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The Power Of Words In Crisis: Who Hits Mark, And Who Misses?

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FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2001 file photo, as rescue efforts continue in the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York, President Bush stands with firefighter Bob Beckwith on a burnt fire truck in front of the World Trade Center during a tour of the devastation. In moments of crisis, American presidents have sought to summon words to match the moment in the hope that the power of oratory can bring order to chaos and despair.(AP Photo/Doug Mills, file)

(AP) — In moments of crisis, American presidents have sought to summon words to match the moment in the hope that the power of oratory can bring order to chaos and despair. Think Lincoln at Gettysburg, Franklin Roosevelt during the Depression and World War II, Ronald Reagan after the Challenger disaster, George W. Bush with a bullhorn at Ground Zero after 9/11. They managed to sound the right notes that brought at least a temporary sense of national unity and purpose. After a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a cathedral of democracy, President Donald Trump did not meet that prescription.

 

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