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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I’m wondering, what I hear that they didn’t, what did they hear that I didn’t…a complete disconnect here. I was, again, appalled!

Chewy the Lab on January 12, 2011 at 10:19 PM

They heard the adoring crowd. Some people are easily swayed. It’s like a bad comedy with a laugh track. The laugh track tells you when you are supposed to laugh and sometimes you laugh when it isn’t really funny.

They may wake up tomorrow and think what was so good about that speech again?

Fallon on January 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I agree with KP. As I wrote upthread, I think Obama tried to have it both ways. He got to take credit for being presidential and above politics while explicitly making the memorial and the legacy of the Tucson shooting about political civility. How do you define political civility? According to many of his supporters, political civility means they are right and we are evil to disagree with them.

Terrie on January 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Exactly , the hate fest in the media wasn’t bipartisan , it was the left thinking they could beat the right.
It wasnt “both sides needs to tone it down”.

the_nile on January 12, 2011 at 10:31 PM

T-SHIRTS
=============
==============

Conservatives Criticize Free T-Shirts At Tucson Memorial Service
January 12, 2011, 8:25PM
************************
TUCSON, AZ — Some conservatives are upset over t-shirts bearing the logo “Together We Thrive: Tucson & America” that were handed out to attendees at tonight’s memorial service in the McKale Center on the campus of the University Of Arizona here.

The shirts, which bear the same logo that adorns other items from the event — including press passes, signage and volunteer t-shirts — were placed on many of the seats in the lower sections of the arena when tonight’s capacity crowd walked in.

The University Of Arizona did not immediately respond to requests for more information on the shirts, which are drawing fire in the conservative twitter- and blogosphere tonight. The White House did not respond to a request for comment. A person familiar with the event confirmed the university put the event together, and was responsible for t-shirts, tickets, fliers, etc.

“I’m having a physical reaction to the T-shirts,” Amanda Carpenter, a speech writer for Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) tweeted tonight. “I’m tearing up. This feels wrong.”

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/conservatives-criticize-free-tshirts-at-tucson-service.php

canopfor on January 12, 2011 at 10:31 PM

I am desperately trying to separate the actual speech from the campaigning.

I shouldn’t have to filter. A man in control of the situation would not have allowed what should have been a moment of national unity… a bipartisan expression of grief… people were lost of both parties.

I shouldn’t have to filter.

Honestly I could not separate the man Obama, who was speaking from the disgusting display… from the logo… from the sheer political opportunism around him.

He used the deaths of these innocent people to further his career! I know, I’m trying to separate that feeling to actually hear what he said. But I can’t… I was sickened long before he started. I’m sorry I just can’t compartmentalize… I am trying.

He was the leader. He did not lead, he followed the crowd.

Actions speak louder than words. They always do.

Once again his actions don’t match his words.

That’s all I can hear, the crowd cheering the murder of innocents. And if not actually booing… not responding to people of the other party. It was so inappropriate, so wrong.

So unAmerican.

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 10:31 PM

From Bryan Preston:

Future politicos, please heed this advice. Never hold a memorial service in a university arena, and never give out T-shirts prior to the event. Those two choices set the tone for this entire spectacle. Some will excuse the bizarre atmosphere or blame it entirely on those in the audience to deflect attention from the president. But the president’s team had the final call on everything. They could have demanded a more suitable setting, and set a more appropriate tone. They didn’t. This gauche spectacle is the Obama administration’s fault. The tone of the event overshadowed whatever good words of comfort and honor were in his lengthy speech.

INC on January 12, 2011 at 10:32 PM

It’s easy to oppose those on the other side. Takes no extra work or thought – just an automatic reaction. It’s harder to admit that sometimes it’s okay to recognize when they do something right and admirable. Tonight was one of those moments.

MikeknaJ on January 12, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Only time will tell, we will see how long the peace lasts.

wi farmgirl on January 12, 2011 at 10:32 PM

OH and the T-shirts. It is so awful, how could they do this. A little girl died. Don’t they care?

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it says Tucson and America.

dugan on January 12, 2011 at 10:33 PM

“[T]he truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack”

B. FREAKIN’ S.

I hate the left… they try to etherealize everything to make it so … airy…. nay… romanticized….

CynicalOptimist on January 12, 2011 at 10:33 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

I’m no Palin fan, but her getting involved earlier wouldn’t have stopped the slime. Obama getting involved earlier could have.

It wasn’t righties who listen to Palin sliming. It was Obama’s fan base who may well listen to him.

amerpundit on January 12, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Finally able to read them, “Together We Thrive” and below that “Organizing for America.”

