The tragedy in Tucson cannot be forgotten. We must grieve for the victims and pray for the recoveries of the wounded. And there will be the inevitable postmortem reports issued by psychiatrists, academics, and law-enforcement experts about why the lunatic killed in the first place.
Let us, for a moment, consider another outcome of the events surrounding the tragedy: President Obama was reborn in his emotional speech to the nation! He is once again acting like our leader, the man America elected in 2008.
He is taking charge of his office. He is expressing himself in a clear, powerful manner. He is accepting the challenge.
It doesn't matter whether you love or hate Barack Obama. He is our leader, and we need him to be on his A-game every day. For the sake of the country, you should believe this.
Vote against him, campaign against him, criticize him galore from your nearest and highest soapbox, if you please, too. But support him.
It was gratifying to see so many of his Republican opponents briefly show approval for POTUS after his stirring speech, which called for Americans to dial-down the rhetoric of discord.
Of course, a lot of it is about politics. It behooves Obama to have less rhetoric from the right. And it behooves the right to show support for Obama in such an emotionally wrenching time for the nation.
Remember in "The American President," an excellent 1995 movie which probably contains a lot of truth in it, how David Paymer's political pollster is trying to convince the President (Michael Douglas) to deliver a speech to the nation at a time of national stress? It isn't about politics, Douglas argues earnestly. "But it could be," Paymer replies with an opportunistic twinkle in his eye.
Politics as usual in Arizona, too? Maybe.
But let's focus on the bigger picture: Barack Obama is back, just in time to get himself together for the 2012 presidential campaign.
It figures to be a brutal exercise for the candidates and for the rest of us as well. Already, I can hear those endless political commercials. Maybe the Democrats will trumpet as their campaign slogan, "Barack Obama Is Back!"
After what we witnessed from him this month, it wold be absolutely true, too.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.
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