President Obama‘s speech last night at the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shooting has been widely praised across the media and political spectrum. The New York Times’ Michael Shear has a wrap-up, and follows with his own column, comparing the speech with Sarah Palin’s video, posted early yesterday morning.
“But what could not have been more different was the tone. 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.’”
Separately, Palin was widely criticized for her use of the term “blood libel” to describe criticism she received after the shooting.
Bob Lehrman, former WH chief speechwriter for VP Al Gore, points out on Ragan.com that much of what we saw was “nothing unusual” and that there were a few critics of the speech. “But it was brilliant,” he writes, his emphasis, not mine.
The entire speech (it’s more than 30 minutes long, but there’s a lot of applause) is below. It’s moving, well-written, and well-delivered.