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Obama's Inauguration Speech: First Thoughts



President Barack Obama smiles from the podium before delivering his speech following his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States in Washington, January 20, 2009. (Reuters / Jim Young)

Now that the Fix has returned to our undisclosed location on Capitol Hill and our fingers and toes are slowly but surely thawing out, we offer a few of our thoughts about Barack Obama's first speech to the country as president of the United States.

Have thoughts of your own on the history we all just witnessed? Offer them in the comments section below.

Somber and Serious: Obama's address was almost entirely free of campaign style rhetoric or obvious applause lines. Its seriousness of tone contrasted sharply with the mood of the masses gathered to hear it; in the run up to the inauguration chants of "Obama" rang through the crowd and even afterward the crowd was in a feisty mood -- offering mocks cheers and waving goodbye as former President George W. Bush flew overhead in a helicopter. Not so, Obama who, right from the start of his speech made clear that this was no partisan address; he talked of "gathering clouds and raging storms" and the need at a time as dire as this one for all Americans to do their part to make the nation great again.

Grounded in History: Not surprisingly given the President's interest in past men who have held the office, the speech was grounded heavily in the series of historical events that led to a black man named Barack Obama to be sworn in as the nation's 44th president. "For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life," said Obama. "For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth. For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn." The rhetoric was powerful -- one of Obama's best moments in a speech that was as workman like as it was soaring; it ably connected the struggles and triumphs of the past to the struggles and triumphs of today and beyond.

A Break from the Past: While Obama's speech was not the sort of red-meat that some of the partisans in the crowd might have wanted, he made clear that the next four years would not be like the last eight. That breaks was particularly pronounced when Obama spoke of the nation's "common defense" -- an area where many liberals, moderates and even some conservatives believe Bush took the country off on a very wrong track. "We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals," Obama intoned to cheers, adding shortly after: "To all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more."

Race Matters: Obama made clear from his very first days as a candidate that he was someone running for president who happened to be black not a black man running for president. But, in the speech today, Obama acknowledged how far African Americans had come in the country with one poignant line. "This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath." Powerful stuff.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 20, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Next: Fix Photos from Inauguration Day

Comments

Our Future does not rest on one man's success, as so many think and write. We did not vote in a dictator. Our president is meant to lead us. Obama's campaign and inaugural message reminded us to take accountability for ourselves and our nation.

Please help your communities. We have grown lazy lately, we feel entitled to great wealth for little work. When the wealth goes, we looked for a few to blame. 'Those greedy bankers.'

Blaming the state of the economy on them is as shortsighted and shallow as giving all the Credit of success to one man. If we pull out of this it will be because we all made a decision to trust one another again, and pitch in.

That means Republicans, Democrats and all of us that find ourselves somewhere in between.

Posted by: klfulmer | January 26, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Let's be truthful. Obama's inauguration speech was just OK. They say he asked to be left alone for two days in order to write it. It was a disappointment and I agree sounded like a campaign speech. He is a great orator and I think more eloquent words and thoughts were expected. It almost sounded as if it were written at the last moment and without how it would be considered in historically. His speech writers have been exceptional and I wonder if he really did write the whole speech by himself. But all in all words are just that and it is what he does in looking forward that matters. I am a Repubican but wish him well. Our future depends on his success.

Posted by: reneethereseperry | January 22, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

txgall, everything you just said was brought about because of "POLICIES AND CORRUPTION OF THE BUSH ADM." DO YOU THINK ANYONE CAN MAKE IT GO AWAY IN ONE DAY??? IT WAS 8 YEARS IN THE MAKING.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | January 21, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

If you are a Rush Drugball follower he thought it was horrible {SURPRIZE} and if you are a Fox News watcher they was to busy showing old Reagan and Bush speeches to know that the greatest speech since Lincoly was being presented. {THEY JUST CAN'T BELIEVE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS DIED}

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | January 21, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Zvelf writes -

“You want Obama's actions? They are coming: a stimulus package to reinvigorate the economy, investment in green technology to save the planet, health care reform to bring down costs and give it to all, withdrawal of troop from the senseless war in Iraq, a promise that Americans will no longer lower ourselves to torture, and much more.”

