January 13th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Will Tucson massacre change tone of political debate?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It was one of President Obama's finer moments.

Speaking to a full auditorium in Tucson - and the wider television audience of a grieving nation - the president told Americans, "We can be better."

In light of the massacre of innocents and a country more divided than ever, Mr. Obama said it's time to talk to each other "in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

As he eulogized the dead, the president said while we may not be able to stop all evil in the world, how we treat one another is entirely up to us. Mr. Obama spoke at length about Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl who was killed, saying that he wants "our democracy to be as good as she imagined it."

The president walked a fine line as he tried to stay above the partisan blame game that has evolved since this tragedy. He said, "the forces that divide us are not as strong as the forces that unite us."

Many believe the speech was just what the doctor ordered for a country reeling from the shootings and weary of years of divisive politics. But in the long run how much will it matter?

There's still a dark side to what happened in Tucson last weekend. A very dark side.

An aide to Sarah Palin says there are a record number of death threats against Palin since the Arizona shootings. Her aides are looking to step up her security.

This stuff is ugly and scary and very much begs the question of what we are becoming.

Here’s my question to you: Will the Tucson massacre change the tone of the political debate in this country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Tragedy • United States
January 13th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Palin's reaction to Tucson massacre end her chances of being president?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Sarah Palin may have done herself in.

The tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, presented an opportunity for Palin to reach beyond her base and strike a note of unity. It was her chance to say something that showed she was capable of true leadership.
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You see, before Palin opened her mouth, there was a good deal of sympathy for her. Many believed it was wrong to drag her into the debate.

But then she spoke. And it was just awful. Defiant and inflammatory, Palin invoked the historically painful term "blood libel" in attacking the media. This is a phrase used to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews killed children to use their blood in rituals.

NBC news correspondent Andrea Mitchell suggested the use of the phrase "blood libel" was "ignorant." Which it was. A CBS analysis suggested Palin played "the victim card." Which she did. And ABC said Palin "once again, has found a way to become part of the story." True.

It is being suggested that the scope of the Tucson situation is simply beyond Palin's limited skill set. And when you compare Palin's response to the uplifting speech we heard from our president last night, well, you can draw your own conclusions.

President Obama still has work to do when it comes to delivering on his campaign promises to change Washington and elevate the national discourse but last night went a long way in reminding many Americans why they voted for him.

And comparing the president's lofty words to Palin's small ones must have many Republicans rethinking their support of a woman who has great difficulty getting beyond her image of some sort of rogue momma grizzly bear.

Here’s my question to you: Did Sarah Palin's reaction to the Tucson massacre effectively end her chances of ever being elected president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Sarah Palin