For one thing, he's finally awakened and is now followed Bill Clinton's proven 'centrist' strategy. More importantly, though, his statesmanlike words and actions in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting spree stand in stark contrast to those of his number one contender in 2012.
Last night, Obama called for a new era of civility (and, good luck with that, Mr. President.) Meanwhile, the erstwhile Alaskan governor and slayer of moose, elk and god knows what else chose, instead, to stir the hate talk with even more hate talk. Palin accused TV commentators and journalists of “blood libel” in their rush to blame Palin-inspired, Tea Party-generated hate speak for the murders.
In the process, Palin somehow managed to make a bad situation even worse by outraging Democratic lawmakers, fellow Republicans and Jewish groups with her use of the expression “blood libel”. According to a New York Times, the term was originally coined by anti-Semites in the Middle Ages who blamed Jews for killing their Christian children. Palin, who is positively clueless about history, American or otherwise, obviously had no idea of the term's historic and demeaning origins.
The Republican Party needs to start distancing itself from their momma grizzly and find a centrist candidate who has some grip on reality, a sense of history and an ability to project statesmanlike leadership in a time of crisis. What they don't need is someone like Palin, who seems limited to vitriolic, malaprop-laden, mumbo-jumbo.
As someone who studies image and reputation, I think the aftermath of the Tucson shootings reveals the stark differences between the two leaders.
One is calm, measured and able to seize the opportunity to redirect a nation that is slowly splitting apart at the seams. The other reverts to form, hunkers down in her Wasilla bunker and stirs up a new, news cycle with her unfortunate anti-Semitic remarks.
The differences couldn't be more striking.