Fort Hoodwink?

From our Late to the Party bureau:

Interesting split on Pres. Obama’s Fort Hood memorial speech on Tuesday.

Here’s Tom Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine (via MSNBC’s First Note):

I think President Obama missed a major opportunity at Fort Hood on Tuesday. His speech was fine was far as it went — but that wasn’t very far. It felt very conventional, a bit rote and obligational, like Reagan on an off day, doing a state fair stopoff on the way to the Western White House.

What I had hoped for was a passionate, engaged address that tackled political correctness in the same was as did his race speech during the campaign, which I think was his high point during that time. It was a terrific speech that I think moved both him and the country forward. (Look inside the Army, Mr. President, and  you will find “Ashleys” everywhere.)

Didn’t happen. This was a treading water speech. “We must pay tribute to their stories?” That feels to me more like the work of a desperate speechwriter than an inspired, transformational president.

Yikes. Then again, here’s Slate reporter John Dickerson:

President Obama’s speech at Fort Hood, Texas, was a small masterpiece—less than 15 minutes—in part because it was so modest. The president had great material and he knew not to get in its way.

Full disclosure: The hardworking staff has yet to actually see the speech.

But we’re already conflicted about how good it was.

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