Presidentism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on January 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Yes, I know I usually start weekdays with an amateurish stumble du jour from our nation’s Chief Executive, but in light of his speech last night, President Barack Obama deserves credit for not just avoiding the train wreck over the last few days in partisan sniping, but addressing it head on at the memorial service for the murdered in Tucson.  Instead, Obama gave a moving speech that transcended (and quelled) the strange pep-rally vibe that had permeated the event prior to his taking the stage, one that genuinely connected us to each of the lives snuffed out by a senseless murder spree, especially perhaps Christina Green, the youngest of the dead at age 9.  And in his own way, with a three-word ad-lib, Obama rebuked the nonsensical blamethrowing that had begun within minutes of the tragedy.

Allahpundit quoted the key part of the speech last night, but I’ll do it again here:

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.

After all, that’s what most of us do when we lose someone in our family – especially if the loss is unexpected. We’re shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward. We reflect on the past. Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in awhile but every single day?

So sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.

That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions – that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. For those who were harmed, those who were killed – they are part of our family, an American family 300 million strong. We may not have known them personally, but we surely see ourselves in them. In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis – she’s our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America’s fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spiritedness, that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union.

And in Christina…in Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic and full of magic.

So deserving of our love.

And so deserving of our good example. If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.

But it was the next section that delivered the message, with an ad-lib I’ll note in bold:

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.

Frankly, the tenor of politics since Saturday hit such an irrational pitch that I wondered whether Obama would be able to make this point at all.  Clearly, Obama took this moment seriously enough to lead rather than to pursue partisan cheap shots, using the dishonest “some have said” device to which the media has clung over the last couple of days after the evidence became overwhelming that the murderer was a psychopath of no particular rational ideology.  He told the nation in no unclear terms that the argument that a lack of civility led to these deaths is simply flat-out wrong.

Some of my friends may criticize Obama for not defending Palin specifically, or for waiting until the memorial to have rebuked those attempting to exploit the deaths for political gain.  On the first point, though, this was a memorial service and it wouldn’t have been appropriate to name other names than the dead, the wounded, and the heros who helped save lives.  The second point may be germane criticism of the previous couple of days, but even if it came late, Obama stepped up and led last night.

So kudos to President Obama for what may be the finest moment of his presidency.  I disagree with his policies and many of his tactics, and I will have no problem getting back to work in opposing them after this post publishes.  But he deserves credit and gratitude for his leadership at a point in time where the nation needed it, and I’m happy to give him both.


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Weird and inappropriate circus like tone for a memorial service. Seemed like a campaign event, the only thing missing was his Greek columns.

Alden Pyle on January 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Instead, Obama gave a moving speech that transcended (and quelled) the strange pep-rally vibe that had permeated the event prior to his taking the stage…

A vibe that started with free T-shirts.

Disturb the Universe on January 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM

thanks.

sesquipedalian on January 13, 2011 at 8:11 AM

It was a fine speech.

rbj on January 13, 2011 at 8:11 AM

He ade a fine speech, but that crowd reminds me of the Wellstone “memorial”

Daemonocracy on January 13, 2011 at 8:12 AM

i just can’t get past his words…he says one thing but then does another…

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:13 AM

As I said last night, Obama had it pretty easy. No out lash against him in the last 5 days. The atmosphere was as he remembered it.
Palin had the biggest challenge though when it came to addressing the nation.

Electrongod on January 13, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Instead, Obama gave a moving speech that transcended (and quelled) the strange pep-rally vibe that had permeated the event prior to his taking the stage, one that genuinely connected us to each of the lives snuffed out by a senseless murder spree, especially perhaps Christina Green, the youngest of the dead at age 9. And in his own way, with a three-word ad-lib, Obama rebuked the nonsensical blamethrowing that had begun within minutes of the tragedy.

Transcended (and quelled)?

I hope they got your T-shirt size correct.

BuckeyeSam on January 13, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Swag? At this kind of Memorial? They’re relentless.

Republican Yogi on January 13, 2011 at 8:15 AM

he’ll be punishing his enemies as soon as he gets back to dc…

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Wow. Well said, Ed.

