The Intimate Rhetorician

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OBAMATUCSONKevorkDjansezian:Getty

Joe Klein gets it so right:

He spoke as a son--I couldn't help but think of his personal regret over not being by his mother's side when she passed as he said, "Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder." You could see the devastation insinuate itself onto, and then be quietly willed away from, his face. He spoke as a brother to his fellow public servants, killed and wounded in the events--an eager brother bringing the glad tidings the Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes. He repeated it, joyously, three times. But most of all, he spoke as a father--rising to a glorious peak describing the departed 9-year-old, Christine Taylor Green, a girl near the age of his daughters, whose own deaths, perhaps in the line of fire, he had so clearly been thinking about. And he spoke, more broadly, as the head of our national family, comforting, uplifting, scolding a little, nudging us toward our better angels.

(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty.)

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