The Garden State visit follows a presidential speech Monday to mark Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery and a trip to tornado-stricken Oklahoma on Sunday.

Both weekend occasions permitted Obama to appear above the fray — the commander-in-chief and consoler-in-chief, respectively — rather than as a political figure pinned down in the Washington trenches…

Obama’s Memorial Day address at Arlington also permitted the president to embrace the role of head of state rather than political player.

He even spoke of Washington itself in grander, more elevated terms than usual — especially for a man who often struggles to contain his contempt for the political culture of the nation’s capital.