Part Pastor, Part Professor, All President
Whatever Barack Obama tells us about the State of the Union on January 25th, he showed us its heart in Tucson last night.
He came there to lead a nation in grieving, parse the meaning of a tragedy and, above all, give hope to a shocked and divided people. In doing so, he reminded those who truly listened of what they saw in him two years ago.
Despite the crowd’s distracting need to cheer and applaud, the occasion was a solemn homage to those who died, a tribute to those who helped limit the carnage and a call for unity going forward.
“Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame,” the President urged, “let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together…
“So sudden loss causes us to look backward-–but it also forces us to look forward; to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us.”
If the President were looking for a springboard for his message of hope and healing, he couldn’t have asked for anything better than Sarah Palin’s pathetic attempt to upstage him.