President Obama addressed a nation uneasy from a day of viewing photos of bloody Americans and did not tell them much. "We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts," he said on Monday evening. "But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this." Unlike CNN, which was defending their coverage moments before the President spoke, Obama did not use the word "terror" to describe the attacks.
Obama was not alone. Most of Washington, where tragedy seems to be habitually followed by political posturing, did the same. Political officials were quiet after the bombings, with no elected officials rushing to politicize the tragedy, unlike some pundits. The House and Senate hadmoments of silence. Official statements were mostly perfunctory expressions of sympathy -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was "shocked and saddened," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said her prayers were with the victims and first responders. That was true across the country, from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Praying for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families #PrayforBoston," House Speaker John Boehner said. The offices of both Obama and Boehner released photos of the men somberly getting the news by phone.