Obama’s speech: “[T]he truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack”

posted at 9:45 pm on January 12, 2011 by Allahpundit

Normally I’d wait for video to post but that could take an hour or more, so here are his remarks as prepared for delivery. He did an excellent job, actually, much better than I expected. Some righties will dislike it just because it’s him and some lefties will dislike it because, unlike them, he wasn’t in the mood for voodoo, but most everyone else will think it’s lovely.

Read the full speech and enjoy it now because tomorrow’s political insta-analysis — “Obama’s back!” — is sure to taint the mood. Two noteworthy ad libs to bear in mind before you proceed to the key passages below. First, in the speech’s best moment, he mentioned that Giffords opened her eyes today for the first time. And second, right after the line “it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy,” he punctuated it with “it did not.” He’s not playing the “climate of hate” game here, in other words. On the contrary.

You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations – to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.

Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, “when I looked for light, then came darkness.” Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.

For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind.

So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.

But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together…

The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy [-- it did not --] but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other’s ideas without questioning each other’s love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.

Note the rhetorical move at the end: Civil rhetoric may be a virtue but that doesn’t mean it’s a lesson of the shooting. He’s obviously aiming this at the left, although naturally they’ll conclude that that can’t possibly be the case. Ace heard a different speech than I did, I guess, but for what it’s worth, this is playing remarkably well thus far among righties on Twitter: Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, Jim Geraghty, Andy Levy, S.E. Cupp, Philip Klein, and Ace’s own co-bloggers Drew and Gabe all thought it was rock solid. Click the image below to watch a key section. Exit question: Er, what was with the audience? Wasn’t this a memorial service?

Update: KP, of all people, is criticizing Obama on Twitter for tacitly validating the left’s “rhetoric” narrative by addressing it in the first place. He had to say something, though. If he avoided the subject, he would have come off as a coward — voting “present” on four days of demagoguery. He dismissed the lefty narrative as best he could within the constraints imposed upon him by having to retain his base.


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Read the full speech and enjoy it now because tomorrow’s political insta-analysis — “Obama’s back!” — is sure to taint the mood.

Now playing on Fox.

Jorge Bonilla on January 12, 2011 at 9:48 PM

The service was wellstone light. Speech was fine, but I believe he will change his tune come SOTU

JVelez on January 12, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Sorry, but this was Wellstone II.

1.) You don’t give out political t-shirts at the funeral of a 9 year old girl.

2.) You don’t cheer and clap like a maniac at the funeral of a nine year old girl.

Maybe it’s just me… but that’s just wrong.

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 9:49 PM

He did an excellent job, actually, much better than I expected.

Uh oh.

Grow Fins on January 12, 2011 at 9:49 PM

NO MORAL COMPASS……..another feature of Progressive theology.

People are no better than animals…..so how can they have any real personal responsibility?

God help us escape his perilous Presidency!!

PappyD61 on January 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

I think Obama tried to have it both ways by making the legacy of the shooting about political civility, but his speech was appropriate and better than I expected. Let’s see how long Obama adheres to the standard of political civility he set in his speech.

Terrie on January 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Good speech.

Incompetent President.

Repugnant Person.

aquaviva on January 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

I thought it was his finest moment as President so far.

It was nothing like I expected it to be – balanced, strong, meaningful, and moving. It was healing and it was, dare I even say, inspiring at times.

He put his party and the media to shame with some gentle but real rebukes.

I hope that his followers listen to what he said here and change their behavior and reactions going forward.

MikeknaJ on January 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Soo… it’s perfectly OK to use the dead as props and even pass out t-shirts at their memorial service now?

WTF?

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Am I the only one who thought the whole thing was distasteful? Not Obama per say (I thought his words were quite wonderful to be honest), but the cheering. It just seemed like a pep rally, and even Fox mentioned that the whole thing was odd. Obama covered for that and adapted quite well, but it was still very odd and distasteful, in my eyes anyway.

Indy82 on January 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Yawn.

Time to repeal Obamacare.

