He's no Jack Kennedy

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Barack Obama's speech was watched by millions of Muslims across the Middle East and worldwide. (Ben Curtis/AP)

So I'm writing a story for tomorrow's paper on the Obama speech, whuch means there's not much time to blog about it. That's OK, there's not a great deal to say; I thought on the whole it was an outstanding speech, but also completely lacking in surprise. People voted for Obama last fall knowing this is exactly where he stood on the Muslim and Middle Eastern issues he addressed today. The devil is in the details -- and since no one including Obama seems to have the magic solution yet for Israel, Palestine, or Iran, then changing the tone is what you do for now.

The other thing that strikes me about Obama's major speeches as president -- this one, and his inauguration, for example -- is how completely devoid they are of any memorial phrases in the vein of a John F. Kennedy. I think a majority of Americans like Obama's speeches and press conferences because they contain things like nuance and logic, adult qualities that have been missing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a while. Still, it would be nice to blurt out a "let them come to Berlin!" every once in while. Maybe one of these days, the president will let go of his inner Spock.

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