As I read the transcript, I was asking myself, “Who is this man?” Wow. It seems as if this Obama is a different Obama that I’ve seen the previous two years. Kudos to him.

And may the slain be remembered in peace.

Yishai on January 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Ed, I figured you’d do something like this today. I thought you’d suspend the OOTD for a day and give credit where it’s due.

Strong work.

ted c on January 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM

At times, he looked smug and arrogant to me.

OmahaConservative on January 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Time to “quell the rhetoric” that “got out of hand” “from BOTH sides” over the weekend. Uh-huh.

Marcus on January 13, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Obama rebuked the nonsensical blamethrowing that had begun within minutes of the tragedy

he should have done it sooner imho

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Who was it that said earlier that Sarah Palin pushed him to the right, not the rebups…wonder what the speech was before her video?

lukespapa on January 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

As I read the transcript
Yishai on January 13, 2011 at 8:17 AM

That’s the whole problem. Nice text. Horrible context.

gh on January 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

And free t-shirts??? So begins the 2012 campaign season on the shoulders of a dead judge and a 9-year-old little girl.

It would have been a much more suitable tribute WITHOUT the free t-shirts. Sheesh!

Crusader Rabbit on January 13, 2011 at 8:20 AM

I’ll be honest and say I did not watch the (speech),first of all,I may be wrong here(I know someone will let me know:)) but isn’t this his first statement after almost a week and I’m sorry but he is in a campaign mode and in reality has been since getting elected so forgive my skepticism besides I have a big problem with him calling this brainless sheriff and congratulating him.

ohiobabe on January 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

And in his own way, with a three-word ad-lib, Obama rebuked the nonsensical blamethrowing that had begun within minutes of the tragedy.

Daniel Foster had this over at NRO while you were sleeping.

Did Rove send you this ?

gh on January 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Honestly, Ed, you thought Obama gave a good speech?

Too long, disjointed, rambling, to name a few points of critique.

Other than the part about “rain puddles in heaven” what was the money line?

What was the oratorical highlight that generations from now students will ponder?

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…shall not perish from the earth.”

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” ”

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan…With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounding determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.”

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge—and more.”

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!”

Not even close. Not even in the same league. C’mon, Obama’s speech was great?

I was appalled last night that the folks over at FoxNews gave such lavish praise to this event. Now, I am near mortally confused when I hear here at HotAir this morning that last night’s “speech” was great?

coldwarrior on January 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

His speech, said to have been written by BHO himself, proves the old adage:

“Give A Monkey A Typewriter And Enough Time And It Will Eventually Type The Great American Novel”?

madmonkphotog on January 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Sorry, but my trust in Obama and his regime are at zero… Everything so far has been a calculated move away from our founding documents, and towards a European style of Socialism. More power to government, and less freedom to our people. I simply have ZERO trust in this man and those he has chosen to guide him. Everything is a calculated move.

Keemo on January 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

And in his own way, with a three-word ad-lib, Obama rebuked the nonsensical blame throwing that had begun within minutes of the tragedy.

And which he contributed to by praising the Chief Demagogue, Dupnik. As usual, this non-presidential doofus is a day late and a dollar short. The squishes on the conservative side should stand down. It’s likely that Sarah Palin’s life is now in danger. The man whom you praise did nothing to quell the hysteria.

Basilsbest on January 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM

It’s a shame that it takes a national tragedy of this sort to bring out the “President” hiding in the Obama psyche.

JimK on January 13, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Brevity is not his strong suit.

Fallon on January 13, 2011 at 8:24 AM

That’s the difference between Conservatives and Liberals. Conservatives can give an attaboy to a Liberal when they actually try to do something right, but a Liberal can never bring themselves to the place. And BTW, when has the campaign for a second term not been in place?

flytier on January 13, 2011 at 8:25 AM

I was appalled last night that the folks over at FoxNews gave such lavish praise to this event. Now, I am near mortally confused when I hear here at HotAir this morning that last night’s “speech” was great?

coldwarrior on January 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

You sir are 100% right on… They say that DC changes every soul who stays there long enough. Could it be that working in this industry of news creation, changes all who work in it long enough.

