A Video History of Obama as Consoler in Chief

The Atlantic

Like most presidents, part of Barack Obama's job has always been to speak up for the nation in times of grief, a role he's become all too familiar with in the last year. Known throughout his career as an eloquent speaker, those skills are never more called upon than after a tragedy has shaken the nation. When people of the future look back on his eight years in office, the speeches he has given after moment of national sadness will be among his memorable and moving.

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Today's address at an interfaith service for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings was no exception. More rallying cry than eulogy, the the President's remarks vowed that "We will finish the race" insisting "the world will return" to Boston one year from now for the next Boston Marathon.

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We have gathered some of his previous speeches—three of which followed mass shootings—that are the best examples of his knack for rhetoric in times of crisis. 

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Fort Hood, Texas: November 10, 2009

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Tucson, Arizona; January 12, 2011

Newtown, Connecticut: December 17, 2012

Boston, Massachusetts: April 18, 2013

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