CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I thought it was a political speech addressed to his constituency on the left, which I thought was unfortunate, even though it sounded like a philosophical speech addressed to the whole nation. I gave him and Holder credit all week for trying to deracialize the issue and what Obama did, I think, unfortunately today is to re-racialize it.
The first statement he issued after the verdict on Saturday, I think it was, was to talk about we have to honor what the jury decided. And then he spoke about helping our communities, thinking about our neighbors and gun control. But it wasn't about race, and as we know from the trial, race was not an issue in the trial. The prosecution didn't speak of race; the jury said it wasn't an issue; the FBI investigation didn't find any hint of racism in Zimmerman, but Obama reinjected it. Now, to give him the benefit of the doubt and I'm not sure why I still do. Three days in a row, I probably ought to consult a physician by now.
I think the main message of the speech was what he buried which was they are not going to continue, they're not going to pursue a federal prosecution. He knows, Holder knows there is no case for a hate crime. But he buried it, it a throw-away line. And the rest -- all the racial stuff, and the sympathy he expressed for all those who were upset -- I think was a rhetorical fog, if you like, a compensation for the fact they are not going to get the demand that you're going to hear in the demonstrations tomorrow for federal charge against Zimmerman. So I think it was a balancing act as a way to mitigate the fact that they are not going to pursue an unwinnable prosecution of Zimmerman. (Special Report, July 19, 2013)