Obama: "The buck stops with me"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The transcript of President Obama's remarks this afternoon are now available. Here's a short excerpt:
...I am less interested in passing out blame than I am in learning from and correcting these mistakes to make us safer. For ultimately, the buck stops with me. As President, I have a solemn responsibility to protect our nation and our people. And when the system fails, it is my responsibility.

Over the past two weeks, we've been reminded again of the challenge we face in protecting our country against a foe that is bent on our destruction. And while passions and politics can often obscure the hard work before us, let's be clear about what this moment demands. We are at war. We are at war against al Qaeda, a far-reaching network of violence and hatred that attacked us on 9/11, that killed nearly 3,000 innocent people, and that is plotting to strike us again. And we will do whatever it takes to defeat them.
I think this is exactly the right tone and also the right substance by President Obama. Thank goodness we don't have a hothead in the White House, but instead a leader who is cool and rational, who looks at all the facts before leaping to conclusions, who demands excellence from the people under him, and who takes responsibility even when it's not his fault. That's leadership we can believe in, and that's exactly what we need right now.

P.S. To read the security review summary, click here. To read the President's directive on corrective actions, click here.