In vivid contrast, President Obama claimed the moral high-ground in his speech last night in which he poignantly memorialized the shooting victims and proferred comfort, healing and mature wisdom to the nation. And refound his inspiring political voice after two years of dazed, muddled messaging.
In The Political Implosion of Sarah Palin, Huffington Post blogger Andy Ostrey described a video released by Palin hours before the President's speech:
"... this week she quite foolishly and voluntarily gave us something we can 100% blame her for. Her behavior, tone and overall message in the video was beyond comprehension. Not only does it demonstrate a pathological narcissism, but a supreme ignorance of history (the unfortunate 'Blood Libel' reference); a shocking lack of empathy, sensitivity and compassion; a reprehensible use of the words 'blood,' 'pistols' and 'shooting' to accent her points; and outrageously offensive timing in terms of releasing it on the same day as the memorial.
"One has to ask, just what on Earth was she thinking? Did she really expect this 8-minute diatribe to show humility and repair her image? To help heal a shocked and grieving nation?... To date, despite moments of near-derailment, Palin's stayed on track. But with this video she has finally crashed, and crashed for good. She cannot and will not recover from this politically."
President Obama's remarks in University of Arizona's jam-packed basketball arena sharply contrasted with that of Palin's feisty, taut message tone.
In slow and rising cadences, the President expressed compassion, humility, and tender knowledge of each of the victims... as if to convey that President Obama knows each of us, cares about us, cares about the small details of goodness in our lives.
Strongly reminiscent of his famed 2004 convention speech, President Obama stressed American unity, "... I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."
Much is unknowable about the long-term political effects of Obama's soaring reconnection and Palin's self-destruction over the last six days, but much also tantalizingly foretells of political changes for 2012:
- Sarah Palin will not win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, if ever.
- Not even one Republican member of the entire 112th Congress has publicly rushed to Palin's support.
- Signifying bipartisan unity, President Obama was surrounded by both Congressional Republicans and Democrats at the memorial program.
- To be heard, Tea Partiers must replace shrillness and intimidation with reason and rationality.
- Gun violence imagery in campaigns will be roundly rejected by voters.
In a nutshell, under President Obama's leadership, the United States appears poised to learn important, humanitarian lessons of unity and caring in the sad aftermath of the Tucson shooting atrocity.
Lessons that President Obama spoke on July 27, 2004. Lessons and words of American unity and caring that first brought our 44th president to national prominence.
Take a few minutes to reread and remember Barack Obama's Inspiring 2004 Democratic Convention Speech . You won't regret it!
(Photo taken on January 12, 2011: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)