The president’s understated finest hour

Obama eschews rhetorical flair to deliver long-awaited news of Osama bin Laden’s death.

The hour was late, the news was out, and the drama was gradually dissipating.

So the president skipped the rhetorical flourishes and got to the point.

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.”

This was not a time for grandiloquence or gloating or boosterism.

The moment—this president’s finest hour and the most striking achievement of his presidency—spoke for itself.

So President Obama, correctly, kept his near-midnight address brief, understated and textbook clear. Read the president’s full remarks.

First, the facts. The mass murderer, finally, was dead.

Second, the chronology. Obama quickly reviewed the “bright September day” 10 years ago when the world stopped, with a deft metaphorical touch.

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