NBC's Maceda: After Obama Speech, Gaddafi Likely 'Feeling A Lot Better'

Many here at home may have criticized President Obama's speech last night on Libya.  But abroad, there was at least one man who dug PBO's remarks: Muammar Gaddafi . . .

That was the educated estimation of NBC's Jim Maceda, reporting from Libya on Morning Joe today.  It was PBO's failure to call for regime change that would have buoyed Gaddafi, says Maceda.  He reported that regime officials are acting much more "bellicose" and "defiant" in the wake of the president's speech.

View video after the jump.

Watch a surprisingly sunny Maceda report on the way President Obama's speech apparently backfired with respect to its main target.  Note also that before discussing the speech, Maceda reported that the rebel troops have been turned back at Sirte.  Militias loyal to Gaddafi have apparently forced them to retreat.

WILLIE GEIST: What's the reaction there, though, not only from the rebels but if any from Colonel Gaddafi to what the president said last night about not wanting to wait to see images of mass graves and slaughter of civilians before he intervened?  What are they saying there?

JIM MACEDA: Well, there hasn't been any official comment, Willie, from Gaddafi or from the regime or from the compound, yet.  I can tell you that the whole, the atmospherics here of the government officials and minders is very different.  They had gone to ground for a number of days: very quiet, very tense. They're looking much more themselves: much more bellicose, much more defiant in the past 24 hours.  I would think, it's an educated guess but I would say that Gaddafi, after hearing that speech, of course it wasn't on Libyan TV but anyone with satellite television could have watched it, that the regime now is feeling a lot better.  That they're feeling that they dodged a bullet.  If NATO's taking over, they like that. They've got much better relations with NATO than with the United States in general.  And they love the idea that the US position as stated by Obama is that they're not looking for regime change.  Soon as he heard that, I'm sure Gaddafi was quite excited.  He thinks he can probably negotiate his way out of this as he has over the past 41 years in other situations.

Libya Foreign Policy Morning Joe MSNBC NBC Video Muammar Gaddafi Willie Geist Jim Maceda Muammar Qadhafi