Keemo on January 13, 2011 at 8:25 AM

It was a speech appropriate for the circumstance.

Do not be lulled to sleep however. Nothing has changed. The democrats in Congress will still try to use this horrible event to pass restrictive laws and constricting regulation.

darwin on January 13, 2011 at 8:25 AM

Who was it that said earlier that Sarah Palin pushed him to the right, not the rebups…wonder what the speech was before her video?

lukespapa on January 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Six speech writers dropped from exhaustion and three quit. Damn That Palin.
It was a good speech.Too bad I don’t believe a word he says.
The circus atmosphere was disgusting.

katy the mean old lady on January 13, 2011 at 8:25 AM

The speech was completely lovely. I’m not a huge Obama fan, by any means, but he hit the right tones with the speech.

The T-shirt thing was just weird.

mjk on January 13, 2011 at 8:26 AM

Who was it that said earlier that Sarah Palin pushed him to the right, not the rebups…wonder what the speech was before her video?

lukespapa on January 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM
//
EXACTLY! I am sure his speechwriters pulled a fast one after watching Sarah’s video.

ohiobabe on January 13, 2011 at 8:27 AM

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.

 
“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us
- President Barack H. Obama, less than three months ago
 
So this was the moment’s pause? Or was this just another lie?
 
Sorry Obama. I know you by your fruits. (Hint- that comes from that brother’s-keeper Bible you don’t understand)

rogerb on January 13, 2011 at 8:27 AM

So kudos to President Obama for what may be the finest moment of his presidency. I disagree with his policies and many of his tactics, and I will have no problem getting back to work in opposing them after this post publishes. But he deserves credit and gratitude for his leadership at a point in time where the nation needed it, and I’m happy to give him both.

Sorry, Ed. But Obama’s act has gone from tiresome to downright infuriating after this week. He’s done this for years. He has his surrogates in Congress, the media, and the blogosphere go out there and smear his opponents while he gets to pretend he’s above the fray and in no way involved with any of it. Then he goes out there and gives a speech and pays lip service to remaining civil with the political opposition and I’m supposed to thank the guy?

Get back to me when he’s actually called these people out by name. No, he doesn’t have to do it the memorial/pep rally, but he damn well better do it at some point if he wants me to believe he’s no complicit in all of this.

Doughboy on January 13, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Who was it that said earlier that Sarah Palin pushed him to the right, not the rebups

lukespapa on January 13, 2011 at 8:19 AM

CJ Burch made that point at Instapundit.

beatcanvas on January 13, 2011 at 8:28 AM

coldwarrior on January 13, 2011 at 8:21 AM

My sense too. Meh, too long. It was OK (and the sneaky insertion of gun control and more spending on psychiatric services was uncalled for).

I think Fox has really been affected by all the criticism over the past decade and they look desperately for opportunities to look “above the fray”… they just don’t understand that it won’t work and they’re just playing into their enemies’ hands.

mankai on January 13, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Obama gave a good speech? Wow, that’s a shocker.

It’s not like he’s a freakin’ one trick pony and he just did his one trick.

The dude just started his 2012 campaign jumping in puddles of innocent victim’s blood to try and kickstart his failed Presidency.

Last night was horrific and embarrassing.

RarestRX on January 13, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Nice speech – I didn’t watch.

However, if the attacks continue and he does nothing then he is as much to blame as the people who are doing the attacking. He has to back up his words – something he has a very hard time doing. Time to stop playing President and actually be one.

Free t-shirts at a memorial? – strange

gophergirl on January 13, 2011 at 8:30 AM

For five days, this petty, wicked little man has let his henchmen slander and threaten not just Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck et al, but the vast swath of the country that disagrees with his policies as being responsible for a mass murder. That’s nice that some Conservatives have grown moist at the President’s ability to read what’s on the screen in front of him, but he has stood by as his own people have watched the country engage in some of the vilest political rhetoric of my lifetime.

