Page 80 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

80 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY talks about how this was the first and only time that he requested her to come and be with him after a tragedy. She says seeing the horrid crime scene photos left him broken. According to Michele Obama, Later that day, Barack held a press conference downstairs, trying to put together words that might add up to something like solace. He wiped away tears as the cameras clicked furiously around him, understanding that truly there was no solace to be had. The best he could do was to offer his resolve—something he assumed would also get taken up by citizens and lawmakers around the country —to prevent more massacres by passing basic, sensible laws concerning gun control.41 During this time, President Obama understood that there needed to be commonsense solutions to the crimes that were perpetrated against children at Sandy Hook. He was able to put aside his normally calm demeanor and show the nation his heart and the empathy that he had for those that had lost family members. On that day, the crime changed everything about how President Obama handled gun violence. By showing the nation his own emotions and his resolve for change, he displayed moral leadership, showing the nation that these senseless acts could not continue and that these children and other gun victims should be free from the threat of massacres like this. SYMBOLIC DIMENSIONS Every president has left their mark on the presidency and brought their own symbolic dimensions to the White House. These are the historic, mythic, public expectations of the presidency. President Obama is no exception. Even before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, President Obama was known for his empathy when facing a decision. From his first run for public office and then the presidency, he felt that empathy needed to be restored in American public life.42 In The Audacity of Hope, Obama says, “I think; as a country, we seem to be suffering from an empathy deficit… . I believe a stronger sense of empathy would tilt the balance of our current politics in favor of those people who are struggling in this society. After all, if they are like us, then their struggles are our own. If we fail to help, we diminish ourselves.”43 President Obama believed that employing empathy in situations would create hope for the future. This idea of hope became a rallying