Stimulus package – more pork laden legislation, if there is anything good along with the bad that is in there it will take months to be initiated, stimulus should go directly to the taxpayers to be timely and effective.

Green technology – we need to move toward energy independence but spare me the “save the planet” crapola. We need to invest wisely in this area not shots in the dark to solve non-existent problems.

Withdrawal of troops – By all means

Torture – Punish the small group of people that have done it. Don’t condemn the American people. You can’t guarantee that people won’t ever commit crimes.

Posted by: leapin | January 21, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The speech will go down in history and share its place with other past greats illustrating complex concepts with simplicity. The notion of service to our country resonates in one of my many favorite passages from the speech

"As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all. "

Posted by: lexiconby | January 21, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

The biblical reference to turning away from “childish things” was tremendous. The way he once again said it was not about ideology but about what works. He is not tied to liberal or conservative ideas but to a pragmatic approach that is based upon results. You can make an argument that Bush did things based upon his principals; however, if you do then you would have to say his principals where wrong. No… this was not the speech I heard in Fort Collins, Colorado that excited me but it was the speech I needed to hear. It told me and all Americans the time for bickering is over. It is time to make our country work again. It told me we have to enact the legislation to make our country work and we will hold ourselves responsible for it. It is not about hurrah for our side but we one and we have work to do. A great speech from a man who is likely to be greatest President since FDR.

Posted by: bradcpa | January 21, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

To those who say talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words and that Obama has yet to achieve anything... well, the truth is your talk is cheap. What have you done? He beat Clinton and McCain to become the first African American President of the United States! You want Obama's actions? They are coming: a stimulus package to reinvigorate the economy, investment in green technology to save the planet, health care reform to bring down costs and give it to all, withdrawal of troop from the senseless war in Iraq, a promise that Americans will no longer lower ourselves to torture, and much more.

Posted by: zvelf | January 21, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

C'mon. The speech was a huge disappointment. Tired, predictable imagery- no specific policy, no inspiring framing of his adminstration. If I listened carefully enough I think he said it's going to suck for at least 5 years, but not because of him and there is nothing he can probably do about it. "Yes we probably can not."

Posted by: JOBrien1 | January 21, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Talk is oh so cheap...and it can get so many naive people pecking out of one's hand.

Look, smooth talkers are born every day. They sell us stocks, cars, insurance, and get us to elect them to office.

But a great leader is born but once in a 1000 years.

Until President Obama accomplishes some thing really extraordinary, he just another smooth talking politician.

Morning has come and nothing has changed: hundreds will lose their jobs and homes today; the wars rage on; the sick without healthcare continue to suffer; the poverty stricken children are still poor and hungry...truly, a man's words are meaningless.

Posted by: txgall | January 21, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"I will be working with other groups and commitees to get these HATEFUL programs off our airwaves."

So much for tolerance and freedom of speech.

Posted by: rjd777 | January 21, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

What a great time to be alive.

President Obama's speech was everything it needed to be. It's a time to be clear about the direction he is leading this country. No 'pandering' to the pundits who needed some Sound Bite to say the speech was 'for the ages'.

Going to school in the 30's & 40's where there were no African/Americans and only a handful of Latinos, to see our president and his family so embraced by our country is a gift to us all.

Posted by: Hoff1 | January 21, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"But...ceremony-wise this was a big disappointment. Obama flubbed his oath. The "poem" was hiddious. The classical music rendition of "Simple Gifts" was boring. And basically, his speach was "okay." We were expecting a John Kennedy "ask not what your country can do for you...."
As to the speach, I would ask you to get a written copy and read it a few times. This President did a very good job of things yesterday.

