Awkward Moments at the Arizona Memorial Service

If  you missed the Tucson Pep Rally–er–Memorial Service, you probably heard about it.

While the President made a good speech, other parts were downright odd. (Apologies to those in Tucson affected by this tragedy.)

First, the cheering–which was just strange, and makes me wonder who was running this show. The president of the University seemed happy to be in front of the big group and on TV. These were his students, and he could have shushed them if he wanted to.

I think having the university host the service was part of the problem. Being in a huge casual venue doesn’t lend itself to solemnity. But, I suspect the cheering was due to more than that.  When the President announced he was coming, the event changed from being for people affected by the tragedy to also being for a bunch of students/Obama fans who didn’t know the victims and had no direct association with the shooting.

Therein lies the problem–and the reason for the cheering. Those cheering folks, shouting “We Love You” at Obama and booing Jan Brewer, weren’t there for the memorial service, they were there to see President Obama and get a free tee-shirt.

As to the tee-shirts and branding (Together We Thrive: Tucson and America)–that seems a likely White House concept, although they’ve denied any connection. The University of Arizona claims to have come up with the idea for the branding and tee-shirts, then created the logo, and got the shirts printed (14,000 for $60,000 is the amount I’ve seen)  in  couple of days.


But then there’s this, from Fox News:

University of Arizona Reveals Origin of Memorial T-Shirts

Of particular interest is the end of the article spoke to representatives at University of Arizona BookStores who revealed the vendor they used….”Youth Monument,” a Los Angeles-based company specializing in “the hottest” college brands. “I don’t feel comfortable commenting on the story,” said Nick Ventura when contacted by Ventura called himself “a partner” at Youth Monument. When asked if the University of Arizona was a regular client and if there was any contact with the White House or any political group he responded “no comment.”


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