One of Us

Could these awful events in Tucson really forge a national “cooling off period?”

Many would make the case that American tragedies are exploited by media and government elites to manipulate public sentiment.

But even if that’s true, I believe there is an American community that grieves, celebrates and grows together.

Despite my dedicated opposition to George Bush, for example, I was moved four years ago by his memorial speech after the Virginia Tech massacre.

Americans look to the president for comfort.

In November ’09 I watched President Obama’s reaction to the Fort Hood shootings and was appalled by his dispassionate affect.  I criticized him in my blog for sounding like a white house staffer reading a prepared statement.

I want and expect Obama to console Americans over the next several days and not just to gain political advantage. 

But to make us feel less confused.  (I was unsettled by the way cable and the internet went into overdrive seconds after the rampage: weekend tv anchors stumbling through worthless conversations with elected officials and over-the-top instant online analysis).

This is a time for the country to rise above political differences.

And this is an opportunity for Barack Obama to show all Americans that he is – after all – one of us.

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