Undoubtedly many people across this country prayed for the safety of the Chilean miners and the consolation of their families. Anyone praying or well wishing surely greeted the recent headlines with joy. This is simple and pure empathy.
Our poor President got weird again. In reference to the miners, he said:
And the tears they shed after so much time apart expressed not only their own relief, not only their own joy, but the joy of people everywhere.
This is an abstraction of no substance from a man who is reliably a non-substantial abstraction when empathy is required.
These men, who recently likely had resolved to die, were crying because they lived and saw their wives and kids again. They were not crying because the President, or anybody else watching on TV, was happy. At some point in the next few days, these men may be overwhelmed by the worldwide support, but I promise that was not their first reaction. The quote reverses the focus from the victims of this mishap to those watching the victims of the mishap.
This event was very real for these men and their families, and it seems respectful and appropriate that public comments about the event strive to be equally real. This is not too much to ask from our President and his staff of speechwriters, particularly when we know serious consideration was given to adding the meaningless "but the joy of people everywhere."