Stephanopoulos Enchanted By Obama's 'Martial Language' and 'Feel of FDR'

President Barack Obama's Oval Office address about the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico certainly impressed George Stephanopoulos, though that's not a difficult achievement for the favorably pre-disposed Democratic operative turned network political expert. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC were all back to regular programming two minutes or less after Obama finished, but that was enough time for Stephanopoulos to display his delight. “What struck me tonight,” he informed ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, is:
Oval Office addresses are often used when the nation is at war and tonight the President used martial language. He talked about a “siege,” the “assault on our shores” and his “battle plan” to fix it. And he said we have to “rally together.” [Audio available here]
The co-host of ABC's Good Morning America proceeded to relay, presuming the inspirational goal was met, that the White House was “reaching for” the “feel of Franklin Roosevelt during World War II and those fireside chats and the President even said that during World War II they said we couldn't build enough planes and tanks, but we did. We can beat this as well.”

To which, Sawyer chimed in by quoting liberal hero FDR: “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

From immediately following Obama's 8 PM EDT speech on Tuesday night, June 15:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: What struck me tonight, Diane, is you know those Oval Office addresses are often used when the nation is at war and tonight the President used martial language. He talked about a “siege,” the “assault on our shores” and his “battle plan” to fix it. And he said we have to “rally together.”

And I think what the White House was reaching for tonight is the feel of Franklin Roosevelt during World War II and those fireside chats and the President even said that during World War II they said we couldn't build enough planes and tanks, but we did. We can beat this as well.

DIANE SAWYER: “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center