And while it would be inappropriate for a memorial service, I think saying “Hey guys, enough with the death threats against the former governor of Alaska who I once implicitly referred to as a pig” should’ve been in order over the last three days or so. It’s not as though holding a memorial service on a college campus while handing out T-shirts was exactly the height of decorum.

Eff him, eff his politics, eff his letting others do his dirty work – he deserves zero credit for “rhetoric” and if he had any shame, he would’ve been on television lambasting his own supporters by Monday morning for what took place over the weekend. He might have prettied it up, but it’s the same straw man he’s used since the campaign. He is vile, and while it’s understandable that some Conservatives need to find something nice to say about him on occasion, this Conservative does not – he is a shameless twerp, and last night was more evidence of that.

elcapt on January 13, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Kudos my ass. Obama was giving a campaign speech last night in which he threw a bone to all sides.

I’m having none of it.

MaxMBJ on January 13, 2011 at 8:31 AM

As someone pointed out yesteday, Obama took less than 24 hours to tell the country not to jump to conclusions following the Fort Hood massacre committed by Nidal Hassan. This time round, he marinates in the hatred of the left, the LSM and Sheriff Dupnik…waiting for that glorious primetime moment (when he’d have the most attention trained on him) to glibly wag a little finger and earn brownie points from the naive. Sorry, but I don’t impress easily. You’ve been played.

RepubChica on January 13, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Sorry, but the OOTD should be posted, too. The One failed to “run the story by legal” and has compromised the federal case against the murder of Federal Judge Roll. See this link:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0111/Obama_speech_undercuts_federal_charge_for_judges_murder.html

The speech was just that – a speech, written for him; he delivers it, just like any (other) campaign speech. Three days too late trying to “cool” the blame game – all calculated, IMHO. The pep rally atmosphere was intentional, and his tone may have been appropriate, but he should have had the decency and tact to say “No” to the branding of the event.

Epic fail. Business as usual for this ObamAmateur.

DINORight on January 13, 2011 at 8:32 AM

The speech was fine.

The event organizers (and I doubt Dear Liar had any input on this, presidentin’ is hard work) were weird for including the t-shirts.

The students et al., who were clapping and cheering were entirely inappropriate. Can’t lay the blame at The Whine’s feet on this one.

rbj on January 13, 2011 at 8:32 AM

Obama’s speech was fine, what did anyone expect? His flying monkeys had flung enough excrement so that anything he said would sound measured and poised. Although when he kept repeating, “Gabby opened her eyes!” I was sure a cripple in the audience was going to throw off his crutches and start dancing in the aisle.

RedRedRice on January 13, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Presidentism of the Day

This was probably the least presidential thing he’s ever done. He knew the occasion called for austerity, and his main point was tamping down on the bitter rancor that’s been taking place over the past days.

Instead, he did nothing to discourage the applause from the Obamabots in the audience, gave his silent consent to distribute branded souvenir T-shirts, and chided his supporters in only the gentlest of terms after letting them spew their bile for four solid days.

This was infuriating. Barack Obama learned a lesson from his prejudice in the wake of the Skip Gates affair, and he could have, with a word, called off his attack dogs on Saturday afternoon.

But he didn’t. And now that the media (and apparently even Ed) have bought into the fact that this pep-rally, insincere, teleprompter-aided speech somehow redeemed him for his inaction, I suppose the next time we’re scapegoated for murder (or, God forbid, some inflamed leftist takes a shot at one of us) we’d best wait for Obama to make a schmaltzy, saccharine speech and make it all better.

KingGold on January 13, 2011 at 8:33 AM

He’s a good reader. Wonder who wrote it?

faol on January 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Nice words. I have no confidence in his willingness to actually live by them.

backwoods conservative on January 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Even Ed is praising the thinly veiled progressivist speech from the president? What is going on here?

pugwriter on January 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Okay speech- but the President could have called the MSM on Day 1 and stopped the attack on Palin/Rush/Tea Party.

