By all accounts, President Obama struck all the right notes Wednesday night in Arizona at that memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shooting rampage.
Not surprisingly, the same can not be said of Sarah Palin —- who tried to upstage the president earlier in the day with her Facebook time with Sarah salute to herself instead of the heroes and the fallen and the innjured in the massacre.
First the president. He had a calming affect that helped soothed a nation still stunned by the shocking events.
He had the crowd immediately when he gave the nation the news that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes for the first time since she was shot on Saturday.
And when he paid special tribute to nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. And maybe most of the nation watching.
When Obama said that he wants the nation to live up to Christina’s expectations, anyone with a heart felt it break a more than just a little bit.
Christina, one of six killed last Saturday in the shooting, was the first of the victims to be laid to rest on Thursday.
Obama, the father of two girls, spoke more as a parent than as president at that point in his speech.
House members paid tribute earlier in the day to Congresswoman Giffords, who was the target of the killer and who is still in critical condition. Every member of Congress had to be thinking that it could have been them.
Obama as father made parents, including himself, think that little girl could have been their little girl or little boy.
The president also took the high ground and scored dramatically when he talked about civility. How we —- politicians in general, maybe —- should use words that heal and not harm.
Here he was speaking to liberals and conservatives alike.
Not so with Mama Grizzly.
Palin is taking a lot of heat for that 8-minute “I’m the real victim here” Facebook production.
She failed at her attempt to speak about the Tucson tragedy by turning it instead into an audition starring herself as a narcississtic nitwit with a persecution complex.
The “blood libel” phrase — which could haunt her as her political star starts to become dimmer and dimmer — was an insult to humanity.
In those eight minutes, Palin did not once mention any of the victims or heroes. She failed to tell us how she felt as a parent dealing with the fact that a child was among the fallen.
In what came off as more of an insult than faint praise, Palin talked about Gabrielle Giffords as if the two were BFFs.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth.
Palin’s map of gun sites targeting Democrats, including Giffords, cannot be denied or erased —- even though the website was taken down the same day as the tragedy. Which ought to tell you something.
Whereas the homicidal maniac wasn’t inspired by the map and it’s target of Giffords (he seemed to have it in for her since she first was elected in 2006) the fact still remains that it was an awful coincidence that ended in tragedy.
Someone needs to tell Palin and her speechwriters that just because you mention Ronald Reagan and God in the same speech, it doesn’t always give you a pass.
Palin fumbled on the kick-off with this one. It doesn’t help to paint yourself as a victim in this or any other tragedy —- and to make you think that somehow it was about you is just plain ludicrous.
Palin’s Facebook minutes were nothing more than self-pity and grandstanding. A combination that would doom many other political candidates.
But Palin still has clout. She’s able to disguise the fact that she’s become an awful parody of herself.
To try to upstage a president when it is he —- not you or any other politician — that the nation wants to hear from as it mourns — is comical.
Palin’s real face was exposed in that 8-minute tribute to herself.
We can breathe a sigh of relief that John McCain wasn’t elected president and that Palin would’ve been a heartbeat away.
Obama may not be your cup of tea.
But he soothed instead of seethed.
He was father in chief at that memorial service in Tucson on Wednesday night.
And for a bright, shining moment during a memorial service, the country was as one a child again. Safe in the assumption that for now, father really does know best.