It is both easy and often appropriate to be scornful about euphenism and other imprecise language, and indeed, a central part of more or less any philosophical enterprise is clearing that sort of thing away, a kind of bureaucratic rationalization of meanings, bringing structure to a formless mess. But the power to name things is a power like any other, and the insistence on a certain kind of straight-talking, a hard-nosed refusal to tell it any way but the way it is, is a kind of insensitivity to the costs of the exercise of that power, a demand that the world be a particular way for everyone. Evasions, compromises, and equivocations can be the only way to speak to an audience of more than one, particularly politically: the mutual comprehension that making power's exercise acceptable to those who live under it involves requires needs give and take, needs us to bite our tongues. Which is of course what I found so attractive about that Obama speech: it cuts both ways, aims at a reconciliation. If it were completely honest, it could not help but take sides, and if it did that, it'd be impossible for it to find a common language in which to make power's exercise acceptable. If it adopted the attitude that, say, Orwell does in 'Politics and the English Language', it could not work and that would be a loss.
I've always been pretty sceptical about that essay: it's so tempted by an authoritarian machismo, not quite able to shake itself from the thrall of a moral universe exactly the opposite of that which animates a worry about public reason. Telling it like it is can be reifying, a denial of other people's right to interpret the world around them within certain reasonable canons, to make sense of it for themselves. Of course, there are limits to the acceptability of Unspeak: dead children are always dead children, and dead children killed by bombs are always dead children killed by bombs, just as simulated drowning is a form of torture and not a mere aggressive interrogation technique. There's no room for reasonable disagreement there. Likewise, I think, the existence of climate change, and the damage it's likely to do. But that leaves a lot where Orwell's demand for the elimination of euphenism and obfuscation is a step too far: having agreed that climate change is to be avoided does not decide how to achieve that goal. Even more than that, as a general demand about how to use language, it's totalitarian: it destroys the possibility of so many different forms of literary expression. Presumably one reason Shakespeare never described his characters speech with verbs other than say is because he never described his characters speech directly: one would hope that actors could convey a variety of modes of speech. Equally, Elmore Leonard writes in a particular genre, with particular stylistic conventions. He might as well demand that all other forms of fiction employ only variants on the weary cynic waiting to be roused into a last burst of idealism as a central character. English has a number of different verbs for the act of speech for a reason: people have found it useful to pick out particular ways of speaking.