He chose not to do so.

journeyintothewhirlwind on January 13, 2011 at 8:37 AM

It could have been worse, so all in all it was ok. The bot-like cheering was creepy though, and one of the other speakers mentioned how thankful he was for Obamas “intellect”. I thought that was rather weird.

darwin on January 13, 2011 at 8:37 AM

I wonder what his speech would have looked like if Palin hadn’t released hers earlier?

pugwriter on January 13, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Sorry Ed, it was an okay speech, appropriate for the “event,” one anybody could have given. Please don’t fall into that same trap about him being some great orator.
That said, I agree with others, he should have spoken out earlier, this should have been a respectful and somber service not a rally(he could have toned down the crowd), and personally I think it was all carefully executed. The rally style for his base, waiting and allowing his supporters to accuse the Right, and then calling for civility and cooperation so the Repubs will have to think twice before pursuing any repeals or arguments, itwas all planned. This man is a politician first and foremost and that is what he was last night. Yes, a good speech, but it changes nothing.
Oh, and Gerstein thinks Obama may have inadvertantly messed up the Fed charges with his comment about Roll paying a ‘social visit.”

Deanna on January 13, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Even Ed is praising the thinly veiled progressivist speech from the president? What is going on here?

pugwriter on January 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

When the dog, who routinely can’t find the back door when needing to urinate, does in fact go to the back door one day to be let outside, a treat is in order.

Pavlov and all that.

beatcanvas on January 13, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Only a few on the side of freedom and liberty have what it takes to read through the swamp and stay focused on principled facts. Rush in number one for this reason. I look forward to his show today as Rush will break down that speech; it’s purpose and desired goals.

Keemo on January 13, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Even Ed is praising the thinly veiled progressivist speech from the president? What is going on here?

pugwriter on January 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM

I think Ed’s just trying to be classy. And that’s fine. But this isn’t 2008 anymore. I don’t see how anyone could’ve witnessed the actions of this guy and all of his supporters over the last 3 years and not have caught onto his act by now.

Doughboy on January 13, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Couldn’t hear anything barry said over all the cat calls and cheers and applause, it was tone deaf and disrespectful, the entire event was a disgrace. Obama’s speech may have been good, but the location, the free t shirts and the audience made it an obamateurism. disgusted by the entire fiasco.

Daveyardbird on January 13, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Once the MSM recovers from its collective leg tingle, it will continue the blame game.

Disturb the Universe on January 13, 2011 at 8:41 AM

In the book “Wisdom of Crowds,” author James Suroweiki makes the point — strongly — that the first person to speak in a committee meeting or jury room or any decision-making group, sets a tone that is hard to break … what the media might call the “meme” or narrative. If the first speaker is highly opinionated or forceful, it can be almost impossible to change the tone and other members of the group begin molding their views to fit it.

This is exactly what happened last night after Obama’s speech in the Fox News panel that discussed it. Brett Baer went first to Obama-schizophrenic Charles Krauthammer, a man who loves Obama’s articulation skills but hates his narcissism, and Krauthammer, fresh from watching Obama in his so-called element, gushed praise.

The tone was set. Christ Wallace, a nonpartisan in most respects, clearly didn’t like aspects of the whole affair but Krauthammer’s meme had taken hold and Wallace molded his response into a mostly positive response.

Then came Brit Hume, a person we all know is clearly and deeply conservative and no Obama supporter. He spoke tepidly, agreeing with Krauthammer on the “brilliance” of Obama’s speech (and it was a speech, not a memorial) and then finding fault with matters around the edges (the crowd, the Indian speaker, etc.).

I was extremely disappointed. If you, like me, are a watcher of Fox All-Stars, you may have noticed they have one regular who is able to dislodge Krauthammer’s narrative-setting pronouncements: Steven Hayes. He does it respectfully and forcefully. He will simply begin with something like, “I didn’t see it that way.”

Since Hume failed us last night and many on the right including Ed are failing us this morning, we commenters must break this storyline that Obama somehow gave a “magical” (NT Times) speech. He did not. It was too long, uneven, and unfitting for a memorial service in which six people have died. The fact that he gave a piece of bread to us on right who have been accused of being accomplices to murder means little. If you listen closely, those who made those accusations could take away props as well.

