The political world spent a fair amount of time yesterday pondering the career-changing errors of Sarah Palin’s video message, and its petty, defensive, resentful qualities. A half-day later, that same political world saw President Obama speak at a memorial service, delivering an inspiring address.
The New York Times noted this morning that the day was therefore “bookended by two remarkable — and remarkably different — political performances that demonstrated the vast expanse of America’s political landscape…. Unless — or until — Ms. Palin runs for president and wins the Republican nomination, there are not likely to be many single days in which the two very different politicians are on display in such dramatic ways.”
I can only assume Republicans won’t care for the comparison. Jonathan Martin noted what was plainly true: Obama thrived where Palin failed.
At sunrise in the east on Wednesday, Sarah Palin demonstrated that she has little interest — or capacity — in moving beyond her brand of grievance-based politics. And at sundown in the west, Barack Obama reminded even his critics of his ability to rally disparate Americans around a message of reconciliation.
Palin was defiant, making the case in a taped speech she posted online why the nation’s heated political debate should continue unabated even after Saturday’s tragedy in Tucson. And, seeming to follow her own advice, she swung back at her opponents, deeming the inflammatory notion that she was in any way responsible for the shootings a “blood libel.”
Obama, speaking at a memorial service at the University of Arizona, summoned the country to honor the victims, and especially nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, by treating one another with more respect. “I want America to be as good as Christina imaged it,” he said.
It’s difficult to imagine a starker contrast.
Watching Palin yesterday morning, she looked caustic and small. Watching the president last night, he looked like a giant national leader, which in turn made Palin shrink even further, to the point at which she’s hardly visible.
And what a relief it would be if this turn of events made it that much more difficult to see her again going forward.
- Crypto-President Palin versus President Obama (cehwiedel.com)
- Obama and Palin, a Tale of Two Speeches (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Sarah Palin’s ‘blood libel’ error sets the stage for unifying Barack Obama speech in Tucson (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- President Obama honors the deceased and the recovering (bellalu0.wordpress.com)
- Today’s Media Narrative: Barack Obama Totally Kicked Sarah Palin’s Ass (minx.cc)
- Rhetorical bookends (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Comparing speeches of Obama and Palin: ‘It’s difficult to imagine a starker contrast’ (americablog.com)
I saw the POTUS speech last night and was quite pleased to see that there is an adult running this country! With so much whining and selfish egotism going around in our country, President Obama stood tall above “the rest” and spoke to a wounded nation about healing.
Summoning the soul of a nation, President Barack Obama on Wednesday implored Americans to honor those slain and injured in the Arizona shootings by becoming better people, telling a polarized citizenry that it is time to talk with each other “in a way that heals, not in a way wounds.” Following a hospital bedside visit with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of the assassination, he said: “She knows we’re here, and she knows we love her.”
In a memorably dramatic moment, the president said that Giffords, who on Saturday was shot point-blank in the head, had opened her eyes for the first time shortly after his hospital visit. First lady Michelle Obama held hands with Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, as the news brought soaring cheers throughout the arena.
Speaking at a memorial at the University of Arizona, Obama bluntly conceded that there is no way to know what triggered the shooting rampage that left six people dead, 13 others wounded and the nation shaken. He tried instead to leave indelible memories of the people who were gunned down and to rally the country to use the moment as a reflection on the nation’s behavior and compassion. More…
- Obama calls for healing at Arizona memorial (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Nation needs healing, says Obama (mirror.co.uk)
- Obama says polarized nation needs healing (thegrio.com)
- ‘Gabby Opened Her Eyes For The First Time:’ Obama At Tucson Memorial (politicsdaily.com)
- Obama says polarized nation needs healing (charlotte.news14.com)
- The Obama of Old Returns With Arizona Speech (thedailybeast.com)
- Obama Leads World’s Most Confusing Memorial Service [Video] (gawker.com)
There are times that make us lose hope in bringing our country together because of the harsh rhetoric and bombastic remarks. Then, you read something in the paper or online that gives you hope again…H/t Gilligan:
A victim from Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tucson, Ariz., will be buried in a casket carved from red oak trees by monks in northeast Iowa.
The casket for 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, the youngest of six victims gunned down in the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will be buried in a coffin built by Trappist Caskets of Peosta, Ia., near Dubuque. The Roman Catholic monks of the New Melleray Abbey in northeast Iowa have become renowned for their handmade caskets over the last decade and routinely donate children’s caskets.
Sam Mulgrew, general manager of Trappist Caskets, said that the monks initially were contacted Tuesday by a family representative who was a previous customer.
“He prefers to remain anonymous,” Mulgrew said this afternoon.
Final arrangements were made with the funeral director in Tucson. Trappist Caskets received the first call Tuesday morning, and by the end of the day the casket – engraved with Green’s name as well as her dates of birth (Sept. 11, 2001) and death – was shipped via Fed Ex from the abbey to Tucson. (Caskets of various sizes and in different stages of completion are kept on hand.) Green’s funeral will be held Thursday.
The monks also shipped special keepsake crosses for the late girl’s family, engraved with Green’s name.
“In the springtime we’ll plant a red oak in her honor,” Mulgrew added.
The monks plant about 2,000 memorial trees each year – just a portion of the thousands of trees planted to keep their forest sustainable as a source of wood for their caskets. Each recipient of a Trappist Casket receives a memorial tree-planting.