Obama Finds His Voice, MSM Still Lost

If you missed the Tucson Memorial tonight, you can read President Obama’s speech here.

It was a very good speech, very well delivered. I was watching it and monitoring twitter at the same time, and saw many judging the speech to be his best since the election. I think I agree with that. I recall being disappointing with Obama’s inaugural speech, and even some of Obama’s biggest supporters have complained that he sometimes seems too detached from his words or surroundings, but this was a speech Obama was very much present too, and it struck the right notes. Others may wish to debate content vs actions (those fights were already starting on twitter when I left) and some may wonder why he didn’t insert this unifying tone into the last few days of madness, but things have been so over-the-top amid the pundit class since the shooting, I doubt he would have been heard as well as he was tonight. You choose your moments, after all. For now, for tonight, I say give the man his props; it was a very fine speech, and a presidential one.

And the fact is, even if you disagree with every one of a president’s policies, you still want him to be presidential. The country needs that.

The Crowd: I am not a person who likes applause at Mass, and I don’t like it much at memorials, either; the raucous crowd had even some mediafolk (Anderson Cooper comes to mind) expressing doubt about the cheering. I think it was simply the venue. A different venue, something smaller, quieter, more intimate, might have inspired a different sort of reaction from the crowds, but perhaps adrenaline was running some of it.

Obama’s brief bio sketches of the dead were appropriate and warm. He seemed to catch his own emotions as he imagined 9 year-old Christina Taylor Green, puddle-jumping in heaven. I was most moved when he announced that Gabrielle Giffords had, this evening, opened her eyes for the first time, and indicated that she could see, and when he introduced her heroic aide, Daniel Hernandez, and the other ordinary folk who took down the shooter and saved who knows how many lives.

Hernandez was somber throughout the event; the most solemn face there. Obviously he has endured a great trauma; he’ll be especially in my prayers tonight.

Will the speech change anything? Charles Krauthammer, in post-speech remarks, said he thought it would put a stop to the insane, Palin-heavy rhetoric of the past few days. I hope that is true but I have my doubts. On twitter, I watched a number of journalists (Andrea Mitchell, Dave Weigel and others) immediately begin either talking about or snarking about Palin, and I couldn’t help thinking, “the president–your president whom you love–just gave the speech of his presidency and not five minutes later you’re on Palin again? Conservatives are here praising the president, and instead of joining in, you’re obsessing on Sarah Palin? Does that seem like normal, rational, healthy behavior or sick obsession?

Other reactions:
Major Garrett: When Gabby Opened her Eyes
Rich Lowry
Althouse
Allahpundit
Ed Morrissey
Instapundit
Legal Insurrection

Jennifer Rubin

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Rob Crawford

    The press knows Obama doesn’t really mean it. He said what he had to say to keep himself above the fray. Tomorrow, or maybe a week from now, he’ll be asking the FCC how to “reign in the hateful rhetoric” — and the resulting policy will somehow manage to exclude the left and target the right.

  • Rand Careaga

    I’ve never actually bought into the notion of the US President as comforter-in-chief (one of the reasons I actually rather liked Bush 41, who brought a briskly realistic and focused approach to the job), but if a president must go there, he should do it well, as here.

  • Greta

    I agree with you on the speech. I do not like applause at Mass either. I understand that the democratic party was involved in selecting the venue and campus’s are where the president feels most at home. They gave out Tshirts and got the crowd reved up. I found it very strange not only the cheering, but the yelling almost like a campaign stop.

    What most people do not get is that people who disagree with Obama do so because they do not agree with his policies which they see as big government socialist type solutions to very important problems. I think it was Obama who set the tone with the partisanship issues by telling the republicans soon after his getting in office that elections have consequences and “we won.” from that time on, his party did not even attempt any true bipartisanship pushing everything through with their side alone and when the other side protested, labeled them, with the help of the media, as being obstructionist. I really do believe they were shocked when they went out and found tea party people in their face about what they were doing. I remember the advice of democrats who were out of office saying they needed to make sure anything as big as healthcare reform had to be bipartisan or it was doomed.

    So while he gave a good speech, he will return to washington and continue his mission of big government, putting people in place without confirmation or as czars, using regulations to get what he cannot through congress, and in every way pushing big government. He will continue his actions with foreign governments telling them about the bad old America and apologizing.

    My father told me to measure people by their actions much more than their words. He also told me to show people what I was worth by my actions and keep the words to a minimum and only if needed. That is the problem that Obama has and no matter what he said tonight, I have grown to not trust him because of the gap between actions and his words. By the way, that will never happen with Palin. Her words and actions are in complete mesh. I know of no other politician I can say that about today on a national level.