BuckeyeSam on January 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Pres. Obama gave the best speech of his presidency. Sadly, the crowd behaved like it was a political rally, not a memorial service. The service organizers could have handled this better. All that was missing was bouncing beach balls and Jimmy Buffett music playing in the background.

simkeith on January 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

I was very offended by the audience reaction. This was supposed to be a memorial service not a rock concert or political rally. And what the hell was with the President of the Univeristys’ fawnng remarks about the president… said something like we are blessed witt his intellect. Pathetic!!

glennbo on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

if it was good, i’ll take y’alls word for it. Im chillin with something else.

ted c on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

He says nice words while the whole rest of The Left continues the smears. Classic community organizing.

SouthernGent on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Obama’s speech: “[T]he truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack”

Then why four (4) days of blame to Sarah Palin, the TEA Parties, and Rush…?

Seven Percent Solution on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

I admit I have trouble cutting JugEars any slack, since he has slammed me and ideals so many times.

Nothing much was changed by this ‘event’. If I want cheering and lighters held aloft, I go to rock concerts. This was supposedly a memorial event.

GnuBreed on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

He could have told his handlers no slogan and no t-shirts.

Staff pick up tone from the boss. Always.

INC on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

So when are they going to have a memorial service for the Victims of the shooting?

portlandon on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

I just told my wife to sell T-shirts at my funeral…she looked at me funny. Dude!

Justrand on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

It was pedestrian and too long.

Wait a week and see if you can recall any memorable lines.

SlaveDog on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Things will return to normal Monday. I doubt after this week, that anything really has changed. I can’t stand Obama, people hate Palin, Rush is always right, Tingles is a blathering idiot, and if the Republican Congress backs off one inch of what they were elected to go to DC and do (STOP HIM), there will be hell to pay.

Marcus on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

It would’ve been nicer if he hadn’t called for civility after four days of standing by as his allies accused conservatives of murder.

He’s quiet for four days through this bull, polls find it’s not working, and oh — look — here’s Obama to call for civility.

amerpundit on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

He says nice words while the whole rest of The Left continues the smears. Classic community organizing.

SouthernGent on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

That’s exactly what I think. When his actions change, then I’ll start to pay attention to his words.

INC on January 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM

I’ll never give Hussein the benefit out of the doubt. NEVER.

madmonkphotog on January 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Four days too late, President Awesome calls his troops home when their attacks aren’t polling well. You fall for that kinda stuff, AP?

jamie gumm on January 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Oh we wanted to play the climate of hate. I’m sure the 1st draft of the speech was all about it. But it became clear over the past 24-36 hours that giving that speech would be idiotic. Obama;s not as dumb as Pelosi looks.

angryed on January 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Nothing like the brutal, senseless murder of a third-grader to revitalize one’s presidency, it would seem.

Jeddite on January 12, 2011 at 9:53 PM

I was with the Open Thread but the Husband, who is not a fan, said that Pres. Obama did okay. He thought the crowd was a bit off but that the president did okay.

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

He’s quiet for four days through this bull, polls find it’s not working, and oh — look — here’s Obama to call for civility.

amerpundit on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

you know it.

INC on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Great speech at a horrific venue and several days too late.

carbon_footprint on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Obama’s speech: “[T]he truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack”

Then why four (4) days of blame to Sarah Palin, the TEA Parties, and Rush…?

Seven Percent Solution on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

The speech was a rebuke of that.

We’ll see how many of them now choose to listen to the rebuke.

MikeknaJ on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

To be honest I did not watch it. I hate Memorial Services that are actually photo ops for politicians..and that seems to be what most of them are anymore.

I am not a child. I can deal with bad things happening without being counseled by Barack Obama.

So, how much this helps Obama depends on how many real people watched it. By real people, I mean people other than professional pundits both left and right.

Terrye on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Er, what was with the audience? Wasn’t this a memorial service?

Along with the T-shirts…

… I hear they were handing out voting registration cards to any illegal alien in the audience.

(just following the “new” journalistic standards)

Seven Percent Solution on January 12, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Fins, you on Ebay yet hoping to score one of those shirts?

I mean like wow, imagine having an official Obama shirt from a memorial honoring 6 dead people, including as you said recently “a nine year old girl who was shot in the chest”.

