March 28th, 2011
09:16 AM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama’s Libya speech began taking shape late last week, but the “themes have been in development for weeks,” according to a senior administration official.
Those themes “have been reflected in what the president and others have been saying about Libya all along,” the official added.
Pressure had been mounting on the president to deliver a speech on Libya that would provide more clarity to the mission and a reason for the U.S. engagement.The president authorized U.S. involvement in the military action on March 19th.
The speech comes just days after NATO agreed to assume command and control of the coalition effort in Libya.
The timing is not by accident.
“It’s fair to say we thought this transition moment presents a good opportunity to explain why the President took the approach he did, how he’s doing what he said he would do, and why we believe it serves U.S. interests to take the approach he did," the official said.
“He said 'days, not weeks' – and he meant it.”