I was tied up yesterday and (thankfully) didn’t get to weigh in on Sarah Palin’s “blood libel” comment. Frankly, the comment was insane but so was the public reaction to it. I did, however, hear a beautiful, religion-laden speech from President Obama as I drove home. Several times, as Obama mentioned the victims of the Tucson shooting, I felt myself choking up. If you haven’t already, listen to the above video and tell me if you experience the same welling up of emotion.
Anyway, Palin’s and Obama’s responses to the events of last Saturday and, significantly, the media storm that followed have been quite different. Here The Caucus blog at The New York Times compares their two speeches from yesterday:
Where Ms. Palin was direct and forceful, Mr. Obama was soft and restrained. Where Ms. Palin was accusatory, Mr. Obama appeared to go out of his way to avoid pointing fingers or assigning blame. Where she stressed the importance of fighting for our different beliefs, he emphasized our need for unity, referring to the “American family — 300 million strong.”
For the president, it was at least the fourth time he has presided as the country’s mourner-in-chief. He delivered the eulogies at Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral and at the memorial for miners who died in West Virginia. And he spoke to the nation after the shootings at an Army base Texas.
But this time, he appeared more affected by the trauma of the deaths. And none more so than when he was talking about the death of Christina Green, a 9-year-old girl not much older than Mr. Obama’s youngest daughter.
“I want us to live up to her expectations,” he said, his voice rising. “I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. All of us—we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”