Bishop on January 12, 2011 at 9:55 PM

As predicted, it is Hosanna erupting in all corners over the speech. Do not dismiss this moment that Barry had exploited well. He is bound to get a lift from this speech.

Beating him in 2012 is not an easy task. We all hope, for our sake, that the economy and the job market improve in the next year or so. Whether that is from normal business cycle or GOP actions in the Congress, Barry will take full credit. You have to remember Barry starts with a 40% base no matter what. Unless we get a good, credible GOP nominee, and we unite and work hard to un-elect Barry, he can get back in like Devolve Patrick in Massachusetts. The country cannot take another 4 years of Barry.

bayview on January 12, 2011 at 9:55 PM

The crowd sounded like it was at the Auburn vs. Ducks Game from Monday Night. I half expected the camera to pan the crowd and I’d see painted faces and cheerleaders doing the “O” pyramid.

portlandon on January 12, 2011 at 9:55 PM

I’m with you on this one AP.

sleepy-beans on January 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM

He could have told his handlers no slogan and no t-shirts.

Staff pick up tone from the boss. Always.

INC on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Which is why another poster said, the students were given first seating. Who decided this? Who ok’d it? And if they knew this, then why not bring t-shirts, and slogans. 2 birds, one stone kinda thing. Someone planned it this way.

capejasmine on January 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM

It would’ve been nicer if he hadn’t called for civility after four days of standing by as his allies accused conservatives of murder.

He’s quiet for four days through this bull, polls find it’s not working, and oh — look — here’s Obama to call for civility.

amerpundit on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Thats the problem.

the_nile on January 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Dear leader does one thing really well, read a speech on a teleprompter. Oh, and smile, so 2 things. Oh, yeah, take vacations, so really 3 things. Feeling sympathy is not one of those 3 things. Guess the crowd didn’t know it was a memorial, must have thought it was one of his campaign stops.

Kissmygrits on January 12, 2011 at 9:57 PM

He’s not playing the “climate of hate” game here, in other words.

Good. That’s very encouraging. Now, back to what the voters sent the GOP to D.C. to accomplish: repeal Obamacare; drastically reduce spending; place Constitutional restraints on the executive branch and even Congress itself; investigate where necessary (New Black Panthers); reign in the EPA to name a few. Since the President himself doesn’t hold the Right guilty for the actions of a crazy man, then the agenda certainly can’t be blamed, and we can get right back to it as soo as Congress comes off this recess out of respect. The nation’s problems haven’t gone away, and there’s work to be done.

Weight of Glory on January 12, 2011 at 9:57 PM

We’ll see how many of them now choose to listen to the rebuke.

MikeknaJ on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Why don’t you watch Sarah Palin’s speech again…

… and see how it is properly done?

Seven Percent Solution on January 12, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Seriously, I don’t think Obama was aware that it was going to be as Brett Baer said a “pep rally”. I was quite shocked. Did they really hand out t-shirts? Really?

I thought it was a good speech. One of his better ones.

I didn’t want to vomit afterwards, so it must have been ok.

jaimo on January 12, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Triangulation !

Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence,

just forget all those things I said about getting in people’s faces if they don’t agree with me, and about hitting back twice as hard, and about how we’ll bring a gun to a knife fight. Just forget about all of that. It was just a campaign speech, didn’t mean anything. But we know who’s ass to kick, when we need to.

Skandia Recluse on January 12, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame

little late there brother…

cmsinaz on January 12, 2011 at 9:58 PM

The man who says “we bring guns” is now the arbitrator of civility. Please. He makes me ill.

kevinkristy on January 12, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Are any of the t-shirts on ebay yet?

Jason Coleman on January 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM

How can you say this speech was good? It was aweful.

dforston on January 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM

So when does the Great Civilizer use his own words and actions as a starting point, before he tells Republicans to get in the back of the car or after he tells Hispanics to “punish our enemies”?

Bishop on January 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM

So how many more massacres are needed to get Barry’s poll number above fifty percent ?

DeweyWins on January 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

From now on it’s going to be, “How dare you defile little Christina’s memory by trying to repeal health care!”

