Friday night former U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush made a private visit to the victims of the massacre at Fort Hood:
The Bushes entered and departed the sprawling military facility in secret, having told the base commander they did not want press coverage of their visit, a source told Fox News.Contrast the Bush's behavior with that of Obama who flew to Dover, Delaware to pay his respects to the returning remains of fallen American soldiers making sure he had a full press contingent in tow.
Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura secretly visited Fort Hood last night and spent "considerable time" consoling those who were wounded in Thursday's shooting spree, Fox News has learned.
The Bushes entered and departed the sprawling military facility in secret, having told the base commander they did not want press coverage of their visit, a source told Fox News.
The couple was described as "deeply concerned" about military families on Fort Hood after Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opened fire on soldiers and civilians, killing 13 and wounding 38.
The Bushes, who have a 1,600-acre property known as Prairie Chapel Ranch less than 30 miles from Fort Hood in central Texas, spent between one and two hours visiting the wounded and their families.
And while we are talking about contrasts, how about Obama's first public words as this tragedy unfolded? Yes, he did have a statement to make, but he prefaced it with friendly banter and standard boilerplate that was totally inappropriate. As millions of Americans watched and waited for their President to help them deal with this news, this is what they saw and heard:
OBAMA: Please, everybody, have a seat. Let me first of all just thank Ken and the entire Department of the Interior staff for organizing just an extraordinary conference.Let's not overlook the fact that Obama awarded Crow the Medal of Freedom, a civilian award, and not the Medal of Honor which is bestowed on extraordinary members of the U.S. military.
I want to thank my Cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (ph) was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner. It's good to see you.
My understanding is is that you had an extremely productive conference. I want to thank all of you for coming and for your efforts, and I want to give you my solemn guarantee that this is not the end of a process, but the beginning of a process and that we are going to follow up.
We are going to follow up. Every single member of my team understands that this is a top priority for us. I want you to know that, as I said this morning, this -- this is not something that we just give lip service to. And we are going to keep on working with you to make sure that the first Americans (ph) get the best possible chances in life in a way that's consistent with your extraordinary traditions and culture and values.
Now, I have to say, though, that beyond that, I had planned to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead for Native Americans as well as collaboration with our administration.
Now, many of us realized a long, LOOONNNGGGGG time ago that Obama just reads the words on his teleprompter. Apparently, he doesn't even think about what he is saying and how tone deaf those words can be. But he was billed as the smartest man ever to hold the office. What a crock!
Remember how the left howled when President Bush was first learned of the September 11th attacks yet continued on for a few more minutes with the reading of "My Pet Goat" to Florida schoolchildren? Erick Ericson at Red State believes this is Obama's My Pet Goat moment.
But it's not just right wing bloggers who feel Obama is tone deaf. Today's editorial in the Boston Globe speaks to those wider concerns:
Obama’s initial remarks came shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, while Americans were struggling to come to grips with the shocking rampage and its chaotic aftermath. The stage was set for the president to quickly and somberly address the tragedy. Instead, a serene-looking Obama offered light introductory comments, keyed to those attending a Tribal Nations Conference that was hosted by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. His introduction included a convivial “shout-out’’ to one of the conference attendees.Barack Obama: Too inexperienced to be elected President and still not to the job!
Several minutes in, Obama finally called the Fort Hood shootings “a horrific outburst of violence.’’ The words he spoke next were respectful and appropriate. But it took him too long to get to the point of delivering them.
It takes more than scripted eloquence for presidents to connect with their fellow Americans. It requires a visceral ability to grasp the scope of tragedy, calculate its impact on the national psyche, and react swiftly to it. Ronald Reagan did it after the Challenger explosion took the lives of seven crew members on Jan. 28, 1986. So did Bill Clinton, after the Oklahoma City bombings of April 19, 1995, left 168 dead and more than 600 injured.
When a gunman fired those shots at Fort Hood, the country immediately felt the pain. Obama missed the first moment to show he understood just how much it hurt.