Now, President Obama is speaking.
"This is a Texas-sized party that's worthy of what we're here to do today."
"We've (the presidents) have been called the world's most exclusive club and we do have a pretty nice clubhouse."
"Every president gains a greater appreciation of all those who served before him. To me that appreciation extends to George W. Bush."
"Being president, above all, is a humbling job."
He talks about W in human terms -- as a youngster, as a young man growing up, as a father, husband and grandfather. "We know President Bush, the man and to know the man is to like the man. He is a good man. He's comfortable in his own skin. He has no pretenses. He takes his job seriously but he doesn't take himself too seriously."
He praises Bush for his work in the aftermath of 9/11, for his work in Africa, for reaching across the aisle to people like Ted Kennedy for education reform, for his support of immigration reform. And again, Obama makes a political pitch for immigration reform, echoing Clinton. He calls out to Speaker Boehner to support the reforms.
Obama ends with praise for the military.
Obama's remarks are kind and considerate. Gracious, in their own way.
But they lack the jocularity and warmth of Clinton's remarks. Clinton's just got that way about him. He makes an emotional link to people. He knows what buttons to push. His instincts are good and he seems to speak from the heart.
Obama doesn't have that. He remains somewhat stiff. A tinge of formality.
But today, anyway, he get's the job done. And for now, that's enough.
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