Obama ultimately will need to be more expressive than just a moment of silence

President Obama sent a strong message today when he led a moment of silence on the White House’s South Lawn to memorialize the victims of the shooting in Arizona.
It’s time to tamp down the rhetoric, to temper the tone, to stop politicizing everything.
The sound of silence, of course, is merely symbolic. If you taste the marrow of the nation’s mood, the uproar over the tragedy is deafening. Hate seems to be oozing from more and more pores, with more and more public officials perched like sitting ducks on a roulette wheel.
The sound of presidential leadership soon will have to resonate throughout the land in the wake of the shooting that killed six people and wounded 14 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The shooting spree could trumpet a turning point in the Obama presidency.
The tragedy has triggered a firestorm over the climate of incivility. And that plays to his strengths as a calm and rational leader.
Just like Bill Clinton’s response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings helped him recover from his defeat in the 1994 midterms, this episode may help Obama alter the arc of American politics.
But Obama needs to be more than just the griever-in-chief. He needs to speak to the moment thematically and confront the substantive concerns raised by the tragedy.
Oration was his calling card as a candidate; much less so as president.
The time is ripe, Mr. President, to speak up.

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