Conciliatory, but also apologetic and defensive, I thought needlessly. We heard him say that he we shouldn't paint Islam with a broad-brush. Who does? That's a straw man. Did the Bush administration do so?
Obama said "My job is to communicate from the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives."
Well, where is the American heartland which is arguing otherwise?
Look, if he wants — dare say, "I have Muslim relatives," as he did in the interview, "and I lived in an Muslim land," as he did in the interview, "and thus I have a special appreciation of Islam," that's OK.
But somehow he is implying that somehow the Obama era is a break with the American past. Somehow it is undoing a disrespect of Islam that had somehow occurred under the previous administration.
One week after 9/11, the president of the United States, George Bush, showed up in the Islamic center in Washington and declared Islam is peace and extended a hand of tolerance and generosity. There were no anti-Muslim riots in America. There was a spirit of generosity and tolerance.
And, in fact, over the last 20 years, the United States has been engaged in exactly five military engagements in the world, two in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, all of them liberating Islamic peoples.