President Obama made the finest tribute to American soldiers that I have ever heard on Tuesday night.

To say that he was eloquent was an understatement. His call to President Bush was a very classy move and it was clearly designed to bring Americans together and promote healing.

My favorite line was that our troops are "the steel in our ship of state." Had President Bush said that the right wing would have hailed him as brilliant and patriotic. Now, Republicans are saying that Obama was merely trying to look presidential.

President Obama didn't gloss over anything such as the number of troops who have died, the complications of war such as post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

He did not gloss over the cost either to families or our nation's pocketbook.

He tipped his hat to the problems of the middle class and borrowed from some of the right's own lexicon when he discussed the fact that Iraqi's have to take charge of their own country.

He was realistic about the extremists trying to spark sectarian war but declared that America would support Iraq as both a friend and partner.

This was a speech that the Republicans must be wishing that George W. Bush could have given. -- It showed that President Obama not only has the ability to give a good speech but that he has a great grasp of our mission and the values that our country holds.

Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.

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