This morning on the talk show “Imus in the Morning,” Don Imus interviewed FOX News’ Chris Wallace about President Obama’s speech at the Tucson memorial service. Imus suggested that it was one of the best presidential addresses he had ever heard, and he complimented Matthews’ colleague Charles Krauthammer for delivering a similar post-speech analysis on FOX News immediately after the speech.
Wallace (son of Mike Wallace of “60 Minutes” fame) earned Imus’ wrath by being less fulsome in his praise. Wallace agreed that the content and delivery were excellent, but opined that the speech at 34 minutes was too long. According to Wallace’s research, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush had delivered similar gold-standard speeches in 10-15 minutes. Imus would countenance no criticism of the Obama masterpiece and responded that the speech wouldn’t have taken so long if he hadn’t been interrupted by applause so often.
For those of you who might have missed the speech, you might be surprised to learn that there was continual applause at a memorial service. I turned my TV on just as AZ governor Jan Brewer was completing her address. Shortly, thereafter former AZ governor, current Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano was introduced to read a passage from the Old Testament, and the crowd erupted with screaming applause – before and after. The service was in a university arena, and the sound seemed to emanate from an arena full of 14,000 young girls seeing Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus for the first time. I have heard no explanation of what caused this memorial service to transform into a political rally.
And there is no doubt that it was a political rally. Although President Obama has received plaudits for forcefully repudiating the liberal charge that the crazed killer was empowered by vitriolic talk from conservatives, the remainder of Obama’s speech belies those plaudits and shows him taking the low road, not the high road.
The high road would have consisted of stopping after the repudiation of the baseless liberal charges. But instead President Obama stepped down to the low road by claiming that a nine-year-old victim who dreamed of political service would have wanted government discourse to be more civil. So let’s resolve to make this change for her.
How slick is that? In the name of a nine-year-old victim, Obama is able to bash those who vigorously opposed his policies. Slick Willy would be proud.