had been a great speech in this media environment and political climate, but this is more or less the withdrawal we were promised."
  • The Washington Post's scribes are split: Obama said nothing, complains Richard Cohen. It was good, counters Eugene Robinson, who adds, "He wore the presidency with an accessory that Americans expect and appreciate: gravitas."
(Read more Bill O'Reilly stories.)

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