Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I haven't spent a lot of time over the years watching presidential speeches on television, despite my enthusiasm for presidential history. But there have been occasions when events, usually violent, have drawn me to see a president speak, such as following the Oklahoma City bombing and the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

I thought tonight there would be a speech worth watching, maybe even an extraordinary one, so I watched President Obama speak in Tucson a few hours ago. It was extraordinary indeed.

We all watched it. A rare moment when we were all watching the same thing at the same time. I insisted Lilly leave Facebook behind for a few minutes for that purpose, and she did so, grudgingly. "This might be an historic speech," I said. "The only historic speech by a president I got to see when I was 13 was Nixon resigning."

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