“I know they feel like there is a black hole in their chest that they are being drawn into and that it never gets better,” he said. “But our prayers are with you. And I assure you, the one you lost will always be with you, always with you. “
The president’s ability to show empathy towards those who suffer is in contrast to Mr Trump, who struggled to convey a sense of somber support at such moments. (His thumbs-up grinning photo in a hospital after a mass shooting in El Paso sparked a backlash of angry comments about his visit.) Mr Biden frequently accused him during a grief-stricken pandemic campaign Opponent of having no real empathy for those who suffer.
Mr Biden also accused his predecessor of accepting and fueling the racial struggle that has upset the country and sparked acts of violence like the one that broke out in Atlanta on Tuesday. It was Mr. Trump’s response to racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 – and especially his comment on “good people” among the white supremacist rioters – that motivated him to run for president, Mr. Biden has often said .
Moments of grief after mass shootings can be particularly challenging for any president. You need the ability to comfort those who mourn the loss of loved ones while offering optimism and hope to a nation that is often badly shaken by the horror of what has just happened.
In 2012, after 20 young children were killed by an armed man in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama concluded his remarks at a memorial service by slowly reading their names one by one while some in the audience wept.
Three years later, after finishing his eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was shot along with eight others while studying the Bible in a church in Charleston, SC, Mr. Obama sang “Amazing Grace” and made the church do his Feet and touch the heart of the land.
Similar to this moment, Mr. Biden is now facing not only a cruel rampage, but also an episode marked by racist tensions. And, like during Mr. Obama’s tenure, the words of empathy will be followed by difficult questions about what the federal government can or should do to prevent the tragic scene from recurring again.
Sabrina Tavernise Contribution to reporting.