Well, the one thing I can say is that if you hear me say that Obama made a good speech, you can rest assured that you missed a good speech. I truly was trying to hate the speech.
- The kickoff blessing by Native Americans, was bizarre.
- The staffer that helped Gilffords until transported – attributed with saving her life – made a no-notes talk that was excellent – APPLAUSE
- Gov. Brewer made opening comments – APPLAUSE
- Holder (bleak!) read a bible scripture – APPLAUSE
- Napolitano (bleak!) did the same – APPLAUSE
- Obama and others chronicled the lives of the dead, the injured, a sad occasion – APPLAUSE
- Obama’s speech seemed very long because it was frequently interrupted by RIOTOUS APPLAUSE. About the only thing he could have done, but did not, would have been to gently try to quieten them at the applause breaks with his hands. Perhaps he did not think of that, or perhaps his ego enjoyed the applause. Unfortunately, despite the solemn occasion, it felt like a political rally.
One of the few times that I think applause was justified was when Obama announced, with Gifford’s husband’s permission, that she had opened her left eye for the first time right before the memorial (her right eye is still bandaged for gunshot damage).
None of this was the fault of the speakers. It was obvious from the content that they arrived to conduct a solemn occasion. However, the Tucson Audience had other ideas and imposed them. Truly strange. Truly unfortunate – it still nags at me.