December 3rd, 2009
08:34 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama takes on role as consoler in chief

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama has taken on the role as consoler in chief."]
(CNN) - James Gordon Meek was standing over the gravestone of a friend killed in Iraq when he noticed a familiar figure walking near him.

President Obama was walking through what's called "the saddest acre in America," Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The section is the burial ground for U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama hugged graveside visitors, shook hands and listened to mourners while a "bone-chilling drizzle" fell, Meek says. As he watched Obama, Meek says he saw his commander in chief take on a new role: the consoler in chief.

"He absolutely seemed sincere," Meek says about Obama and his Veterans Day visit to Arlington. "What I sensed is that this was a man who is carrying the full weight of command. He gets it."

Obama must now convince the rest of America that he gets this sacrifice. As Obama announces 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan, he also is preparing to fight another battle on the home front, some say.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. a man who is carrying the full weight of command

    we are lucky to have him, he is the best president in a long time

    December 3, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  2. buckeye

    Consoling families of the war dead may just be his 24/7 job as a result of his order to send more of America's finest to an early death on the other side of the world.

    December 3, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. ricky

    Oh my Kool Aid. Iā€™m truly sorry for the man's loss but Obama is far from a leader or a real commander in chief. He is an academic from a far left political machine who the media propelled to celebrity less

    December 3, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. WordMatter

    Saddest acre in America? How about the most honorable acre in America? Who calls it the saddest acre, anti-war protestors? I'm wondering if anyone at the cemetary that day had anything remotely negative to say about Obama, not that CNN would print it, mind you.

    December 3, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. Obama has lost his mojo

    James Meek is a journalist and this same story has already made the rounds.

    December 3, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "What I sensed is that this was a man who is carrying the full weight of command. He gets it."

    Pres. Obama DOES GET IT. Now we need ti get with him and support him. He chose West Point to make his announcement of additional troop deployment. He did'nt hide behind a WH conference room, a safe distance away from those whose lives he was risking. Support our President. It is deplorable how we're treating a man that works so hard on OUR behalf and how we put up on a pedestal those that have torn our country to shreds.

    December 3, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. All the news that's fit to omit

    Bush did his as well and didn't have camera crews following him around.

    Bush right away went to Fort Hood while Barry was running some ball, ya, a real leader.

    Of course when Barry spoke about Fort Hood he needed to do some shout outs and howdydoos before "acting" forlorn and sad,

    West point "the enemy camp" as most of you liberals think of it, gave him a chillty and tepid response as they know he doesn't really give a bleep about them.

    Notice how many dozed off as the speech was long on the usual rhetoric but lacked ANY true meaning and THEY all knew it.

    The military votes in droves for Republicans and that is why Gore in 2000 tried to suppress their votes.

    One and done, experiment brutally failed.

    December 3, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. simp

    Of course he gets it. President Obama is a compassionate man, he cares about our men and women of the military and their families. It's obvious this war is tearing him up and he wants to bring our troops home. For all you haters out there no matter what this President does you idiots always try to shoot him down but I'm so glad President Obama does not let you bring him down, he is man on a mission and he knows who is guiding him. Keep on keeping on Mr President you are doing a great job.

    December 3, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Georgia

    This is a quote that neither W or Cheney ever understood or even cared about – "What I sensed is that this was a man who is carrying the full weight of command. He gets it."

    They sent men and women to die for the cause of enriching themselves. They never "got it". They dodged (Cheney=5 deferments, W never even reported to Nat'l. Guard) their opportunity to know what they were asking of their soldiers.

    Obama understands and "gets it" even though he never served in the military. That is because he doesn't have the agenda of self served profits and puts our country first! What a change!

    December 3, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    Commanders rarely enjoy doing what they have to do. They do it, because it is necessary. Obama would much rather not do it......but he knows he really has few options.

    December 3, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    finnally thank you for seeing that this president is true to what he says and does. we have a chance to make a differance in our country with a leader that really does care .. we had eight years of lies and threats . its time for america to wake up .. and shame on the media for backing all the lies from the people who hate a black man as president ..
    lets move forward not backward . give the president the respect he is working for . not hate and threats .. we will over come the threats from radical thugs and bottom feeders all over the world but until then lets support what the president is doing . he takes the time to weigh in on every thing so his decission is what we need to back . he isn't Cheney Bush Rove . he is our president we elected him by a vast majority.. see lets stand with him .
    proud to be an american
    proud of the president
    proud of our military
    proud of AMERICA šŸ™‚

    December 3, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. katiec

    Of course "He gets it".
    The burden of war and the decision to send more troops into harms way weighs heavily on our president. We, the arm chair referees,
    do not have all the facts, are not priviledged to intelligence reports, nor have the qualified input that is vital.
    The dollar amount of trillions of dollars already spent, hidden in some oblivious account, the majority of it on the unwarrented war, totally unfunded, is responsible for many of the crisises our country faces.
    But, how can we walk away and let the terrorists win, which is what we would be doing.
    Give our president a chance. Realize he does not make any decision lightly and is trying to cope and make correct decisions on the
    diasters that he inherited.
    It took eight long years to almost destroy our country and none of the problems can resolved overnight.

    December 3, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. Robin

    I still don't like all of his policies, but I do like this side of our President.

    December 3, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. New Yorker

    And the partying goes on and on at the White House.

    December 3, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't think that there is a way to fake that. I am not sure that Bush truly understood what he was doing by jumping us to conflict in Iraq when Afghanistan wasn't under control. We must honor these men and women of the armed forces that serve in life and death.

    December 3, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Clint

    I am sure that the Republican chicken hawks did the same thing when they were in office. See if Fox has a tape of Cheney at Arlington.

    December 3, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Jeff

    You can always count on CNN to run a story to counter the critics of this man; did you also report that 17 of 18 families at Dover Air Force base refused to meet with the community organizer? No, but you make sure to run a story that makes people think 'oh look, he really cares and is a good commander'; nonsense, the military can't stand him and neither can thier families.

    December 3, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |