In fact, Peggy Noonan accurately predicted in a blog yesterday what this speech would look and sound like. So her observation that the speech was pointless is an easy call. In fact Noonan does miss a key point here; the speech was entirely self-contradictory. He made (for him) an impassioned plea for action he would then announce isn't coming anytime soon. If you're not going to ask for authorization for military force anytime soon, why try to sell the American public on it now? Only to say we're instead going to take advantage of the diplomatic window that has been opened? Why?
His time would have been better spent trying to sell the American people on the notion that it's even remotely rational policy to trust Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad even a little bit. Or he could have trying to convince us that there's even a 1% reason to believe that in the end diplomacy will be used purely as a stall tactic by Assad. He was the salesman who made a pitch and then locked the product in a storage closet and then briefly flashes what he's really trying to sell.
It's likely President Obama feels inaction will be an easy sell to a war-weary nation. Probably. Until the time comes when we're still faced with Assad and his chemical weapons.