When the media fails us, we at the grassroots level must mold the narrative.

MaxMBJ on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Disturb the Universe on January 13, 2011 at 8:41 AM

yepper…

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Obama’s speech was fine, what did anyone expect? His flying monkeys had flung enough excrement so that anything he said would sound measured and poised.
//
Now that is the best I’ve heard so far! That is his strong suit..let’s wait this out and see what everybody says then come out MR.CLEAN!

ohiobabe on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

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.

This comes after what Ed said is Obama’s best point–a point that he parroted from Palin, btw–then with this bit he couches his “best point” in progressivist nonsense. So how do we “constantly widen our circle of concern”?

pugwriter on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

The rally style for his base, waiting and allowing his supporters to accuse the Right, and then calling for civility and cooperation so the Repubs will have to think twice before pursuing any repeals or arguments, itwas all planned. This man is a politician first and foremost and that is what he was last night.

Bingo. Must be nice to have the entire LSM apparatus at your disposal to pull Alinskies against your political opponents 24-7. No other American president has ever had it so darn easy.

RepubChica on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Well, Ed, I hope this gets you an autographed memorial T-shirt and a press pass to whatever event it is you’re angling for.

Some people will fall for anything.

DaydreamBeliever on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

I inadvertantly turn on the TV last night hoping to catch “Human Target”.
What I saw as soon as the picture came on was an ending remark by teh 1, wherein there were a chorus of cheers.

He immediately stuck his nose in the air and had that doppy expression where he looks off to the heavens.
I have seen pics of that look before and it’s always an example to me of his utter arrogance.

I said, “Oh gawd”, and turned off the TV.

OkieDoc on January 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Obama gave a moving speech that transcended (and quelled) the strange pep-rally vibe that had permeated the event prior to his taking the stage, one that genuinely connected us to each of the lives snuffed out by a senseless murder spree

Is it effing April Fool’s Day come early and I missed the memo? Are you effing kidding me???

POS TOTUS did NOTHING to quell the pep-rally vibe.

He did not genuinely connect us to the lives of the snuffed out – he focused on Giffords and bloodlessly delivered prepared remarks.

Ed – you are losing it buddy.

Branch Rickey on January 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM

This was the first step in the rehab of his public image on the road to ’12. Handing out T shirts, giving advice like a cross between Dr. Laura and our pastor seems to have swayed all the pundits. Remember, folks, he doesn’t write these words, just repeats them off a teleprompter.

Kissmygrits on January 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Deanna on January 13, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Sorry, didn’t highlight the writer of post I quoted at 8:42.

RepubChica on January 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Sorry Ed, going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. The first part of the speech was lovely and well researched but it rambled on entirely too long and went into proper Rev. Wright territory towards the end. It was strange, disjointed and downright creepy.

In terms of giving him a pass on the environment and atmosphere, he has handlers that take care of this stuff. There’s a crew to make sure he doesn’t look like an arse. His staff. For their utter c*ck-up last night, I lay the responsibility on their boss. The whole thing smelled like a rally for his reelection campaign starting with the tee-shirts, moving on the the cheers and self-serving diatribe of a Native American ‘medicine man’ and finishing with the president of the university all but licking Obama’s shoes.

Again, apologies Ed, there’s more to this event than pretty words.

ExPat on January 13, 2011 at 8:45 AM

I look forward to his show today as Rush will break down that speech; it’s purpose and desired goals.

Keemo on January 13, 2011 at 8:39 A
//
He’s excellent at that isn’t he? After all,he knows the left and what they are going to do and say before they do.

ohiobabe on January 13, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Yes, I know I usually start weekdays with an amateurish stumble du jour from our nation’s Chief Executive, but in light of his speech last night, President Barack Obama deserves credit for not just avoiding the train wreck over the last few days in partisan sniping, but addressing it head on at the memorial service for the murdered in Tucson.

That’s because he has his minions out there doing the TEARING DOWN AND LIBELING FOR HIM.

