The President's Speech: After the Preambles

01/12/2011 01:05 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

After the president pays homage to those who died in a senseless act of violence;

After the president recognizes a remarkable member of Congress who was the target of that senseless violence;

After the president speaks to the courage of those who acted with such selflessness during the shooting;

After the president makes it clear we know of no connection at this time between this criminal act and this disturbed mind and any political rhetoric from any source;

After the president expresses the sympathy of the nation, we hope he will seize the moment to lead.

It is a significant moment for him and his presidency, not for political gain, but for defining what this country must reject and what it must believe and act on.

He has, in this moment, to say who we are.

These moments do not come often, and they are defining.

This is also a time to demand more from all of us, to ask the tough questions about guns, values, and angry rhetoric.

It is a time, once again, to ask not what the country can do for us, but what we can do for the country.

The president unquestionably has the intellect and the capacity to do it. Does he have the will?