  • Rand Careaga

    @Rob Crawford: It’s “rein,” not “reign.” The metaphor is equestrian. You’re welcome.

  • Rand Careaga

    @Greta: I hope you will work tirelessly for Palin’s nomination next year, and enlist as many fellow supporters as possible. I say this with absolute sincerity.

  • Calvin Dodge

    Of COURSE Obama’s speech will put a stop to the lies about Palin re the shooting.

    Just as his “children are off-limits” speech put a stop to nasty commentary about Palin’s children.

    Wait a minute …

  • Rand Careaga

    @Calvin Dodge: I’d forgotten. This is all about the persecution of Sarah Palin. My thanks for your timely reminder.

  • peggy coffey

    Mercifully I missed the speech. I have the flu, but I thought I would check out what was said. T-shirts! Really!? At a memorial service?! I think that’s really all I need to know. I’m going back to bed now. Maybe the country will make more sense when I’m feeling better.

  • Beth

    @Rand Careaga,

    Unless I’m mistaken, I believe that most of the second half of Obama’s speech was addressing our civil discourse. Are you saying that Sarah Palin was not a part of this?

  • Beth

    Sorry, Anchoress. I should not have bit.
    (That’s an aquatic metaphor, I do believe – but I’m sure RC will correct me if I’m wrong)

  • AK

    A masterful performance by President Obama. I say that because he managed to roll Elizabeth Scalia, Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry, and most of the rest of right-of-center commentariat.

    You guys are missing the forest for the trees. Yes, in terms of content, it was a fine speech. But stop for a second: four days ago in Arizona, six people whom Barack Obama never even knew existed were murdered. Tomorrow the story will be about how Obama has gotten his grove back, how he’s fixing his reputation for aloofness, how he’s showing leadership, etc. And tonight the right is falling all over itself to praise this speech.

    Guys? Forgive me for having to point this out, but this isn’t about Barack Hussein Obama! We shouldn’t be talking about him, because this speech shouldn’t have been given.

    This shooting has nothing to do with Obama. It’s not an event that requires presidential leadership. You know why he gave this speech? Because as Halprin said, he needed an Oklahoma City moment. He needed to show that he wasn’t aloof. Obama saw an opportunity to make a speech that would help himself politically, and he took it.

    And why did Obama need to make this can’t-we-all-just-get-along speech in the first place? Because members of his own party have been acting absolutely disgracefully since the moment that news of this shooting came across the wire. Obama did nothing about this for four days, other than to call the reprehensible Tuscon sheriff to thank him. Obama let his party smear Sarah Palin and everyone else on the right for four days before delivering a kumbaya speech.

    Now he’s reaping political rewards for things he should have said four days ago. That would have been leadership. This – this is an egotistical man cynically exploiting a multiple-murder for his own political gain and transforming a memorial service into the Obama 2012 campaign kickoff event. Absolutely ghoulish.

  • newton

    “[T]he president–your president whom you love–just gave the speech of his presidency and not five minutes later you’re on Palin again?”

    What else can you expect? They can’t help themselves!

    “T-shirts! Really!? At a memorial service?!”

    Oh yeah. Tacky, isn’t it?

    Nothing surprises me anymore.

  • http://j3b3.wordpress.com jb

    If one is to err on the side of grace–the ultimate, premier principle of the faith–it was a well-crafted and well-delivered speech. I have heard far worse sermons from pulpits.

    Now let us see what it shall bring about.

    Being free from the affliction of party affiliation, I have less reason than most to be offended, and more reason to be hopeful.

    Might the Lord Christ be gracious in any case.

    Pax

  • Beatrix

    re. Gabrielle Giffords opening her eyes for the first time today, there is this to be considered:

    link

  • http://j3b3.wordpress.com jb

    Beatrix–

    I would stand at the head of the line were the Bammster to go Messianic. He did not. He stated what he thought had happened. We have not gotten what you could call precise information from any direction in all of this, so to make implications (Lord Jesus, have we not had enough of those?!) is merely more of the same.

    Go pray for a bit, and put the politics and pundits to bed for a day or two.

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  • Terrye

    I did not watch the speech, but I get the impression that Obama did a good job even if the venue was questionable.

    I always dislike stuff like this. I would have preferred a speech from the Oval Office or even some remarks from the Rose Garden. In truth I don’t need the President to make it all better for me, he is not my Daddy. And it seems to me that more and more the media just sort of jerks all of us around, Presidents included.

