January 13, 2011

THE WAY WE WERE:

Obama Rises to the Challenge: He sounded like the president, not a denizen of the faculty lounge. (Peggy Noonan, 1/14/11, WSJ)

We have to be better, said the president. The way to honor the dead and those who tried to help them is to live up to their example, and make our country worthy of them. Of 9-year-old Christina Green, who was drawn to public service: "I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it."

This was just what was needed. After a terrible tragedy, a political leader came forward with words that ennobled and consoled. Those rattled and damaged by the tragedy deserved it, and—sorry to be corny, but this is true—our children are watching and need to hear words that are a plus, not a minus.

Mr. Obama in some new way found the tone of the presidency in this speech, the sound of it. In a purely political sense he was talking to the center—to the great beating heart of the middle of the country—while going to the center himself. And so it may mark a turning point in his fortunes, because it prompts and allows people to see him in a new way, a fresher way.


Geez, he even won back Peggy's love. Can Christopher Buckley be far behind?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 13, 2011 9:08 PM
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