RedRedRice on January 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

I listened, even going to NPR so as not to be interrupted by commercials. I was listening, ready to flinch…but didn’t. Came close once. But I think it was a speech that needed to be said.

Amendment X on January 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM

I thought y’all were kidding about the T-shirt.

I mean, you can’t be serious about handing out logo T-shirts at a memorial… right?

You must be joking, yes?

No?

Huh.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

How can you say this speech was good? It was aweful.

dforston on January 12, 2011 at 9:59 PM


He probably got a Memorial / Concert t-shirt.

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

“Exit question: Er, what was with the audience? Wasn’t this a memorial service?”

I turned it on, and turned it right back off.. that was…..odd :(

Rufuss_Va on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

He scumbled it exactly as I thought he would. By playing a lofty tone he implies moral equivalence between Left and Right while seeming dispassionate and Demosthenic. He completely ignores the astonishing hailstorm of attacks in the past few days whose violent pelting struck everything from Palin to the notion of free speech itself. You simply cannot ignore all that and call yourself a president of all America. Therefore this was not a presidential speech by a leader in any full and meaningful way. It was empty solemnizing intended to sound presidential while essentially holding everything currently in place.

rrpjr on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Sorry, but this was Wellstone II.

1.) You don’t give out political t-shirts at the funeral of a 9 year old girl.

2.) You don’t cheer and clap like a maniac at the funeral of a nine year old girl.

Maybe it’s just me… but that’s just wrong.

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 9:49 PM

+1 It was revolting. And I’m not just saying that because it’s Obama. It was a crass circus.

Django on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Typical Obama, it was not the first time she opened her eyes. The doctor said that when she was first brought in her eyes were open and she was responding to commands. Not surprising…

crazywater on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

At least everyone got T-shirts.

Good Lt on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Why should he do anything else?…the elite media will do his dirty work for him.

d1carter on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Exit question: Er, what was with the audience? Wasn’t this a memorial service?

Their obnoxious, inappropriate cheering set tone for the evening which made it difficult for me to appreciate Obama’s words when spoken. They look much better in print. I hope he sticks with this message and doesn’t start going off script.

Buy Danish on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

The speech was a rebuke of that.

MikeknaJ on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

I guess he was too busy to make a quick rebuke a few days ago?

Midas on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

“That speech was the equivalent of the Gettysburg Address, except this time with a nice black guy doing the talking.”

-MSNBC all-white staff

Bishop on January 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

signed t-shirts of “Together We Thrive” on sale for…

Justrand on January 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

I thought y’all were kidding about the T-shirt.

I mean, you can’t be serious about handing out logo T-shirts at a memorial… right?

You must be joking, yes?

No?

Huh.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

No. They freaking handed out t-shirts like it was a NFL playoff game.

Allahpundit seems A-OK with that.

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Triangulation !

Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence,

just forget all those things I said about getting in people’s faces if they don’t agree with me, and about hitting back twice as hard, and about how we’ll bring a gun to a knife fight. Just forget about all of that. It was just a campaign speech, didn’t mean anything. But we know who’s ass to kick, when we need to.

Skandia Recluse on January 12, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Yes.

the_nile on January 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Golf clap.

bitsy on January 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Hmmm, The Won said that right after his visit “Gaby opened her eyes for the first time.”

I guess she did this with her eyes closed last Monday then.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is now able to respond to simple commands by giving a thumbs-up sign, squeezing a thumb, and raising two fingers, her doctor said on Monday, according to AOL News.

Oldnuke on January 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM

And I agree, WAY TOO much applause. But, there were t-shirts?!?!?!?!?

Amendment X on January 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Indy82 on January 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Yawn.

Time to repeal Obamacare.

BuckeyeSam on January 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Yup.

Good Lt on January 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM

His fake voice inflection was disorienting… fake.

dforston on January 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM

This was, by far, Obama’s best speech. Anyone who cannot honestly admit this, is a hopeless partisan hack.

For the skeptical of you: Obama rebuked the Left for their simple-minded, brazen attempts to explain away the cause of this disaster.

Could you really ask for more?