    Terrible things happen to people every day, wonderful things too and we don’t always need a politician and a bunch of talking heads and cameras to deal with the stuff life throws at us.

    So, I did not watch Obama..as for Palin, I don’t know why they can’t just let it be.

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  • Lou G.

    Didn’t take the opportunity to go after the RKBA, The third-rail is still the third rail

  • http://www.harleyscars.com Shouting Thomas

    So, I did not watch Obama..as for Palin, I don’t know why they can’t just let it be.

    Because, somehow, she threatens the left with a loss of power. She is the future.

    Why?

    We don’t know yet.

  • Kerry

    He didn’t insert this “unifying tone” into the “last few days of madness” because he previously profited from his own “If they bring a knife we bring a gun” opus 44 magnums, and now looks to profits from the shift in the winds. (Yes, mixed metaphor alert.) He believes only in power and self adulation, and upon those “tones” does what he does, and says what he pretends to believe. Mute your televisions when he speaks and just watch the gestures; are they believable?

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  • Joseph Marshall

    I haven’t had the opportunity to complement you, Anchoress, for your treatment here of the human side of this awful business, whether that of the victims or the assailant’s parents. It seemed inappropriate to do so in your columns of controversy with the press.

    It has been splendid, and has been a wonderful reminder of the fact that we are, first, human beings, with the same human needs, and deserving the benefit of the same human doubt; we are, second, Americans with the same heritage of freedom and representative government; and only political partisans after that.

    I wish it were easier for all of us to step back and view these facts. But, if we can’t, we can’t and our self-inflicted spiritual wounds will bleed more freely because of it.

  • Elaine

    I am just sad that the whole tragedy had to be politicized and people blamed that had nothing to do with this. I just can’t imagine what it would like to be accused of causing a tragedy like this because of political opportunity to put down the other side.
    I wish the President had said something about this the day after this happened but he didn’t. I don’t think a Republican came out and said to stop this the day after as well.

    So while the President’s words were well chosen at the memorial something just makes me feel sick inside for the whole tragedy.

  • Lisa

    Anchoress, you’ve done an excellent job covering this tragedy and I appreciate your remaining civil. Even if I don’t agree with everything you write, I know that I can come here and read civil discourse. Thank you.

    Obama has left me too cynical these past three years. He may have given a good speech (I personally cannot bear to listen to him), however I see little in praising someone for doing what they ought to have been doing all along. After letting his attack dogs loose he waited out the fight and then strolled in to be the hero. Sorry, not buying any of it.

    It was supposed to be a memorial service for victims but turned into an Obama campaign rally at a college campus with a slogan, t-shirts & cheering. The Left politicizes death – again.

  • Jeff

    I can’t bear to watch Obama or Bill Clinton speak anywhere so I missed it.

    It sounds like he managed to tone down his own polarizing rhetoric a smidgen which I guess is good. What is so disturbing is that left wing pundits were openly saying only a few weeks ago that Obama needed an “Oklahoma City” to get back on track. Only the left thinks in this terrifyingly partisan, cold-hearted way. You didn’t hear conservatives saying “oh boy Bush really needs another 9-11 to help him out now.”

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  • Teresa D.

    I was prepared to suspend my policy of never watching an Obama speech however, at the beginning of the service I saw nancy Pelosi on the screen smiling, shaking hands and having her photograph taken with admirers. With my suspicions confirmed that this would turn out to be another campaign rally I changed the channel. I’ll take your word that it was a good speech but speeches have no meaning when the actions do not match, especially coming from this President. From the news clips and notes above it did not surprise me that T-shirts were passed out. I know from my days working in Washington that “advance” teams go out to venues and set up adoring audiences prior to a President’s appearance (Clinton was a master at this). Republicans do it too, but not as effectively. I try to supress my cynical political nature, but time and again despite Pres. Obama’s carefully crafted and occasionally eloquent speeches, I am more inclined to watch what he does. Sadly he always confirms my suspicions about his political leanings. So I expect he will revert to his old ways of demeaning his political adversaries in an uncivil way.

  • Joe

    The speech was well written. Giving out t-shirts? Not appropriate. Jeff Goldstein thinks we are being set up, and I think he is correct.

  • http://breadhere.blogspot.com Fran Rossi Szypylczyn

    Reading this comment thread has filled me with despair. Will we ever heal? My hope remains strong most days, but right now, not so much.

