How far will Barack Obama go in his shameless exploitation of the families who lost children in the Newtown shootings? A short notice in today’s Washington Post hints at the answer:
President Obama has asked the mother of a six-year-old killed in last December’s massacre in Newtown, Conn., to stand in for him in addressing the nation this weekend.
Francine Wheeler, whose son, Ben, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will deliver the president’s weekly address that is aired on television and radio, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Friday.
Having a guest deliver the weekly benediction is a rarity for a president so obviously in love with the sound of his own voice, but it is not a first. Carney told reporters that Joe Biden has given the address in lieu of Obama at least once during this presidency.
Carney also went on to observe that “nobody has a more important and powerful perspective on the issue than the families who have lost loved ones,” which is a curious thing to say. It might be argued that fewer people have less perspective on gun violence than the families who lost children at Sandy Hook Elementary. This is not to diminish the survivors’ grief or loss. Rather, it is to say that their lives and emotions are too intimately tied up in the events and aftermath of that tragic day for them to speak dispassionately about the subject. Isn’t that after all what is most needed in a conversation like this one?
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