Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The Hero's Funeral and the Orators

Magazine article Tablet Magazine

The Hero's Funeral and the Orators

Article excerpt

The finest of the funerary orations for John McCain at the National Cathedral on Saturday was by Henry Kissinger, and the least satisfactory was by Barack Obama. Barack Obama's was the least satisfactory because, over the years, he has become ever more fixated on himself and his standing in the world, instead of on what ought to be his theme for public discussion, which is the United States and her own standing in the world. Obama has become fixated on himself, I believe, out of a loss of self-confidenceout of a recognition that he has failed to do what his talents ought to have allowed him to do. The first sign of this was his State of the Union address during his final year in office, in 2016, when he saw fit to acknowledge that he had failed to achieve in his presidency anything equivalent to what had been achieved by Abraham Lincoln or by Franklin Rooseveltan oddly self-deprecating speech, which was also on the mark. …

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