President Obama seems to finally be getting that he needs to be the Compassionator in Chief when tragedy strikes the country.
He’s missed or been late to several disasters over the course of his presidency, so it’s nice to see him work a peek at the Mississippi flooding into his schedule today.
He’s meeting right about now with victims of the waters in Memphis, Tenn., to hold some hands and offer condolences on behalf of the compassionate American people.
Only the president can do this. Biden can’t do it. Nor can the director of FEMA. Nobody feels better if the second string is sent in to share in the grief.
What Obama has also failed to pick up are the political benefits of compassion. I know, it’s cynical, but this is politics.
His descent from avatar of Hope and Change into the Dr. Spock, Harvard Law School, teleprompter-reading presidency he’s got can be mitigated if he gets to show off his compassionate side.
Remember, Bill Clinton made tremendous strides toward reviving his presidency with a single speech in the days following the Oklahoma City bombing.
But then again, Clinton specialized in feeling our pain.
It’s good to see Obama taking on some of it too.