Organizing for America, AKA, BarackObama.com.

dugan on January 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM

How uniting….

the_nile on January 12, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Yeah, rename everything with nice fun happy sounding names. Defund the FCC with a bill called Warm Fuzzy Kitten Radio Listener Appreciation Bill. Abolish the Dept. If Education with a bill called Aren’t the Children Beautiful Act.

JellyToast on January 12, 2011 at 10:34 PM

I see AP is getting thrills down his leg again.

Jdripper on January 12, 2011 at 10:34 PM

T-SHIRTs
============
===============

January 12, 2011

Obama Begins His 2012 Campaign in Tucson Arizona on Wednesday, January 12, 2011
******************************
Passing out t-shirts and displaying banners emblazoned with the words “Together We Thrive”, what was billed as a memorial for the Tucson massacre victims took on the look and feel of a campaign event for Barack Obama.

Michelle Malkin calls it a “bizarre pep rally” a “branding of the Tucson massacre” a “sea of white and blue [no red]“.

President Obama used to preach that there was no “Red America” and no “Blue America,”

http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2011/01/obama-begins-his-2012-campaign-in-tucson-arizona-on-wednesday-january-12-2011.html?cid=6a00d83451c49a69e20147e186175d970b
===================================================

2012 Pre-Election T-shirts,sounds logicl to me!!

canopfor on January 12, 2011 at 10:34 PM

I’m wondering, what I hear that they didn’t, what did they hear that I didn’t…a complete disconnect here. I was, again, appalled!

Chewy the Lab on January 12, 2011 at 10:19 PM

I did not see any of it, but my guess is that they are talking from a professional point of view. The style, the delivery and the imagery probably impressed them as pundits.

I just wonder how many people watched it. I was watching something else, but every time I turned it over the socalled service there was someone yakking and clapping. I wonder if this went too long for a lot of people.

Terrye on January 12, 2011 at 10:34 PM

***************T-ShirtGate*****************************

canopfor on January 12, 2011 at 10:35 PM

angryed on January 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Trust me, I am at a loss to explain the crowd. I guess I thought that there would be more folks from the town itself and not so many students. It certainly took away from any attempt to comfort the nation.

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2011 at 10:35 PM

“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…”

After the speech, my Twitter feed lit up with liberals doing just that…at Palin and the right in gerneral.

Queasy on January 12, 2011 at 10:35 PM

While Obama’s speech may have hit the right tone…wait a couple weeks to see if he takes the left-wing pundit’s advice and tries to capitalize off the tragedy.

OxyCon on January 12, 2011 at 10:36 PM

But the president’s team had the final call on everything. They could have demanded a more suitable setting, and set a more appropriate tone. They didn’t. This gauche spectacle is the Obama administration’s fault. The tone of the event overshadowed whatever good words of comfort and honor were in his lengthy speech.
INC on January 12, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Bears repeating…no matter how good the speech, the President knew it was billed as an event at a college stadiumm. We are supposed to believe he thought it would not be similar to his campaign events?

Deanna on January 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Finally able to read them, “Together We Thrive” and below that “Organizing for America.”

Organizing for America, AKA, BarackObama.com.

dugan on January 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM

I think it says “Tucson and America”

Good Lt on January 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

OH and the T-shirts. It is so awful, how could they do this. A little girl died. Don’t they care?

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 10:32 PM

I am more upset about this than the attacks on Sarah Palin. Those were terrible, but not a surprise.

This is just incredible–lives have been devastated by their losses and T-shirts are handed out!!!!

INC on January 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Only time will tell, we will see how long the peace lasts.

wi farmgirl on January 12, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Never said it would last. Probably won’t.

Actually, this is what I predict. The hard-left bloggers and Twitter-ers will continue on their merry Palin-bashing ways, oblivious.

But those in office will shift their tactics and their tone. They pretty much have to now and I think they’ll get the message, both from the polls and Obama’s speech tonight, that the #blamepalin game isn’t working and is stupid. It’s not going to disappear but we’ll end up seeing it move more towards the fringes now. Probably the same with TV. Olbermann and Maher may not stop but we won’t hear it advanced, at least not so openly and without rebuttal, from the likes of Good Morning America or Brian Williams.

MikeknaJ on January 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

The speech was too long. It was written well, but if there was emotion intended Obama could not pull it off. I don’t know what was worse Obama attempting to emote or Mrs. Obama’s fake sad face.