Posted by: Revcain777"
_________
Revcain777, we will wait to hear from RevAbel777. Rev, did you even see the speech? Did you see the 2-4 million on the Mall break the previous record set by LBJ's inaugural? Where did you get your talking points? Rush? Hannity? Hal Turner? Greta? Michelle Maglalang? You hated Yo Yo Ma; you hated the poem...well, it sounds like you just, well, hated...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"The only thing I will remember a month from now of this inauguration is Roberts and Obama managing to screw up the oath of office. Obama cut Roberts off, which then flustered Roberts into mixing up the word order, which then froze up Obama, and Roberts got it closer to correct when he repeated the line, but still not perfect, and then Obama went back to Roberts' original mistake in his recitation.

[Non fact-based, bigoted junk in the middle omitted]

I saw a lot of problems and very little vision or scope in the speech."

Posted by: blert | January 20, 2009 7:16 PM"
________
blert, your rant is sad and pathetic and not worth responding to. With one exception: the oath. It has been reported by practically every media outlet that the oath mistake was Justice Roberts's and that BHO got it right and was trying to coax/nudge Roberts through the correct recitation of the oath. Roberts later in the day apologized to BHO for the flub. Think of it as a technical glitch. Anyway, the oath you're so worked up about is just ceremonial; O automatically became president at 12 Noon yesterday before the oath was even taken.

Blert, I know why you missed the point of the speech; you see, it was about fighting intolerance, division, and "childishness" -- in other words, it was about you....It also could be that you need to get HD TV but I have a feeling it wouldn't help.


Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 21, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

What...?

What is that I see in th East??

It's the sun...rising on the Republic the morning after President Obama......

....See tinfoil hats....I told you it would.

Posted by: toritto | January 21, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"But...ceremony-wise this was a big disappointment. Obama flubbed his oath. The "poem" was hiddious. The classical music rendition of "Simple Gifts" was boring. And basically, his speach was "okay." We were expecting a John Kennedy "ask not what your country can do for you...."
As to the speach, I would ask you to get a written copy and read it a few times. This President did a very good job of things yesterday.

Posted by: Revcain777"

Perhaps we watched different ceremonies on 1/20/09. First, it wasnt' Mr. Obama who flubbed his line, it was the Chief Justice, who quickly corrected himself.

Second, I find your being bored with the likes of Itzhak Pearlman and Yo Yo Ma incredible. Perhaps you are not fond of classical styles of music. These gentlemen and the lady on the piano were amazing. The passion which the piece was played with, the quality of the sound, two of the greatest virtuoso musicians of our time, boring. They were in my opinion anything but.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | January 21, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Blert, the reason President Obama spent so much time on repudiation and so little on vision, is because there is so much damage from the last 8 years to be undone. He had to signal to the world that the Bush administration is not indicative of the USA and their policies of domestic spying, secret renditions and torture are a thing of the past. By repudiating Bush he was telling the world that he knows that the previous administration dragged the good name of the country through the mud, but he is going to rebuild it.

Posted by: PhilDesignatedExpert | January 21, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Rest in Peace RIP Republicans. FOX NEWS, Hannity , Rush and Oreilly make me sick to my stomach. When the entire world was feeling great about our 80% approval rating great President OBAMA they were on their programs being negative. I will be working with other groups and commitees to get these HATEFUL programs off our airwaves.
Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter: Sign a Petition
Click Here to SIGN THE PETITION today! Stop Media Bias ... the Fairness Doctrine & passing the Fairness & Accountability in Broadcasting ...
www.votelouise.com/petitions - Cached

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 21, 2009 3:57 AM | Report abuse

This was not a campaign type of speech because he was speaking as the President to all Americans - reminding us of our American heritage, how America arrived at the crossroads we now face and what we must do from this day forward.

He hit the nail on the head when he said it's not about how big or small government is. It's about getting government to work right. Now we need to work on ousting those Representatives and Senators who stall meaningful legislation without proposing any viable alternatives, would put ear marks on legislation,and don't earn the money they are paid.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | January 20, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

PRESIDENT OBAMA: BAN THE ROOT CAUSE OF TORTURE

As your first major act, please ban MORE THAN TORTURE...

