The National Debt


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fort Hood: Obama has a 'Pet Goat' moment

Cool, calm and unconnected

Hours after the Fort Hood massacre, a grieving nation looked to the president for consolation and leadership. Instead, it got light banter and a "shout-out" before President Obama read a perfunctory statement. The president has always had a reputation for coolness, but in this case, he was utterly detached. He can't blame the scriptwriter for his astonishing lack of empathy.

Mr. Obama was scheduled to speak at the Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rather than canceling the photo op or addressing the tragedy from another venue, the president chose to open with the kind of obligatory thanks and recognitions that would be appropriate in any other circumstance but not this one. The emotional shift was jarring and confusing. It was as though he were an actor switching scripts heedless of the emotional content of the event he was addressing. More...

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