HAExpert on January 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

I simply cannot believe that supposedly intelligent people are reading into this self-promoting speech anything even remotely deserving of praise. “…none of us can ever know exactly what triggered this vicious attack…” witha subtext of but we’re all pretty sure it was Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

cynccook on January 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Yeah, it sounds like a good speech. He deserves credit. I’m wondering how Sheriff Dipstick feels? maybe a little betrayed after Obama thanked him? Who knows.

JellyToast on January 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM

I just think Obama has the good sense to avoid directly throwing the mud, which is a different thing from not wanting any mud to be thrown altogether.

stldave on January 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Here’s a little bit different take on tonight — Much of the right reviles Dear Reader yet at the same time doesn’t want to admit fully just how badly the electorate has chosen. So there is a hunt for something, anything, that can be pointed to to say ‘Look, he can be Presidential if he tries real hard.’

I just see the same ole same ole shtick, with the toadies spending days reviling everyone then Dear Healer getting mucho cred for not being as big of a d***wad as his devoted followers.

Well I didn’t vote for him, haven’t worshipped him, and have seen plenty enough to never trust him for having pure motives.

Tonight changed nothing. So sue me.

GnuBreed on January 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

This is just incredible–lives have been devastated by their losses and T-shirts are handed out!!!!

INC on January 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Were you outraged about the “We Are Columbine” t-shirts?

SnarkVader on January 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

…but for what it’s worth, this is playing remarkably well thus far among righties on Twitter…

Sure, keep buying into the new and improved “centrist” Obama 2.0 just in time for the 2012 elections.

Some of us are not that gullible. After all, he only has to play this game till 2012. If he wins re-election, God help us all. Obama 3.0 will be so liberal and partisan that people will be wishing for his first term as a decidly better alternative.

TheRightMan on January 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Hey, guys.

Don’t worry.

The college chicks there all screamed his name, and everyone got free branded t-shirts.

OBAMA’S BACK, BABY.

Good Lt on January 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Politicizing a memorial, President Obama’s “Together We Thrive” speech with t-shirts
=================================

WIREUPDATE) — During Wednesday night’s memorial service of the fallen and wounded in the Arizona shooting tragedy attendees received a free t-shirt with a “Together We Thrive” logo emblazon on the front. Many conservatives were outraged that the President and university organizers politicized the event.

Conservative writer Michelle Malkin wrote, “President Obama used to preach that there was no “Red America” and no “Blue America,” just one America. But 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.”

http://wireupdate.com/wires/14113/politicizing-a-memorial-president-obamas-together-we-thrive-speech-with-t-shirts/

canopfor on January 12, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Finally able to read them, “Together We Thrive” and below that “Organizing for America.”

Organizing for America, AKA, BarackObama.com.

dugan on January 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Why did they pass these political t-shirts out at memorial for a 9-year old girl.

And why are conservative pundits trying to cover it up?

tetriskid on January 12, 2011 at 10:40 PM

When the President got to the point where he was commenting on the shooting and the aftermath directly, I kept thinking, don’t go there, don’t go there. When he was finished, I had to breath a sigh of relief that he didn’t go there. As I was listening I kept thinking ahead of him and saying the word, but, but, and it was never said, so the President gets a good grade, in my book at least.

Hopefully, this will calm down the “progressives” for a few days.

bflat879 on January 12, 2011 at 10:41 PM

Were you outraged about the “We Are Columbine” t-shirts?

SnarkVader on January 12, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Was a President at an event where those were handed out? What was the event?

And if that was handled wrongly, does that justify this?

Of course not.

INC on January 12, 2011 at 10:41 PM

I can only hope that at sometime in the near future, everyone present at that rally oopsy, I mean “memorial service” will receive a letter requesting a donation to Organizing for America for 15.99 to cover the cost of the T-shirt they received.

cynccook on January 12, 2011 at 10:41 PM

Well, Obama always said he wanted full transparency in poltics, and he was fully transparantly political tonight.

RedRedRice on January 12, 2011 at 10:41 PM

************WE THRIVE T-SHIRTS***********************

Doing a google search,SHIT IS HITTING THE FAN,

its a WILDFIRE THROUGHOUT THE BLOGSPHERE!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on January 12, 2011 at 10:42 PM

How many are willing to bet that the “GOP leaders” that didn’t bother to speak forcefully the last few days when Palin and conservatives were being “libeled” will fall over themselves to be the first to congratulate Obama for his speech? Anything for positive reviews from their media overlords…

TheRightMan on January 12, 2011 at 10:42 PM

So,the T-Shirt is what setting people off,and
rightly so……………….!

canopfor on January 12, 2011 at 10:42 PM

The speech isn’t horrible, but it’s heavy on Obama’s signature vapid platitudes. Part of the problem is that this isn’t the problem:

Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.