...Ban policies of EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND PUNISHMENT... policies that breed torture and human rights abuses AT HOME as well as abroad.

Extrajudicial targeting and punishment allows a calculated bypass of the judicial system... paving the way for human rights abuses -- including DOMESTIC TORTURE VIA RADIATION WEAPONRY that is being widely deployed among law enforcement, the military, and intelligence agencies.

Mr. Obama, domestic torture and physical assault by way of high-tech devices and weapons CONTINUES TO THIS DAY in communities throughout America...

... a covert evil that is happening with the apparent knowledge and approval of U.S. security forces.

And multi-agency "programs of personal destruction" also continue -- what could be rightly defined as an "American Gestapo."

This correspondent, a veteran print and TV journalist, speaks from personal experience:

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/plea-obama-ban-extrajudicial-policies-behind-torture

OR (if link is disabled):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 20, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Today, history and hope became a symphony as our nation’s voice triumphed over eight years of stagnation and defeat.
The Bush presidency was given due respect in its departure from the White House, yet it is now bookmarked in the annals of our country by prosperity on one side, and the prospect of success on the other.
We watched today as a man of color stood tall and proud, filled with grace and humility, and repeated an oath that only 43 other men in our nation’s history have had the privilege to speak. He held not the ego and entitlement of some, but the reverence of a man who knows that in order to move forward, you must tap into the experiences of the past; a man who understands that the portrait of success is reflected in the realization of a dream; a man who now holds the highest position in our land and the future of our great nation, and who is awash in the myriad of promises that he must now put into practice.
He was solemn, respectful, gracious, and keenly aware that this moment—his moment—was the moment of all Americans, whether black or white, privileged or impoverished. The staccato boundaries of racism and class became less crisp today as the chant of “Yes we can” grew into the singsong of “Yes we will.”
Today is opening day for a new administration replete with bright ideas, renewed exuberance and the audacity of hope. Today we join together as a nation of people with blinders removed and excitement in our hearts. Today is the threshold of a future where faith in our economy and our country can be restored; where a new dawn for our children and a new inspiration for our country begin; where the world can unite under the umbrella of common ground and common good.
Today, I believe that anything is possible.

Posted by: xtina56 | January 20, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Speech was pitch perfect for our times.
We'll save the historic speech for inauguration 2.

Warren was an embarrassment, as was Aretha.

Chamber group was as sublime as the Rev was prophetic.

Best part: Bush left.

Now: to work!

Posted by: wpost4112 | January 20, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

As others have said, President Obama gave a serious speech for serious times. The biblical reference to putting away childish things, failure to make hard choices, the need for unity - like it or not, these are important messages. The juxtaposition of the crowd on the mall - joyful, enthusiastic, and optimistic - with this speech was spot on. We can celebrate our democracy and tackle the challenges we face at the same time - and contrary to what one might think from reading some of these comments on this blog - I'm willing to bet we can do this as one nation.

Posted by: -pamela | January 20, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The worst two Presidents in modern history have been Dick Nixon and Dick Cheney.


America, there's a lesson to be learned here:

DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN DICKS INTO THE WHITE HOUSE!


They spend all of their time compensating for what they don't have....

Posted by: DrainYou | January 20, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"So, is Obama officially our president yet if he said different words during his oath?"

Yes.

Actually, by precedent, an administration doesn't need the oath to start; Taylor's swearing-in was delayed because of weather for a day, but he's still considered to have started as president when his predecessor's term expired.

Posted by: SeanC1 | January 20, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

blert, are you posting from a press release by the Republican National Committee?

Video's here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1Yff-_9MZs

Posted by: officermancuso | January 20, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I will remember a month from now of this inauguration is Roberts and Obama managing to screw up the oath of office. Obama cut Roberts off, which then flustered Roberts into mixing up the word order, which then froze up Obama, and Roberts got it closer to correct when he repeated the line, but still not perfect, and then Obama went back to Roberts' original mistake in his recitation. Our president still hasn't taken the oath word-for-word as written in the Constitution.

