Welcome, friends. The purpose of this regular series is to promote enthusiasm and action among Daily Kos members. Romney will likely outraise President Obama. However, we believe that we can still win if (1) we can remain competitive financially and (2) we volunteer more (GOTV, canvassing, phonebanking, LTE, ...) .Three weeks and two days ago, President Barack Obama made a call to the Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, and one of that State's Mayors. He called to express his concern over the incredible damage done to that State and to that City. He called to offer his support and assistance in any way possible. He called to say he would be there to do whatever he could to help fight the wildfires devastating the area. Twenty-three days later, he had to make heavy-hearted calls to that same Governor and another Colorado Mayor. Another tragedy. Another response from the President offering help, condolences and respect. Here is what President Obama was doing today:
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON THE SHOOTINGS IN AURORA, COLORADOPresident Obama, joined in compassion by the First Lady, issued an earlier statement, Vice President Joe Biden also provided a statement, and the President issued the following proclamation:
Harborside Event Center
Fort Myers, Florida
10:44 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me, first of all, say how grateful I am for all of you being here, and how much we appreciate everything that you've done. I know that there are a lot of people here who have been so engaged in the campaign, have sacrificed so much, people who've been involved back since 2007. (Applause.) And so I want all of you to know how appreciative I am.
And I know many of you came here today for a campaign event. I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters that we face as a country and the differences between myself and my opponent in this election. But this morning, we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways that we are united as one American family.
By now, many of you know, many of you have heard that a few miles outside of Denver in a town call Aurora, at least 12 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater, and dozens more are being treated for injuries at a local hospital. Some of the victims are being treated at a children’s hospital.
We’re still gathering all the facts about what happened in Aurora, but what we do know is that the police have one suspect in custody. And the federal government stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice. (Applause.) And we will take every step possible to ensure the safety of all of our people.
We're going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time. And I had a chance to speak with the Mayor of Aurora as well as the Governor of Colorado to express, not just on behalf of Michelle and myself, but the entire American family, how heartbroken we are.
Now, even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living. The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved. They were mothers and fathers; they were husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled.
And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy it’s the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another. (Applause.)
It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That’s what matters. At the end of the day, what we’ll remember will be those we loved and what we did for others. That’s why we’re here.
I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you will do the same with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation.
So, again, I am so grateful that all of you are here. I am so moved by your support. But there are going to be other days for politics. This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.
So what I’d ask everybody to do, I’d like us to pause in a moment of silence for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities every single day. So if everybody can just take a moment.
(Moment of silence.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. I hope all of you will keep the people of Aurora in your hearts and minds today. May the Lord bring them comfort and healing in hard days to come.
I am grateful to all of you, and I hope that as a consequence of today’s events, as you leave here, you spend a little time thinking about the incredible blessings that God has given us.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Obama! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE TRAGEDY IN AURORA, COLORADO
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
I had an essay ready to go for this spot, below the mezzanine. I re-read it this afternoon and couldn't get past the second sentence. It was not right for this time or this place. That's when I felt the tiniest fraction of the burden that our President must shoulder.
Just yesterday, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for three counties in New Jersey because of the severe storms and stright-line winds that had recently torn into that state. Thousands of Garden State residents lost power and were effectively stranded. He ordered that federal aid supplement any state and local efforts.
A day before that, President Obama was called upon to respond to a senseless and brutal terrorist attack in Bulgaria. Again, he offered the assistance of his country to "bring to justice the perpetrators." He called the Prime Minister of Bulgaria today and personally offered his support to the people of Bulgaria.
A day before that, our President felt the urgent need to continue "the national emergency with respect to the former Liberian regime of Charles Taylor." He noted that progress had been made in establishing democracy in Liberia, and that although Charles Taylor had been captured and recently convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes, the job wasn't done. The old regime remained a threat to the people of Liberia--a threat to their property, their freedoms and their lives--and that meant he could not quit.
This was some of our President's burden during these past three days. It is nothing compared to the sudden loss and sorrow faced by the parents and the sons and daughters and friends and relatives of the victims in Aurora, Bulgaria, New Jersey or Liberia, but our President must have the strength to help us with all of our sorrows.
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