President Obama should use his upcoming address about the BP oil spill as a chance to declare a new energy policy that will allow America to lead, argues Joe Scarborough.
The "Morning Joe" host advised the president to take advantage of the new decade and to echo President John F. Kennedy's space race speech--but to adapt it to energy.
Scarborough: "I would make the John Kennedy speech that by the end of the decade, we will go to the moon. This president can say, thank god it's the beginning of the decade, by the end of a decade, America will break its dependence on foreign oil. By the end of the decade, we will control our own destiny. By the end of the decade, we will be positioned to dominate the world in energy for the next century. We will do it because we must do it..."
Ultimately though, Scarborough acknowledged that President Obama is unlikely to make such a speech. According to New York magazine's John Heilemann, that's because Obama's White House picks battles that they think they can win and the votes are lacking for an aggressive energy bill.
Responding to Heilemann's remarks, Arianna argued that leadership requires Obama to forge ahead and overhaul America's energy consumption--whether the votes exist or not. She compared it to the Voting Rights Act:
Arianna: "Remember March '65, Martin Luther King goes in to see Lyndon Johnson to ask for the Voting Rights Act, and what does Lyndon Johnson say, 'We don't have the votes, the votes are not there.' The votes are never there for anything big, involved, bold. That is what leadership is about. Now you have a moment when [Obama] could really bring the country together."