Giving him the aura of staying “ABOVE THE FRAY”.

PappyD61 on January 13, 2011 at 8:46 AM

I have a feeling that Rush will agree with AP aand ED after reading excerpts from the speech. I did not hear it and am relying on second hand, but what I read is okay. In any case, politically it is astute, and indies country wide will buy into it. For the moment, so must we.

jeanie on January 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

OkieDoc on January 13, 2011 at 8:43 AM

dang it, i was taping that show…

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

When the media fails us, we at the grassroots level must mold the narrative.

MaxMBJ on January 13, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Rush will do that today; Levin will do that today; a few others will come through also…

Keemo on January 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Just wait for AP’s take, if Ed’s was this glowing.

B Man on January 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Like everything President Obama does this memorial service was tacky…slogans, bumper stickers, tee shirts, shout outs, cheering, booing, cat calls….

“*President Obama left Tucson, Ariz., late Wednesday feeling good about the speech he gave memorializing the victims of Saturday’s deadly shooting there, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0111/reflection_f5d53a0b-cb67-4ed3-90b4-dfcc5351d39d.html

What rating did he give himself for that speech ….a solid B+ ?

philly_PA on January 13, 2011 at 8:48 AM

philly_PA on January 13, 2011 at 8:48 AM

classy….

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:49 AM

He might have given a fine speech, which based on the excerpts I have read sounds like the case, but quite frankly I didn’t watch and don’t care. I was not going to be party to what I felt was going to be a train wreck from our already overexposed president. Maybe if he wasn’t on my tv every day I would tune in when he was giving a speech, but quite frankly I care about as much about what he has to say as I do what Snookie has to say on quantum physics.

That is what happens when you never get off the campaign trail.

Just A Grunt on January 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM

I went to Disney World in Florida once. There they had this talking automatron; it was Abe Lincoln giving a great moving speech.

But I didn’t think for a moment that the puppet actually meant what it was saying or even that it knew what it was saying. Its was just spewing a pre-recorded script.

In spite of all the cleaver special effects the words rang hollow.

Do you get what I am saying, Listener?

Geochelone on January 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Ed’s right. It was a very good speech. Obama hasn’t been a good president, and I expect he’ll go back to being the same walking disaster he’s been, but he got this one right.

Dee2008 on January 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM

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.

He’s all for discussing new ways to restrict our 2nd Amendment rights and making excuses for more gubmint health care.

Seriously, how do some “conservatives” not see through this stuff?

pugwriter on January 13, 2011 at 8:51 AM

From Ed: “Instead, Obama gave a moving speech that transcended (and quelled) the strange pep-rally vibe that had permeated the event prior to his taking the stage.”

It wasn’t moving at all — not a wet eye in the house — and it didn’t quell the pep rally feel in the least. Did you notice the long standing O he got afterwards where he ultimately did the hand wave acknowledgement? Imagine if a preacher at a funeral, after delivering the eulogy, did that. Terrible.

MaxMBJ on January 13, 2011 at 8:51 AM

I inadvertantly turn on the TV last night hoping to catch “Human Target”.
//
I like that show and for some reason never remember to catch it,did they say it will be shown at a later date?

ohiobabe on January 13, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Just wait for AP’s take, if Ed’s was this glowing.

B Man on January 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM

It’ll be full-on kneepads, no doubt. Even after his palpable outrage at the depths to which the Left sunk this week, and even though the blame will be cast once again once the tears dry, meaning the president’s speech changes nothing in our discourse. Obama gave a flowery speech, and all is forgiven.

And if some crazed leftist attacks one of our guys because Obama didn’t stop the media blamecasting – well, we shouldn’t have incited Loughner in the first place, right? We had it coming.

KingGold on January 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Hit me on the way to work tomorrow that the One just revealed his campaign strategy for 2012.

The t-shirts said “Together We Thrive”. His setting himself up as the unifier against that “divisive” Sarah Palin.

