While many people have given President Obama’s speech at last night’s memorial high marks, some have been angered, not so much for what Obama said, but for how his words impacted the audience. According to some, Obama gave a speech people enjoyed just too much for a solemn, serious event. To paraphrase Tropic Thunder, everyone knows you don’t go “full inspirational” at a memorial. The key phrase being tossed around has been that the atmosphere was too much like a “pep rally.” It was this critique that CBS’ Mark Knoller asked Robert Gibbs about.
Gibbs responded about as you’d respect, saying that the response was a celebration of the lives of the deceased. However, he did admit that he was surprised that the speech received so much applause.
“I will say that I read the speech several times and thought that there wouldn’t be a lot of applause if any. I think many of us thought that. But I think there was a celebration, again, of the lives of those who had been impacted. Not just at that grocery store but throughout the country. And I think that, if that is part of the healing process, then that’s a good thing.”