Even the toughest of President Obama’s critics seemed to be impressed with his speech at Tuesday’s memorial service in Dallas, calling it one of his best ever — at least until halfway though, when he took the expected detour into politics and preaching, making ridiculous claims about guns that will be quoted endlessly by gun control groups unconcerned with facts.

Plenty are picking apart his speech line by line to find the gems, but there was one moment when the president who campaigned so famously on a platform of hope and change seemed to demonstrate a level of self-awareness never before seen.

Does the president even realize that, just for that moment, he was genuinely criticizing himself and not the country that he thought needed to be fundamentally transformed?

The line is reminiscent of his 2008 “Just Words” campaign speech in Wisconsin, during which he addressed criticism from his opponent, Hillary Clinton, that he was all words and no action. “It’s true that speeches don’t solve all problems,” he said then, “but what is also true is that if we can’t inspire the country to believe again, then it doesn’t matter how many plans and policies we have.”

Don’t forget 2012 when, on the eve of his reelection, President Obama told Univision, “The most important lesson I’ve learned is you can’t change Washington from the inside.” Not the most inspiring words from the most powerful man in America, but it was enough to buy him another four years.

Well, that was 2008, this is 2016, and no, he didn’t inspire much of the country to believe again.

It was a sad moment — one that passed quickly so that the president could move on with his speech and deliver far too many more words.

The question now: will President Obama reflect further on this realization before speaking again, or is this just a warning that there are more executive actions to come where he was unable to move Congress and the public with his rhetorical skills?