Comforter in Chief
The “comforter-in-chief” aspect is one of the most important roles of the modern presidency, even though it is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, and was never envisioned by the framers. In fact, sometimes a president makes his deepest connection with the American people during times of crisis and tragedy.
This role stems from the uniqueness of the office: only the president can command the nation's undivided attention. In times of emergencies, crises, and tragedies, we turn to the president for comfort, guidance, and perspective. With the advent of television and mass communication, this aspect of the presidency has taken on even more importance.
President Clinton was particularly adept at comforting the nation. Even his critics complimented his handling of the Oklahoma City bombing, where he publicly wept with and reassured the victims and their families. President George W. Bush was equally up to the task following the terrorist attacks of September 11, as he simultaneously led us in mourning, soothed our fears, and steeled our resolve for the war on terrorism. First Lady Laura Bush was dubbed “the first comforter” for her handling of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.