The answers that were provided by the media weren’t bad because they were simple, they were bad because they were wrong. It’s not simple explanations we need to be wary of, it’s wrong conclusions built on faulty premises. It’s too easy to dismiss things to the post-modern fog of “no one can know the answer” answer. The simple answer is that this guy was a psychopath who behaved as a psychopath. It’s this “who can know” vagueness that leaves room in people’s mind for that inkling that maybe…just maybe… Sarah Palin (or Keith Olbermann) did trigger this in some obscure way, ’cause you know, no one knows, man…

Other stuff like this, is just incoherent nonsense:

let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations

but hey, I guess it makes us all feel better because we can come together or something (I guess we can at least come together and collectively wonder, WTF is that supposed to mean?!)

BlueCollarAstronaut on January 12, 2011 at 10:46 PM

This was not Presidential.
A leader, a President would know the difference between a campaign speech in front of college kids and an address to the nation in a time of national tragedy FROM THE OVAL OFFICE!

This was the act of a narcissist who could not fill a gymnasium last fall jumping in front of a parade and pretending to be a leader. He used the deaths as a means to draw a crowd and fawning adoration. He could have set the tone and parameters but rather he stoked the flames and encouraged the applause.

This was not a memorial service but a campaign stop with a ready made crowd for the clown pretending to l;ead the parade!

dhunter on January 12, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Finally able to read them, “Together We Thrive” and below that “Organizing for America.”

Organizing for America, AKA, BarackObama.com.

dugan on January 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Try again. It says “Tucson and America”.

SnarkVader on January 12, 2011 at 10:48 PM

canopfor on January 12, 2011 at 10:42 PM

Why waste a good crisis? /

coldwarrior on January 12, 2011 at 10:48 PM

I really don’t think this is going to be Obama’s “he’s back” moment. The suit is still empty and besides, he’s Obama. Like he said to the Democrats before the midterm elections when some feared it would be a repeat of 1994… he said something like “The difference between now and then is you’ve got me.”
Well, the Dems still have him. He’s still who he is. Yeah, sounds like a good speech. I give him credit.

JellyToast on January 12, 2011 at 10:48 PM

I was listening on the radio in the truck and I swear at first I thought it was a pep rally from the local High School Basket Ball game. In an ‘Ears Only’ format, (thinking it was supposed to be a memorial) I got ‘a say, it was surreal and disgusting all at the same time. I got home in time to SEE the end, and those families looked genuinely stunned by the whole thing.

Pole-Cat on January 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM

On the back of the TEES it said, ” I survived the Arizona Shooting and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt”

CynicalOptimist on January 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM

TheRightMan on January 12, 2011 at 10:42 PM

It is not media adulation they are after. They want to see Palin destroyed with as little harm to themselves a spossible.

promachus on January 12, 2011 at 10:51 PM

This was a new low – even for a Chicago pol. The cheering, the t-shirts, the speech, the venue – all pathetic. Courtesy of W.S., “No love toward others in that bosom sits / That on himself such murderous shame commits.”

MayorDaley on January 12, 2011 at 10:51 PM

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

Seriously? This was the most un-presidential memorial speech ever made. In words, in tone, in delivery. His shout out to one of the heroes, whose name neither he nor his TelePrompTer could recall, an ultimate coda of his and his staff’s ineptitude.

No one with even a shadow of a heart could watch this callous and utterly tasteless performance without knowing that the victims and their families had more hurt after the speech than before. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn tomorrow that some of the family members walked out.

I only pray that no family member of mine should perish in an event that might draw this president into their final farewell.

TXUS on January 12, 2011 at 10:54 PM

I can’t believe how many establishment troll there are to praise this moron prez. Do you really think we are going to fall for that one?

promachus on January 12, 2011 at 11:01 PM

TXUS on January 12, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Spot on!

Eloquence…missing.

Tempo…fragmented.

Message…convoluted.

What was the precise message of this speech?

What was the memorable line? (other than splashing in rain puddles in heaven)

Was the speaker connected to the crowd? Did the speaker hold the crowd in his hands?

What lofty or novel ideal was celebrated?

And, importantly, in the context of a memorial for multiple victims (living and dead) how were they addressed without reading from a laundry list?

Have to bring it up, but take a look at one of the greats of our time, memorializing and celebrating those who perished on Challenger. This one will be taught for decades to come, as it should be. Brief, to the point, grasping the audience with imagery all could understand and take to heart, and overall uplifting even in a time of national giref.

Tonights performance?

Just not there.

coldwarrior on January 12, 2011 at 11:05 PM

6 dead in Tucson
And the Roman Colosseum cheered the deaths.