    If suspicion was worth money, this thread would be a bankroll.

  • Rick

    Pure political theatre staged by the Obama administration.
    Actions mean more than words.
    The words were fine, the actions were disgusting.

  • francesca

    Am suspending judgement of the speech given that it was supposed to be a memorial service and will wait and see what the President proposes going forward. I did watch and listen to the entire service. He spent a lot of time on the issue of the rhetoric, which is ok although it doesn’t appear linked to the man’s motives in reality, be that as it may it’s always encouraging to hear our leaders encourage us. He also said something along the lines of “In the last few days I have heard everything from discussion of gun control to mental health care…” Something like this. And would really have liked to hear more on this given at least equal time to the issue of the tone and tenor of campaign rhetoric as hope for our future. I get that the mainstream media hates Palin and has no qualms about using this incident to take her out of the public scene, but I don’t get the continued interest in discussing the tone of the rhetoric when it seems that this was not in fact a political assassination but a sort of hinckley or chapman type of character. If the President feels that the time is opportune to have a national dialogue on our discourse, so be it, and at some point the mainstream media and the people who ridicule and mock Palin as stupid and all the rest of the ad hominem attacks will also have to determine whether they are on board with the President’s plan, or not.

  • http://anti-republicanculture.com Howard Towt

    Here’s a thought: In the context of this tragedy, has anyone thought of the word “persecution”?

    I see the treatment of Sarah Palin referred to as an obsession, but is it larger than that?

  • Old Fan

    Interesting read, thanks for the offering.

    I have a different take. I am a cynic however.

    I found Mr. Obama terribly cold, and I feel most Americans I encounter know the politicians are unfortunately designing their offering to exploit these horrid tragedies.

    I could not help but think, where was this non partisan expression the last two years, and why wasn’t there the same amount of empathy and concern after the monstrous Fort Hood massacre.

    On top of this, we know how ugly the manipulation is, from revelations about the Clinton Administration organizing a ‘blame the right’ campaign after Oklahoma’s horrid tragedy behind the scenes.

    After Mr. Obama’s ugly treatment of GW, his partisan nature in the Senate and as President, we know were his true sentiment lays – and it is just predictable to see the “act” now.

    I can be thankful the backlash against the partisan garbage produces a more lofty effort, but I cannot ignore the record of the folly.

    We can see the true nature of a number of these modern Democrats, like Mrs. Clintons typical anti-US bashing while visiting overseas, even after such a monstrous tragedy.

    It is all sad, but only highlights the class and decency of the unfairly demeaned Bush Administration past.

    I wish to say, God speed and Rest in Peace to all. I also hope that truly many of these misguided Partisans do “find their voice” and find some more responsibility and decency.

    Yet, much like the hype I see in many areas, the polite acclaim for this “it is all about Obama” performance, is way overblown.

    Especially when we know, this is someone off the script, who says things like “punish your enemies” as POTUS prior to a midterm election.

    I have the same cynicism for Mrs. Palin’s offering. I welcomed her rebuke to the garbage of partisans when I heard of the taped 8 minutes, only to be disappointed with the overtly scripted, polished, produced ad which fit the “running for President” mold.

    Bring back the genuine Reagan, GW, Laura, etc. Boehner’s tears are actually a welcome form of honesty. He grows in my book.

    I am praying for this fine Country.

  • Bender

    It could have been a good speech. It could have been presidential. It was not.

    Instead, it was purposely sufficiently ambiguous with that accusatory “we” (in whom Obama very clearly did NOT include himself) so as to allow all of the usual MSM suspects (who also did not include themselves in that “we”) to use his remarks to slime and bash conservatives, most prominently Sarah Palin.

    With his use of “we” and “our,” Obama was grossly dishonest with this “everyone (except me) is equally guilty” accusation. Had he been honest, had he any integrity, he would have pointed the first finger AT HIMSELF, and he would have openly and expressly admitted to and apologized for his own disgusting contemptuous and derisive remarks that he makes on a constant basis about his political opponents. He did not do that. Instead, he disingenuously asserted himself to be above divisive and contentious politics, and he made these remarks in a wholly inappropriate politically charged pep rally.

  • Bender

    **Rand Careaga,
    Unless I’m mistaken, I believe that most of the second half of Obama’s speech was addressing our civil discourse. Are you saying that Sarah Palin was not a part of this?**

    What Rand is saying is that HE is not a part of this, that he and fellow liberals have no intention of engaging in a more civil discourse, that they will continue to attack and slime and smear.