So, is Obama officially our president yet if he said different words during his oath?

As for the speech, it was utterly forgettable. The Lincoln Memorial speech a day or two ago was a better performance. This speech had some strong gestures, and despite his call against recriminations on Bush, Obama spent the next few minutes repudiating and trashing on core Bush policies and actions. However, in terms of framing the national moment and place in history, the speech felt cautious, uncertain, and jumbled to me. I saw a lot of problems and very little vision or scope in the speech.

Posted by: blert | January 20, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Inaugural speeches are rarely memorable. Lincoln's were exceptions, as was Franklin Roosevelt's first, because they were given at unique times in our history by Lincoln and Roosevelt.

Obama's speech fell short compared to those, but that is not really a criticism. His audience was prepared, anxious even, to be inspired and to listen. Obama gave them something to listen to. Cillizza rightly pointed out that Obama struck few celebratory notes, a remarkable thing considering the mood of the crowd around him. He pointed in plain language to the hard times and difficult days ahead -- something the outgoing President, though he would have lost nothing by doing the same, never did in the course of the last year.

That wasn't the only contrast Obama made on the rostrum today. He gave a speech in paragraphs after eight years of speeches given in sentences and fractions of sentences. He didn't fish for applause by throwing out buckets of cheer lines. His delivery -- always the strongest part of his oratory -- was a pleasure to listen to. He appeared and sounded like a man ready to be President. For most of the country, which has felt it has had only half a President or so for some time, this must have been inspiring in itself.

I wondered at the uncharacteristic sloppiness of the reference to 1776's winter campaign (the capital of the new nation was Philadelphia at that time, and it was not occupied then, though it was later in the war). That slip marred one of the speech's best moments, the quote from Washington.

Otherwise, though, Obama did what he needed to today. He must be aware, as we should all be, that it is only because men like Lincoln and Roosevelt were great Presidents that their inaugural addresses are remembered today. If Obama does well in the office at a time when the nation needs him to, his address may be remembered also.

Posted by: jbritt3 | January 20, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I took the overriding theme of the speech to be that the new problems we face cannot be solved unless citizens manifest traditional American values in their efforts to address them.

I think this is an excellent way of putting the Republican claim to be the party of traditional values in jeopardy, and I suspect that Obama is calling for this manifestation of traditional values in support of an agenda that will not be traditional at all (unless you consider FDR to be traditional).

Whatever it is, I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.

Posted by: officermancuso | January 20, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"I would have loved a wonderful black man..."

Posted by: Work_for_my_money"
-------
You bet he "works hard for the money"

So you better treat him right!

Posted by: JRM2 | January 20, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Work_for_my_money - I'll let you in on a little secret. MOST OF US would like to see your flag displayed, wrapped around your coffin as we toss you over the side... You right wing hate filled clodhoppers screwed this country up. If you've EVER done and honest days work in your entire miserable life, I would fall over in a faint. I've read posts like your's before and they are inevitably from some greedy swine that makes money off "investments", that is - off the misery of every one else, by fraud, con jobs, bilking, swindles. Your day, Go be thanked, is over! You and your like gutter snipes led this country off an economic cliff with your free trade Ponzi Scheme. You assembled toxic investment packages that you sold around the world and took down banks and retirement funds and governments. It was and is a crime against humanity, a series of international crimes every bit as bad as what was done to the world when Hitler's armies wrecked havoc. And, as with that defeated enemy, let me assure you that we have in mind for you international trials before courts that will either hang you or lock you up in some hell hole of a prison where you will rot, NOT some U.S. country club. In the long line of reforms that will take place, in addition to rigorous regulation of all of our financial institutions, paying attention to the warnings of Jefferson and the Founding Fathers about investors and banking vermin as the enemies of democracy, you can count on us coming for the likes of you, removing your ability to wreck further harm upon the people of this country.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 20, 2009 5:37 PM
_________
Great stuff. It deserved an encore...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"SC_observer/ Nemo: why would I have a spirit of unification with a nation of people that elected a man who is all those things that I quoted?