This was absolutely barbaric.

Has there ever been a specticle of this type in the history of America.

People cheering at a memorial? This has to be a new low.

Who are these fellow Americans with no heart whatsoever. Who are my neighbors who call themselves Democrats? Are they humans with feelings?

After tonight I think they could kill us. With no conscience. What happened in China, Germany, Russia, it could happen here.

They worship Obama, they could kill in his name. With smiles on their faces.

How far has this cult gone?

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 11:05 PM

He dismissed the lefty narrative as best he could within the constraints imposed upon him by having to retain his base.

Translation: Barry straddled the issue.

GarandFan on January 12, 2011 at 11:06 PM

I got home in time to SEE the end, and those families looked genuinely stunned by the whole thing.

Pole-Cat on January 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM

I couldn’t look. I was so ashamed.

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Sorry, I thought it was all in poor taste. Seemed more like a
football rally or a campaign stop.

faol on January 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Political pep rally -Reminded me of Paul Wellstone’s sp called memorial. If Iwas a family that had lost a loved one I would be angry.

Bullhead on January 12, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Hey don’t be so harsh on Obama’s team! This the NEW team, Axlerod has gone back to Chicago, this is David Plouffe’s BRILLIANT NEW TEAM and this is their FIRST effort, they’ll get better at this messaging stuff, RIGHT?

bigmike on January 12, 2011 at 11:19 PM

The most important thing:

“civility & honesty” Honesty is where the media has failed America & this is where Obama fails. There can”t be civility w/o honesty.

Connie on January 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Sorry, too little, too late, Barry. Your friends in the BLM already said everything. Go sell it somewhere else.

Christien on January 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM

I have to say I watched his speech right before the Governor’s and was actually impressed as it was good. I don’t like him and always feel like he is preaching, but I told my husband I thought that small press conference was good. Tonight I turned on the TV and everyone was clapping, etc. and it physically made me sick… talking about coming together, etc. this was about the people that lost lives and were injured not him preaching about unity… it was so offensive to me. I hope the families of the victims have more grace than I would…

momof2 on January 12, 2011 at 11:22 PM

And Barry could’ve gently but firmly told the classless in the crowd to show some respect and knock it off pronto. But then, he wouldn’t be Barry, would he?

Christien on January 12, 2011 at 11:24 PM

After the speech, my Twitter feed lit up with liberals doing just that…at Palin and the right in gerneral.

Queasy on January 12, 2011 at 10:35 PM

That’s exactly what they’re doing. Obama has all these people, columnists, elected officials and pundits, libel Palin day in and day out, so he can come in acting above it all. They’re like children. They will continue to be extremely nasty but if conservatives fight back they can hide behind Obama, stick out their tongues and say “Obama said to be nice! You’re causing all the trouble! Mom!”

alwaysfiredup on January 12, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Hmmm, I don’t remember the left being as charitable when the officers of the USS Abraham Lincoln hung a Mission Accomplished banner in order to honor the crew. Nope, that was all orchestrated by Bush. But Obama, you see, had no control over T-shirts handed out at a memorial service. None at all.

JohnInCA on January 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM

+1000

rockmom on January 12, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Hey don’t be so harsh on Obama’s team! This the NEW team, Axlerod has gone back to Chicago, this is David Plouffe’s BRILLIANT NEW TEAM and this is their FIRST effort, they’ll get better at this messaging stuff, RIGHT?

bigmike on January 12, 2011 at 11:19 PM

Oh, geez, I didn’t even think of that. This whole event has Plouffe’s stink all over it. He’s the guy behind the whole “Organizing for America” thing.

rockmom on January 12, 2011 at 11:31 PM

coldwarrior on January 12, 2011 at 11:05 PM

Yeah, simply put, no heights were hit, none. He was reading but a check-off list, like a weekend things-to-do that your wife gives you after your poker game on Thursday night when you brought home nothin’ good.

But what struck me most, no heart or even a fake Clinton heart. No heart at all, just “how does this look for me?” ✪

TXUS on January 12, 2011 at 11:31 PM

JohnInCA on January 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Excellent point.

Cindy Munford on January 12, 2011 at 11:31 PM

I’m with ACE.

I am appalled. Of course I had to leave the room a lot because the cheering made me cry. I couldn’t bear it. So I didn’t really hear every word of the speech.

The cheering made me so ashamed for them.

There was a logo, and a t-shirt… and cheering and disrespect for the governer. It was truly a nightmare for me.

I hope his numbers don’t go up. Please America weren’t you shocked? Was this really a memorial service to honor the dead? They were hardly mentioned. Their families were pushed aside to highlight a Congresswoman’s survival.

