Obama Brings It Home

Gail Collins in The New York Times:

Obama Maybe President Obama was saving the magic for a time when we really needed it.

We’ve been complaining for two years about the lack of music and passion in his big speeches. But if he’d moved the country when he was talking about health care or bailing out the auto industry, perhaps his words wouldn’t have been as powerful as they were when he was trying to lift the country up after the tragedy in Tucson. “Our hearts are broken, and yet our hearts also have reason for fullness,” he said, in a call to action that finally moved the nation’s focus forward. The days after the shootings had a depressing political rhythm. There was the call for civility, followed by the rapidly escalating rhetoric over whose fault the incivility was, which climbed ever upward until Wednesday when you had a congressman from Texas claiming that the F.B.I. was hiding information on the gunman’s political beliefs because the truth would embarrass the White House.

For me, Obama’s best moment came when he warned that “what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another.” In his honor, I am not saying a word about Sarah Palin’s video.

More here.