If people have a choice between Unity and Division, of course they would pick unity. We all know he’s one of the most divisive presidents in history, but the media will paint it otherwise – they’ve already started the campaign for him 2 years ago. Think about it – Palin=polarizing, extreme, divisive, etc. They’ll do the same with any other consevative. Hold on to your hats, the battlelines have been drawn…

miConsevative on January 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM

It’s a new day today….the mask will slip.

yoda on January 13, 2011 at 8:53 AM

miConsevative on January 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM

spot on

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:54 AM

cmsinaz :)

yeah, good show, right?

OkieDoc on January 13, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Well, Obama accomplished his goal after all; the event was all about him. The memorializing of the victims were a mere pretext for his re-ascension to messianic status. He healed the sick and multiplied the loaves and fishes. The Republicans will meekly withdraw their healthcare repeal bill because it would be what little Christina wanted.

RedRedRice on January 13, 2011 at 8:54 AM

I started mourning for the victims the day it happened. I have been interrupted many times during this having to defend my ideology, as we all have had to do. But then last night there was this calling that a leader can bring us together. I turned on the TV and saw American Idol.

Electrongod on January 13, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Even my husband decided it was an OK speech. OK doesn’t cut it now. The fallout from last weeks events isn’t going to die down easily. The Left is in full blown insanity and what just happened last night is being praised? All I can say about Obama is one word. Inappropriate. That word describes everything about the man-that-shouldn’t-be-President.

BetseyRoss on January 13, 2011 at 8:54 AM

I was trying to imagine how I would have felt last night had I been one of the grieving families. I suppose the hoopla surrounding a presidential visit would have been flattering. But having attention drawn from my personal loss to this wonderful speaker in an atmosphere more like a pep rally than a memorial … I am pretty certain it would have left me flat and perhaps even bitter.

MaxMBJ on January 13, 2011 at 8:55 AM

miConsevative on January 13, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Together We Thrive on the commune.

That’s what he really means.

Geochelone on January 13, 2011 at 8:55 AM

As Hot Air becomes Daily Kos light

Jdripper on January 13, 2011 at 8:57 AM

OkieDoc on January 13, 2011 at 8:54 AM

love it…the ensemble is great!

cmsinaz on January 13, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Agree with you, Ed. It took over two years to get there, but he finally acted presidential last night; at least in speaking. (signing autographs and posing for pictures afterward, though??)
I wish he had spoken off the cuff and forced down the pep rally tone of this event that the organizers clearly intended. It was set yup from the t-shirts to the masses of students who didn’t know the victims at all, as a political event. And this use of the true friends and family of the victims as stage props for an agenda was downright disgusting.

michaelo on January 13, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Together We Thrive is the new Yes We Can

Disturb the Universe on January 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM

People are reacting to Ed’s post as though he had said the speech last night validated Obama’s entire presidency.

Look, Obama does a pretty crappy job on a daily basis, and Ed is the first to say so, and say so well. Last night was one of the rare occasions when Obama did his job well, and Ed said so, because Ed is honest.

If he doesn’t back up his words with action, I’m sure Ed will be the first to call him to account, but it was a good speech.

calabrese on January 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM

If I am forced to say something complimentary about the speech I would say that for the FIRST time I felt he was talking to ALL Americans, not just the ones who voted for him. However, I do expect that it will also be the LAST time he does that.

ctmom on January 13, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Obama used several speech stunts last night which were extremely disconcerting. One was his glory line — Gabby opened her eyes — which he repeated four or five times. I certainly can’t blame Obama for taking delight in being the one to break this feel-good story, but the repetition of it was what moved it from acceptable speech moment to speech stunt. It was kind of like Ed Norton on the old Honeymooners show doing his characteristic flourish until Ralph Kramden finally blew his stack.

I’m Ralph Kramden here.

MaxMBJ on January 13, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Ed’s right. It was a very good speech. Obama hasn’t been a good president, and I expect he’ll go back to being the same walking disaster he’s been, but he got this one right.

Dee2008 on January 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Along the lines of what Barry said to Hillary : “He’s eloquent enough”. You’re right about his governing, and fortunately the 2012 election won’t be based on speech-making alone.

dedalus on January 13, 2011 at 9:01 AM

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