Here is what Bush actually called Americans to do:
Americans are asking: What is expected of us? I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat.Video is here.
I ask you to uphold the values of America, and remember why so many have come here. We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith. (Applause.)
I ask you to continue to support the victims of this tragedy with your contributions. Those who want to give can go to a central source of information, libertyunites.org, to find the names of groups providing direct help in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this investigation may need your cooperation, and I ask you to give it.
I ask for your patience, with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security; and for your patience in what will be a long struggle.
I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity. They did not touch its source. America is successful because of the hard work, and creativity, and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11th, and they are our strengths today. (Applause.)
Could he have asked us to do more? Perhaps. But the purpose of terrorism is to terrify people into staying in their homes and cowering in fear, awaiting the next attack. The stock market was in a free fall at the time and airplane seats were a dime a dozen. The hijackers had hit us in the economic underbelly, so asking people to sign up for Americorp or begin registering voters was not going to kill or capture KSM.
In other words, taking a trip or going shopping--if nothing more but to show the terrorists we were not going to cower in fear--was one of the most important things the average person could do at the time. These two candidates need to get off the revisionism, and the two moderators shouldn't have allowed them to get away with it. Of course, they agreed or they wouldn't have been hosting the forum.
By the way, Barack Obama's view of service expressed during questioning, almost to a forced level, could not have contrasted more to McCain's somewhat more cautious approach to expanding federal government programs of service. For Obama it's more about the 'underrepresented' and always has been, and it's likely he'll enact programs to bring about a change to their representation and financial well-being. The question is, whose pocket will he pick to do it?