It came at the end. It came with that cadence America first heard at the Democratic Convention in Boston way back when. It came amidst a speech everyone saw coming, an emotional moment that everyone expected, from the Newtown guests in the box on down. It was a three-and-a-half-minute moment of a much longer State of the Union address, but it was about guns. And as he said, "This time is different."
And it brought the crowd, first the families, and then the Democrats, and then everybody, to a roar and a cry, line-by-line, like this:
Hushed silence in the hall as obama turns to guns— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) February 13, 2013
Obama on guns (magazines, bkrd checks, assault weapons): "Each of these proposals deserves a vote in congress"— Domenico Montanaro (@DomenicoNBC) February 13, 2013
By saying that each gun proposal deserves a vote, Obama's implicitly embracing the idea of breaking the bill into pieces— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) February 13, 2013
Heartbreaking watching parents of Hadiya Pendleton as Obama pleas for vote on measures to curb violence. "Vote!" Dems are shouting.— Lynn Sweet (@lynnsweet) February 13, 2013
Most powerful line: Hadiya Pendleton "deserves a vote. Gabby Giffords deserve a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote"— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) February 13, 2013
Obama to sustained applause: "Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote"— Mike O'Brien (@mpoindc) February 13, 2013
Obama: families of Oak Creek + Tucson + Blacksburg + the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote— Roll Call (@rollcall) February 13, 2013
This is one of the most powerful Obama riffs I've heard since the 2008 campaign.— Noam Scheiber (@noamscheiber) February 13, 2013
Pretty emotional push for a SOTU. Re: guns— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 13, 2013
"... using a preacher's cadence to evoke the names of shooting victims" bit.ly/XIXDis— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) February 13, 2013
351 words on guns (in transcript). 210 on immigration. #SotU— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) February 13, 2013
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.