I feel wounded. I felt attacked that he would even act like the rhetoric was part of this.

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 11:32 PM

This country will always come together for those who are truly victims, but as long as the media slobberingly supports a Marxist as POTUS, and collectively bullies Americans to shut them up, we will remain vehemently divided. Our Founding Fathers may have had differing views, but they came together long enough to reach a consensus on a Constitution which called for limited government. Therefore, I am completely comfortable calling anyone who espouses socialism an anti-American and no patriot.

Connie on January 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM

“Together We Thrive”

Who is thriving exactly? The dead nine year old? The dead old people? The dead judge? This is thriving? Thriving?

Is anyone Thriving in America today?

Together we Thrive. Wow that is just so untrue.

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 11:39 PM

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 11:32 PM

This perfectly describes how I felt…

momof2 on January 12, 2011 at 11:44 PM

“Together We Thrive”

Tentative slogan for the 2012 Dem Campaign.

Makes as much if not more sense than “Hope” and “Change” did back in 2008.

Watch for it.

coldwarrior on January 12, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Hope

Change

Thrive, brought to you by Kaiser Permanente

Real original, Democrats. Try some soul-searching about why y’all got shellacked at the polls last November, and less time branding FAIL.

Christien on January 12, 2011 at 11:57 PM

On the back of the TEES it said, ” I survived the Arizona Shooting and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt”

CynicalOptimist on January 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Some even have a bullseye in bright red and white…LOL

rich801 on January 12, 2011 at 11:59 PM

You know why this speech sounded different from all of Obama’s other speeches. For once, he didn’t make it about him. In the excerpt above, there isn’t a single self reference. Looks like Obama tore himself away from gazing at his navel and spoke to the country about the issue.

Mallard T. Drake on January 13, 2011 at 12:04 AM

Obama lapped up the crass and spewed out boilerplate b.s., as usual, for slimy political advantage.

He loves anything that gets his career back on track.

Even a massacre that he only showed up at because a prominent Democrat was hit… whose misery he could glom onto and gain power from.

A puny, pathetic tragedy vampire.

profitsbeard on January 13, 2011 at 12:05 AM

If anyone has the stomach for it, watch Obama during the time Daniel was making his remarks. Up until that time, The Messiah was basking in the glory of his fans adoration. Smiling etc. THEN comes Daniels remarks and viola’…..Obama’s demeanor changes drastically! I figure up until that point he thought all he had to do was his rock star routine and all would be well. But Daniel’s comments were awesome! Humble, precise, and respectful. It was at that point The One realized he was going to have to hit it out of the park in order for his remarks to be remembered! THAT is how good Daniel was.

I watched Obama until the top of the hour and missed the rest, so I can’t make a judgment on how well he did. The PC responses will be left to Krauthammer et al…..I’ll wait for the conservatives I respect for the truth and go from there. I know this though, Obama is what he is and if he thinks because he fooled all the people for this brief moment in time and can go back to his traitorous Marxist ways in the future, he is mistaken. We are watching you Obama, and we will not forget this despicable circus atmosphere your people created to memorialize this tragedy.

csdeven on January 13, 2011 at 12:07 AM

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 11:32 PM

I think that people who saw the speech live probably also had to be shocked at the crowd’s actions, which were closer to a Arizona pep rally for the Wildcats than they were to a memorial service. Way too many people in the crowd seemed to have decided they weren’t going to the service to honor the dead and wounded, they were going there primarily to cheer Obama and back their party and their man like it was 2008 all over again (wonder if the U of A security had to take any “Palin/Limbaugh/Beck/Fox News/Tea Party Sucks!” signs away from some of the students as they entered the building?)

However, you’re never going to see the inappropriate cheering again in the excerpts that run on the local news tonight, Thursday morning or in the coming days and weeks. As much as they may want Obama to succeed, even the big media outlets will know cheering for Obama like its a rock concert with the families of six dead people in the audience is a wee bit tactless and counter-productive. You’ll see lots of segments of the speech, especially towards the end when the cheering was toned down, but the early “Bam! Bam! He’s Our Man!” part of the service is going to vanish down the memory hole.

jon1979 on January 13, 2011 at 12:10 AM

As much as they may want Obama to succeed, even the big media outlets will know cheering for Obama like its a rock concert with the families of six dead people in the audience is a wee bit tactless and counter-productive.

In fairness to the crowd, they cheered every time any of the victims was mentioned. That was so jarring that applauding the President seemed almost tactful.