    Obama’s relativistic words, far from being above finger-pointing, here in the real world of practical application, were empty and devoid of any meaning.

  • Susan

    Can it honestly be said that what began in 2008 with “if Sarah Palin steps one foot inside Manhattan I’ll send my black brothers to rape her” (Sandra Bernhard) will somehow end piously peaceful?

    A woman standing centerstage-spotlights shinning brightly- before an applauding audience ordering black men to rape a woman named Sarah Palin yet for most of the last two years all you, Mrs Scalia, have done is to complain how sick and tired you are of hearing about Sarah Palin.

    Look in your own soul Mrs Scalia, take yourself out of Dr Krauthammer’s echo-chamber (he did afterall demand Palin “leave the room”) and consider the possibily that you wanted Sarah Palin gone as much as Sandra Bernhard did in 2008 except that Sandra Bernhard is out in the open while you hide behind some man-made saints you worship as some alter of the Gods.

    By the way; this is not about Sarah Palin, this is about those who allow the blood libel to continue while at the same time preening their own moral superiority of somehow being above it all.

    All that aside;I have NO DOUBT the blood libel assaults on Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Conservatives, and Christians who read the Bible will relentlessly continue as they have since the beginning.

    [Wow. Anti-Catholic AND a near comparison to me as a Berhardian caller of gang-rape-unto-Palin. I bet Jesus loved that! I am very tired of the hysteria I am seeing, both from the lefties who are screaming at me in emails because--well, actually, I don't know why they're screaming; they're just set on scream and can't stop--and from folks on the right who suggest that unless I have fallen in love and fallen in line, my words are the equivalence of a call to gang rape, or a condescending suggestion that Palin must "leave the room." I have never suggested Palin should go away. I have an allergic reaction to people coming into my site, denigrating my religion and putting words into my mouth.

    As I have said before, Palin's most fervent fans--who say things like "you wanted Sarah Palin gone, etc..."--do much more to make me much less sympathetic toward Palin than she herself has can do on her own. Conversely, when the left goes rabid on her, as they surely did this weekend, they make me more sympathetic toward her. I speak as I find on Palin, and try to be fair; when I think she's right, I say so and when I think she's made a mistake, I say that, too. That this is insufficient to your needs or demands is something I can't do much about. I will continue to try to be fair, by my own lights and perspective. I still have this crazy notion that people have a right to their own opinions. Oh, look, I'm preening! - admin]

  • Bill

    Good speech. Good coverage. Interesting that, right after the speech, the commentators on Fox News said nicer things about the speech than those on CNN.

  • Sue

    Regarding the applause and campaign-like feeling that surrounded the memorial, my friend Liz said the following: “I watched the first part of the memorial and the first of President Obama’s speech; but before it was over, I turned off the television and went to church where I prayed for the people who were suffering as a result of the horrific acts on Saturday and I prayed for our country.”

  • Beatrix

    JB @9:02 – I provided that link because I thought the information was interesting and relevant. Telling someone to “go pray for a bit” is a little arrogant and patronizing, don’t you think?

  • francesca

    Now that we are able to focus on the President’s initiatives in raising our civil discourse, I wonder what others make of the miscellaneous items that the apparently mentally ill culprit left behind. There have been photos of a skull surrounded by blackened and shriveled oranges, with some novena candles to one side on a sort of altar. Some say these are elements typically found in a satanist/occultist type altar. Practicing occultists deny a link. Then there is the favorited video on youtube by the band, Drowning Pool. If one can listen to it (it is difficult to listen to and watch) depicted there are pierced men covered in tatoos screaming at an incarcerated individual. Then the video cuts to the band which in a violent rage screams the lyric over and over, “Let the bodies hit the floor”. Seems and sounds incredibly violent and incredibly angry (disfiguringly so). Yet the band now says the video and song were written by them as a tribute to the “brotherhood of the mosh pit”. Having hung out with skateboarders and moshers in high school and college, I would say that whatever connection to moshing and the video is completely invisible (dreamed up?) in that when you watch and listen there is not one allusion to the mosh pit or moshers, it’s only close ups of the band and close ups of the incarcerated guy getting yelled at. No moshing whatsoever. Could such a cultural climate as this, especially aimed at young consumers, have contribute to what happened?

  • newton

    Susan,

    Methinks YOU are falsely accusing this woman of something she has NOT done in the past couple of years, if ever.

    I’m a Baptist: Baptists are supposed to read and learn their Bibles cover-to-cover. And I’ve known the Anchoress for a few years already. (You can ask her.)

