More than eloquence, the president also offered an argument, one he has been making for years. Aides say Obama stayed up all night working on the speech. We know that's his way. But the speech wasn't just the product of an all-nighter. It came from someone who thinks about children and the obligations of being a parent, who knows how it feels to be startled by your desperate love for a spouse whom you might have taken for granted in the rush of the day.
The president may not be emotional. But you can't write that speech if you're all ice water.
What do we want in a president? The office has become so misshapen it's hard to say what it doesn't encompass. Giving speeches isn't the entire job, of course. But if part of the job requirement is someone who reminds us that our public life can reflect our best private selves, then Obama showed that he is up to it. He has been thinking about that idea long before this tragedy called for a speech about it. The test for all of us is to do the same after the applause has died down.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Father, Husband, President
From John Dickerson: