So I just made the effort to watch the President’s speech at Boston Cathedral today. I made it just shy of 13 minutes before disgust and impatience got the best of me and I switched to a transcript.
He spoke a lot of words, but I couldn’t find any emotion. There was the pale assertion that we all claim Boston, the sadly predictable section about himself, Michelle, and himself, a litany of shout outs, the scripture mcnuggets, and glittering empty rhetoric about the spirit of Boston and America, with some brief mentions in the middle for each of the dead, and the collectively wounded, but there was no emotion. If anything, his petulant rage he displayed yesterday would have been preferable, and given his “they picked the wrong city” talk, it at least wouldn’t have been as out-of-place as the mechanical delivery that he gave instead.
I think of one of the most notable speeches given in remembrance of the dead, The Gettysburg Address, and the brevity of it. Or the powerful and brief letter penned by Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby. I searched and watched Reagan’s Challenger Speech, and Bush’s speech on the evening of 9-11. Both a little over 4 minutes. Neither one contained a shout out. Neither one injected themselves. Bush’s was a bit more defiant, but that can be understood under the circumstances. But the most startling contrast, other than a measure of sympathy that Obama couldn’t imitate, was the fact that HE spoke in a church, when Reagan and Bush spoke from the Oval Office. Why was this startling? Because even Jesus could find real emotion, and the shortest verse in the Bible (Jesus wept.) when he came to the graveside of his friend, Lazarus.
Even when he came into God’s house, Obama couldn’t follow the example of his son.
Transcript here, for those who tire of a wooden delivery, and insufferable cadence.