Obama's best speech ever was either his Democratic Party acceptance speech in Denver, or the speech on the night he won the election in Chicago. I'd have to listen to both of them again to make a final choice. If I had to choose now, I'd say it was the Denver speech, which was truly awesome, both in content and in style. It certainly wasn't his Inaugural Address on the Capitol steps, and it doubly certain wasn't this Tucson speech, which was really a funeral meditation. Folks, this was not the Gettysburg Address.
Furthermore, there was a peculiar feel to this gathering, that Brit Hume of Fox News commented on, and I happen to agree with him and thought so at the time:
Hume seemed perplexed by what he called the "tone" of the event. The audience had peppered the speeches with regular applause and cheering, and this appeared to surprise Hume.Weird.
"I think the president prepared this speech in the expectation that this would be indeed a memorial service," he said. "I think it ended up being nothing of the kind. This was much more of a pep rally and perhaps that's precisely what the people of Tuscon and the people of this region needed...and wanted."
Also, he said, the event had perhaps been held "a little late...certainly the mood in that auditorium suggested the sense of mournfulness that you might have expected and sobriety you might have expected was not to be found tonight."
Clearly, the perception that it was his best speech comes from a deep desire on the part of many people for a feeling of national unity in the face of our many challenges. They WANTED it to be his best speech. But this moment of good feeling will not last the coming political hurricane in Washington, as the Republicans take over the agenda. It will disappear in a flash.