The Atlantic’s Jim Fallows: “The standard comparisons of the past four days have been to Ronald Reagan after the Challenger disaster and Bill Clinton after Oklahoma City. Tonight's speech matched those as a demonstration of ‘head of state’ presence, and far exceeded them as oratory -- while being completely different in tone and nature.” More: “[A] performance to remember -- this will be, along with his 2004 Convention speech and his March, 2008 ‘meaning of race’ speech in Philadelphia, one of the speeches he is lastingly known for.”
The New York Times’ Gail Collins: “For me, Obama’s best moment came when he warned that ‘what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another.’ In his honor, I am not saying a word about Sarah Palin’s video.”
Conservative John Podhoretz said, “The sentences and paragraphs of President Obama's speech last night were beautiful and moving and powerful. But for the most part they didn't quite transcend the wildly inappropriate setting in which he delivered them.”
Politics Daily's Jill Lawrence: "President Obama's Tucson memorial speech was as much about being a father as it was about being a president. He melded the personal and the political into a call for renewal and a road map to a healthier civic life – all of it powered by memories of the dead, in particular a murdered little girl who expected great things of her country."
Lawrence adds, "Obama did not take the easy way out at the University of Arizona. He could have simply eulogized those lost in the eruption of violence last Saturday, and raised up the heroes. And he did do all that in a moving way. But he also went much further. He confronted the sore points and flash points of the rampage and its aftermath. He urged Americans to take stock of themselves, their relationships and their responsibilities as citizens, and to make sure that we 'align our values with our actions.'"
Here’s conservative Andrea Tantaros’ lead, ripe with criticism of the left, but leaving the president alone: “Despite the pressure from some on the left to capitalize on the Tucson killings for political gain, and amid occasional inappropriate cheering from the audience, President Obama acutely understood our collective need to heal when he addressed the nation on Wednesday night.”