I am not a woman of few words. I usually have a lot to say but for the past few months I’ve been silent uncharacteristically so I know.. well tonight I’m breaking my silence (I’ll reveal more of why I have been so silent in later posts) to say that earlier this evening, in Tucson Arizona President Barack Obama gave one of the best speeches of his entire presidency.
Obama’s speech didn’t just succeed because it eloquently articulated what most of us have been feeling about the tragedy in Arizona, it succeeded because it reminded us of why we fell in love and voted for him in the first place-it gave us HOPE. HOPE that tomorrow, our collective tomorrow, will be better that any individual yesterday. He made the six individuals that lost their lives whole again in our minds if only for a few minutes. And in that speech he did something that only a president, a great leader, can do he unified our hopes and aspirations and told us what the future can really look like if we gave the best of ourselves, even when we disagree on how to get there, in celebration of the lives that were so horrifically snatched away from us.
This tragedy doesn’t just hit close to home for me it comes pretty darn close to breaking my heart. You see, I live in Arizona. I too can remember going to my first political meeting as a little girl and I too was a member of my student council. Bushy tailed and bright eyed my love affair with politics has lasted ever since. I can also see members of my own family reflected in all the lives that were lost in Tucson just a few days ago. The grandmother, the leader, the communicator, the hero, the sweethearts. Leadership, compassion, love, warmth and dedication. The best of who we are as a state, a country, a people, a species was at that meeting last Saturday, January 8th, 2011 I hope that as nation, as we heal and the events of that day grow dim that we never forget that.
*UPDATE* Here’s a sample of what others are saying about Obama’s Tucson memorial speech.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thought the speech was ‘excellent’.
According to some even the mighty FOX news was ‘pretty gaga’ over the president’s speech.
And Marc Thiessen over at The Washington Post’s PostPartisan thought Obama’s memorial speech was brilliant and courageous.