YYZ on January 13, 2011 at 12:19 AM

He dismissed the lefty narrative as best he could within the constraints imposed upon him by having to retain his base.

You need to retain your base at a “memorial” service?

I thought there was no blue America and no red America, and I thought this event wasn’t supposed to involve politics.

BuckeyeSam on January 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM

I suppose the question now is whether or not the left will listen. Or is this just going to be another instance where Obama can come in and “rise about the politics” while letting others do the dirty smear work for him.

Queasy on January 13, 2011 at 12:31 AM

In fairness to the crowd, they cheered every time any of the victims was mentioned. That was so jarring that applauding the President seemed almost tactful.

YYZ on January 13, 2011 at 12:19 AM

True. Like I said, it came off more as a U of A pep rally to many in the crowd than it did as a memorial service, and a lot of them just seemed stoked at the idea of seeing the president speak far more than they were paying attention to what he was speaking about (though they did know their political Ds from their Rs, as Brewer received a far more tepid response).

Obama could have read off the first 2,000 names in the Greater Tucson White Pages and a lot of the crowd still would have cheered wildly. Those are the parts of the service you’re unlikely to see replayed by any of the big media outlets (and to be fair to Obama, unless he personally wanted a crowd of screaming fans in there, this may be more of a screw-up by the advance team and the folks on the ground in Tucson than it was the president’s fault, and based on the Wellstone memorial we already know there are a lot of tone-deaf Democratic operatives out there when it comes to differentiating a memorial service and a campaign rally).

jon1979 on January 13, 2011 at 12:32 AM

Just caught a tape of this late; great pspeech, but that was the most bizarre ‘memorial service’ because of the audience reaction, and the… T-shirts????

michaelo on January 13, 2011 at 12:36 AM

Queasy on January 13, 2011 at 12:31 AM

Obama the passive-agressive President?

“Well, I tried to get them to be civil, what more can I do?”

“It wasn’t me or any of my officials who started this. You can’t blame me for what some supposed-Democrat out in Podunk, or Tucson or East Timor is saying.”

“We’d wouldn’t have to have this discussion if those Conservative nut cases would only get in step with my programs.”

Yeah, I can see it.

coldwarrior on January 13, 2011 at 12:37 AM

I suppose the question now is whether or not the left will listen. Or is this just going to be another instance where Obama can come in and “rise about the politics” while letting others do the dirty smear work for him.

Queasy on January 13, 2011 at 12:31 AM

Bingo. Expect the latter.

stldave on January 13, 2011 at 12:42 AM

The speech was irrelevant.

This was billed as a memorial service.

What was delivered was a campaign pep rally where shirts were given out.
The poor families who have not yet gotten over the shock of their sudden and tragic loss now find themselves in the middle of this creepy spectacle.

What sick f**k thought this up!

Things like this show the insanity of the insanity

defense

, which I am sure will be used; he was sane enough to buy the weapon, load it, fire it, and attempt to reload.

This also goes to illustrate a basic point about our legal system that needs changing.
There is no question of the shooter’s guilt so a defense is not required and thus all that is left to do is carry out the punishment appropriate to the crime. A

Defense

is needed when there is a question as to the guilt of the accused.
What needs to be required, what should be demanded, is an explanation from the shooter as to why he did what he did.

Bubba Redneck on January 13, 2011 at 12:43 AM

dhunter on January 12, 2011 at 10:48
He went TO the community.

blatantblue on January 13, 2011 at 12:46 AM

The only other place I have seen a chin pointed up that much…nevermind…

Inanemergencydial on January 13, 2011 at 12:52 AM

Obama said, “Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame”.

Naturally he’d say this because he f-ing well knows he has personally done his part in inflaming the rhetoric: “Punch back twice as hard”; “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”, etc.

F— Obama, a far bigger hypocrite than Al Gore.

JimC on January 13, 2011 at 12:54 AM

OH and the T-shirts. It is so awful, how could they do this. A little girl died. Don’t they care?

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Is 0bamessiah a committed capitalist?

6 dead in Tucson
And the Roman Colosseum cheered the deaths.

This was absolutely barbaric.

Has there ever been a specticle of this type in the history of America.

People cheering at a memorial? This has to be a new low.

This wasn’t the first time – the Wellstone memorial happened 8 years ago.

Who are these fellow Americans with no heart whatsoever. Who are my neighbors who call themselves Democrats? Are they humans with feelings?

After tonight I think they could kill us. With no conscience. What happened in China, Germany, Russia, it could happen here.

They worship Obama, they could kill in his name. With smiles on their faces.

How far has this cult gone?

petunia on January 12, 2011 at 11:05 PM

You are right – it could happen here. Look at Ayers, and the tolerance he’s received from his fellow Leftists.