Seixon on January 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Krauthammer and the righty establishment might reluctantly defend Palin against libel but they also will try and make sure she will not get sympathy vote from this or a bounce in polls. Their strategy is to build Obama and give him bipartisan cover and essentially help him traingulate, so that he becomes too prohibitive for Palin to contest. Jeb Bush has thrown in the towel and is looking at 2016, hasn’t he? So, they have decided they can’t stop her from getting the nomination but they will prevent her in general as much as they can. As they proved in COD’s election, they will prevent the liberal/establishment GOP vote from going to her.

Which means they have decided to hand over Obama a second term rather than have Palin win the WH, just as they gave Obama the first term rather than let her or Mccain win.

promachus on January 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Aww. Allahpundit’s disappointed because Ace hasn’t gotten a case of the “in all fairness” Zero tingles.
How about a thread about how Jon Stewart liked it, too?

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM

It would’ve been nicer if he hadn’t called for civility after four days of standing by as his allies accused conservatives of murder.

He’s quiet for four days through this bull, polls find it’s not working, and oh — look — here’s Obama to call for civility.

amerpundit on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

You nailed it. Too bad AP doesn’t seem able to appreciate the facts. Aw, well, what are you going to do with a candy ass RINO?

cynccook on January 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I watched the entire speech, and still don’t feel I can give an honest critique. The cheering, the whistling, and the whole atmosphere in general distracted me greatly. I could not help but think how inappropriate much of the crowd’s behavior was. It did not seem befitting a memorial service. It made for a disjointed speech.

At first, I didn’t put any of the blame on Obama for the raucous environment, but when I learned afterward that campaign t-shirts were actually distributed to the crowd (I had heard that but thought it was a joke), I think I might reevaluate that notion.

That being said, I think I’ll re-read the speech (minus the crowd noise) to get an accurate assessment. Then again, as liberals always love to point out – perception is reality, and my perception is that this was no more than a campaign rally.

dugan on January 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM

I have to admit Obama’s speech was very good–probably his best. I really don’t have any criticism for him.

BUT:

I direct all kinds of criticism towards the University of Arizona, though. Their president was a attention-grabbing buffoon, and the student body’s behavior was shameful. I’m college-aged myself: I know these kids. Most were there for celebrity worship, nothing more. Brit Hume tried to say “they wanted a different tone.” No, no–my age group doesn’t understand appropriateness and tone. If there weren’t students allowed in indiscriminately, the tone would have been completely different.

KellyBomelly on January 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM

And how much were tax payers charged for those shirts? If this becomes a slogan for his campaign…won’t that make this illegal? hmmmmmmm.

capejasmine on January 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM

The speech?

Long. Over drawn. Rambling.

For maximum impact, a few paragraphs, a few salient points made and a few examples to bolster the idea or ideals of the speech.

Be brief. Be gracious. Be gone. When it comes to eulogies or memorials.

And for solemnity, perhaps a live broadcast from the Oval Office would have been a bit more in line.

Decorum matters.

coldwarrior on January 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Obama playing the role of Xzibit on Pimp My Dead.

Inanemergencydial on January 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Seixon on January 12, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Which is why this was a theater. the left baared its fangs and set up the stage for Obama to come looking as a moderate. They were all looking for a Oklahoma moment and this was such an easy gift. Why is the Right helping him do it?

promachus on January 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Has everyone forgotten that Obama called the sheriff and THANKED him? It is stuff like this that makes me pull my hair out. Obama thanked the person that was screeching we, the right wing of America, caused the deaths in Arizona. I, for one, will not say good speech simply because the man has figured out a way to turn a good phrase when the cameras are on him. Too little and much too late.

Sue on January 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

“That speech was the equivalent of the Gettysburg Address, except this time with a nice black guy doing the talking.”

-MSNBC all-white staff

Bishop on January 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

LOL +10

cynccook on January 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

He’s quiet for four days through this bull, polls find it’s not working, and oh — look — here’s Obama to call for civility.

amerpundit on January 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Palin was silent, too. Both of them were wise to keep out of the slime fest for as long as possible.