    Do the words “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” mean anything to you?

    This woman has said NOTHING WRONG about Sarah Palin. Sure, she has her opinions about her. She’s entitled to say what she likes or doesn’t like about her – that’s her privilege. We all have things people like or don’t like about each one of us. Yet, I’m not going to burn her at the stake for the “crime” of not liking some things about Sarah Palin!

    If you want to accuse someone of some imagined charge of “inflaming the passions” or something like that, may I suggest you take your pitchforks and torches and go after Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias and Markos Moulitsas? Those three definitely have A LOT of culpability in this matter.

    Stop barking at the wrong tree!

  • Paula H

    All I can think right now is…thank God I’m Canadian. I feel for you my friends to the South. I will pray for sanity to reign.

  • richard40

    The left managed to do 2 different things with this Blame Palin nonsense. First they made Palin look like a statesmen, that has been unfairly accused. Second, they made Obama move to the right and repudiate them, which also made Obama look like a statesman.

    If anybody on the right wanted to be really paranoid, they might even think this is purposeful by the left. Obama winds up looking better. And if the left beleives that Palin will be an easier nominee to beat, they might even want to make her look better. Of course one problem with this idea is I dont think the left is so committed to having Obama win that they would be willing to be made complete fools publically, and have Obama publically abandon them, just to get him elected. Plus, if the left really beleives that Palin would be the easier nominee to beat, and continue to make her look good by making foolish attacks against her, they might end up making the same mistake they made with Reagan, and having her actually win the general election.

    Personally, I think the left just has a full case of Palin Derangement Syndrome, and even looking like complete fools, and being publically rebuked by their own president, isn’t enough to make them see reason and call off this line of attack. They tried a completely foolish line of attack, but are so deranged that they are incapable of recognizing their error, and backing off.

  • Mandy P.

    Glad for the reasonable coverage and commentary from you, Elizabeth!

    Personally, I thought the text of his speech was fine. His delivery was a bit grating to me, but I think that’s more a matter of personal style than anything. But the substance of what he said was just fine.

    The venue and the optics were just plain painful to watch. I think (though I am not sure) that the U of Arizona put the whole thing together. So I’m going to give the President and co. The benefit of the doubt on that. The t-shirts and cheering as if it were some kind of campaign atop or a pep-rally really bothered me. It felt very disrespectful to the dead and I wish those in the audience had been able to conduct themselves with a bit more decorum, considering the reason they were there and all.

    Anyway, overall I agree with your post. It’s nice to see that there is still some sanity left among us. I’ve felt like I woke up in a parallel universe for the past few days with all the nonsense going on.

  • Mandy P.

    I would like to add that I agree with the person above who said they would have preferred an Oval Office speech. I think Obama had to make a speech, but I personally think it would have been more appropriate to do it from the Oval Office. It would have avoided the awful spectacle that the “service” turned into, and it would have been a lot more comforting and intimate. At the memorial, I think it would have been much more appropriate if it had been focused on the deceased and their families. But it was something else entirely. That’s not necessarily his fault. I just think it would have been more appropriate.

  • richard40

    For once, Obama did the right thing. He repudiated the Palin Did It madness, and wisely refrained from any calls for gun or speech restrictions. He kept his politics neutral, and concentrated on honoring the dead, and the living heroes who helped at the scene

    It is kind of interesting that his speech got more compliments on Fox, than it did on MSNBC. Puts the lie to the myth that Fox is nothing but Obama hating maniacs. It also makes the far left look even more deranged, since even after Obamas repudiation, they still haven’t given up on the Palin Did It nonsense.

    I do wish he had issued a statement 2 days before, calling for restraint on looking for blame other than the killer, until the facts were in, like they did in past incidents, like Fort Hood. That might have stopped the leftist Palin Did It madness before it got into full gear. Some cynics might think that he did what he did only after he realized the Palin Did It nonsense was failing. But at least he finally came out on the right side, and deserves to be praised for it.

  • Cheryl

    While the speech had the proper wording and was well delivered, it fell short of the mark … especially in the second half when he urges civility. In this part, Obama still clings to the narrative that political rhetoric and passions were the causes of this incident, and not the actions of a mentally unstable individual. If his call to civility is truly genuine, it must begin and end with him. He needs to disavow in plain terms, and without hesitation, the vitriol directed at former President Bush. He must resist his own temptation of vilifying his political opponents. I suspect, though, this will be all forgotten when next week begins.


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