It’s in their nature to be not only be unempathic with their victims, but to have contempt for them as they are victimizing them. I figured these people out for myself when I first started thinking about politics in the 80s, and noticed that Lefties hated Reagan immeasurably more than they did Castro. They hate(d) Jesus more than Barabbas, too.

They aren’t kind, reasonable people, and they don’t care to learn to be. That’s why I don’t debate Lefties – there’s nothing to be gained by doing so, as they don’t have the same goal when debating that I do.

Bizarro No. 1 on January 13, 2011 at 12:54 AM

All I know is I was appalled. Furthermore, I was even more appalled when I heard Hume and Krauthammer fauning over the speech. I’m wondering, what I hear that they didn’t, what did they hear that I didn’t…a complete disconnect here. I was, again, appalled!

Chewy the Lab

They were following Aile’s order to tone down the rhetoric.

xblade on January 13, 2011 at 12:54 AM

They were following Aile’s order to tone down the rhetoric.

xblade on January 13, 2011 at 12:54 AM

And once again, “toning down the rhetoric” = stop criticizing. I’m with Palin; there’s no way I’m going to be silenced by these mendacious fools.

alwaysfiredup on January 13, 2011 at 1:17 AM

I did not watch. I don’t care how good of a speech Obama read off of the teleprompter. He makes me sick, and listening to him and/or watching him makes me want to puke. If the 30 seconds of it I saw on Fox, when skimming through the channels later, was typical of the whole service, then I am appalled at the audience behavior. You do not clap and cheer at a memorial service for anyone, especially for a young child. How disheartening to hear that many Conservatives were complimentary of it, they obviously are as clueless and classless as the politicians who participated in it.

Susanboo on January 13, 2011 at 1:17 AM

Oh, and on a tacky note; can someone who has some class and taste, PLEASE show Michelle Obama how to dress appropriately for these official functions that she must attend as the First Lady of the United States? The dress with the embroidered crop sweater was pretty…. for a tea party or wedding, NOT FOR A MEMORIAL SERVICE! She is not a teenager for heavens sake, and she should dress with some dignity in a dark suit or tailored dress with a jacket. Just had to vent……

Susanboo on January 13, 2011 at 1:19 AM

Does it hurt to be so stupid? The shirts were printed by the University of AZ and placed on chairs the night before. There is nothing that links Obama to those t-shirts.

SnarkVader on January 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Hmmm, I don’t remember the left being as charitable when the officers of the USS Abraham Lincoln hung a Mission Accomplished banner in order to honor the crew. Nope, that was all orchestrated by Bush. But Obama, you see, had no control over T-shirts handed out at a memorial service. None at all.

JohnInCA on January 12, 2011 at 10:30 PM

*zing*

That one’s going to leave a mark.

Midas on January 13, 2011 at 1:20 AM

I tried to listen, really I did. I might have been able to listen to his poor reading, his apparent lack of interest or concern over the events that brought him there, but I absolutely could not stand to listen to the adoring crowd cheering and clapping his every vapid sentence and trite phrase.

I thought that it was supposed to be a memorial service for victims of a mass murder, not an appearance of some rock star.

LegendHasIt on January 13, 2011 at 1:21 AM

The only other place I have seen a chin pointed up that much…nevermind…

Inanemergencydial on January 13, 2011 at 12:52 AM

Anybody who can overlook that chip-up pose, or hear his stilted manner of speech and still believe he’s a good speaker, should be written off as a hopeless cause.

Would anyone here besides the predictable, dull posters want to hire someone as incompetent and pathetic as he is? He’d only end up being cancerous employee like Randy Moss, (except that he has less talent than Moss) wouldn’t he?

“That’s above my pay grade.”; ‘I will vote present once again, which is a sure sign of my decisive and courageous leadership.’ ROFL!

Bizarro No. 1 on January 13, 2011 at 1:22 AM

Would anyone here besides the predictable, dull posters want to hire someone as incompetent and pathetic as he is?

Bizarro No. 1 on January 13, 2011 at 1:22 AM

NO. Or his wife.

Susanboo on January 13, 2011 at 1:26 AM

Here’s a thing that may have “triggered this vicious attack”:

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/vitamin-d-and-schizophrenia.shtml

Think of all the expectant mothers in the last twenty years who have followed the advice of dermatologists to avoid sunlight or wear sunblock. Their children are approaching their twenties now, their brains having been shaped by development within a body that could not supply them with adequate vitamin D3 for normal development.

Kralizec on January 13, 2011 at 1:32 AM

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