It is the correct first step and long overdue.
I'm also impressed with a president's ablility to speak without a controlled press conference. That leads me to belive that he grasps the issues.
I'm also impressed that the topic of terrorism was approached as if there is a connection in a big picture. That is to say, that there seemed to be a narrative (fair or not) that Iraq, Iran, Pakistan were seperate issues. Certainly the argument to go to war was connected in Iraq and Afghanastan. And then an emerging narrative that the two were seperate. It is important to have a message to the US public that addresses the larger issue. That was well handled.
The smoking question was poor decorum, in hard times is it important if the POTUS has crutches? Really, with so many challenges was that tabloid question necessary?