Seixon on January 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

A note on the portions highlighted: all that was relevant and useful was stated earlier this morning from Wasilla. Most of the rest was, if you take the time to look, collectivist liberal nonsense.

pugwriter on January 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM

They were all looking for a Oklahoma moment and this was such an easy gift. Why is the Right helping him do it?

promachus on January 12, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Save your cynicism for when there’s evidence to support it.

Seixon on January 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM

KellyBomelly on January 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM

You are correct, and good for you honey. For knowing the difference!!!

capejasmine on January 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Obama’s speech: “[T]he truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack”

but we do know what didn’t trigger it…

cmsinaz on January 12, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Why should he do anything else?…the elite media will do his dirty work for him.

d1carter on January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Exactly.

Knucklehead on January 12, 2011 at 10:07 PM

I thought y’all were kidding about the T-shirt.

I mean, you can’t be serious about handing out logo T-shirts at a memorial… right?

You must be joking, yes?

No?

Huh.

John the Libertarian on January 12, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Michelle Malkin has this:

tonight at the memorial for the Tucson massacre victims, it will be a sea of blue as the White House unveils the “Together We Thrive” logo and slogan.

Yes, the Tucson massacre is being branded:

All the University of Arizona buses in Tucson have been flashing the slogan on their digital signs.

Attendees at the memorial tonight report that they are being handed out the blue and white t-shirts as they enter the venue.

Photos over there.

INC on January 12, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Yeah, buddy. Nothing says class like handing out t-shirts at a memorial service. What? No Monster Trucks?
God help us.

kingsjester on January 12, 2011 at 10:07 PM

The speech was a rebuke of that.

We’ll see how many of them now choose to listen to the rebuke.

MikeknaJ on January 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM

I agree with that. We’ll see if his staff can follow him on that. When Hillary says what she said, I have to believe it’s a little more than her just speaking for herself. If we hear that type of line from his staff continuing, I’m going to assume they want those accusations to keep flying but they have the good sense not to have the President directly tied up in the grime.

stldave on January 12, 2011 at 10:08 PM

AP wrote: He’s not playing the “climate of hate” game here, in other words. On the contrary.

Obama didn’t call out the left-wing as he should have. The left-wing committed an unprovoked attack on the right-wing, the right-wing defended itself. And all Obama says is we should heal not harm, and be humble. The overriding political theme of this shooting is the attack on Sarah Palin, and the attempt by the right-wing to defend itself. And you’d never know it from listening to his speech. That was a serious failure of leadership on his part.

Paul-Cincy on January 12, 2011 at 10:08 PM

And here’s the rub.

There will be comparisons of this and Palin’s “blood libel” comments from earlier.

And if you stack them side by side and look strictly at the tone of each, this will win. Even though it’s essentially the same speech.

It should be said that Palin was defending herself from accusations of murder made by members of Barry’s party and base, whereas Barry rode in on a white horse (racism?) with his only task here designated as not being the hyper-partisan fartknocker he normally is for one speech.

But branded T-shirts? Screaming college students? Inappropriate cheering at every moment of silence?

Blech. Stunk of Campaign-morial.

Good Lt on January 12, 2011 at 10:08 PM

“Obama’s back!”

What is Obama’s best side?

Potent Potables for $200…

Fallon on January 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM

WHY DID OBAMA PASS OUT POLITICAL T-SHIRTS AT THE MEMORIAL SERVICE OF A 9 YEAR OLD?

WHY?

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 9:56 PM

are. you. f-ing. kidding. me?

i think my head just exploded.

that may be the singular worst, crass, despicable, opportunistic cravenly political disgusting thing that has been contemplated and carried out in the aftermath of this shooting.

i don’t care if obama healed the sick by laying hands on them at that ‘memorial service’ pep rally; nothing excuses or otherwise mitigates this atrocity.

They may as well have let the Westboro Baptist people picket outside; it’d be a toss-up as to which scene would’ve been more offensive.

Midas on January 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I mostly just impressed he gave the whole speech himself like a big boy. I thought for sure he was going to have to leave to change the litter box and have Clinton deliver the rest for him.

bitsy on January 12, 2011 at 10:09 PM

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