This is starting out as a year for tears.
Days after Hillary Clinton rescued her campaign by welling up in a New Hampshire coffee shop, George W. Bush wept yesterday at a Holocaust memorial in Israel, expressing sorrow over US failure in World War II to bomb Auschwitz and save some of the victims.
Sen. Clinton was clearly crying in response to her own stress, but the President's tears seem more complicated. Faced with visible evidence of more than a million murders, he turned from aerial views of the concentration camp and told Condoleeza Rice, "We should have bombed it." Before leaving, he wrote in the visitor's book, "God Bless Israel, George Bush."
For a man who believes in a world divided into Good and Evil, that is an understandable reaction, but is there something more in him than self-righteous certainty?
Last year, at a ceremony awarding a posthumous Medal of Honor to a Marine who threw himself over a grenade and saved the lives of two men in his unit, Bush wept as he said, “He was the guy who signed on for an extra two months in Iraq so he could stay with his squad...to make sure that everyone makes it home alive."
As we reach for change in American leadership, Bush's tears evoke sadness that his capacity to grieve for that Marine and his family as well as Holocaust victims never led him to join the majority of those he serves who want to put an end to killing as the means of choice to make the world safer.
Now we know that Hillary Clinton can cry over herself, but will she or whoever else succeeds George Bush be truly committed to sparing American families tears in the years ahead?