[Incoherent, bitter, bigoted anti-BHO junk in the middle omitted.]

I would have loved a wonderful black man or women to be our next president; he is not it.

Posted by: Work_for_my_money | January 20, 2009 5:38 PM"
________________

"Work," let me direct you to the site for true haters-, errr, believers: teamsarah.org. They are awaiting your, uh, knowledge. Please take your seat next to Nguyen, Irrational4, 37andO (unplugged for the last three weeks), Dianne721, et al. "Work," your hate blasts show how far we still need to go as a Nation. The fact that you are blasting BHO only hours after his inauguration and before any of his cabinet has been confirmed speaks volumes about your judgment. The world reviews of his speech have been uniformly positive, England and France were particularly complimentary. Hey, "Work," don't hate, appreciate. World Peace. O-Nation 2008-2016.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

It is somewhat surprising that the erudite commentator at the WaPo did not spot the conflation of the crossing of the Delaware with the winter at Valley Forge in the climax of the speech.

Posted by: JamesCurrin | January 20, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The sun will rise on the Republic tomorrow.

Just watch tin hats..........

Posted by: toritto | January 20, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The speech put me to sleep. Droning on and on without really saying anything. Disjointed and lacking anything impressive.

Posted by: shd1963 | January 20, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

It was a terrific speech, given by a serious person who takes his job seriously. I don't care about the specific turns of phrase or the soaring rhetoric -- I want to know that the guy giving the speech was an excellent choice for the job. Everything so far suggests that he is.

If you wanted some mindless W speech then I'm sure YouTube can tee them up for you. But rest assured the President will no longer try to do his job simply by acting Presidential. He'll do the work, too.

Posted by: simpleton1 | January 20, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"n fact, I'll just be happy if you all just promise not to invade other people's countries for eight years.

Posted by: kevrobb | January 20, 2009 5:42 PM |"
-----
We invaded Afghanistan because their government were in cahoots with the terrorists that attacked us and we will do so again if attacked again with the same circumstances.

I'm still trying to figure out why we invaded Iraq.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 20, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

It was a fine speech for the times: factual and not flashy. The best bit was from the Christian Bible, about the need to give up childish things. If you think that is a "classless indictment of his predecessor", well, as Truman said, “I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell”.

Posted by: raschumacher | January 20, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was a downer and a classless indictment of his predecessor. Nothing but gloom and doom. People have hope ater hearing him because they need feel better.

Posted by: michellestrong64 | January 20, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to say its nice to see that the US has elected a president who, regardless of his political ideology, appears to have the intellectual capability and charisma to actually represent America in a positive and constructive way around the world. I've noticed a few of the posts refer to Obama as a socialist - as a UK citizen trust me guys - he is light years from being a socialist! I genuinely hope that he is able to deliver some of his soaring rhetoric and bring tangible positive results to America and its people.

Posted by: djcx1000 | January 20, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Simply put, I wept.

Not just because I, a privileged white, was raised in the humiliating environment of a segregated South, but because we have for the first time in my life have inaugurated a president who combines high intellect, a deep historical perspective and political savvy.

His brief speech was chillingly stark - touching all corners of the bleak and chilling crossroads at which our nations stands. He said just enough to confirm that he clearly sees the challenges and and will always exhort us to aid and DRIVE our government forward into a truly modern world.

I am profoundly hopeful and inspired to lay my fishing rods aside and lend a hand. Thank you Barack, you have restored heroism to the office.

Posted by: fr3dmars | January 20, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm relieved that he kept the emotion down. The main reason I didn't want to watch the inauguration was my fear that it would be a display of gaudy, saccharine American-style sentimentality (I'm not American). In the end, my company had a little party in the conference room and we all watched it.

It had the usual "Star-spangled Banner" that goes on several minutes too long with irritating added notes that don't belong. Shame, cos the unvarnished anthem is a great song.

But apart from that it was refreshingly free of the aren't-we-great, good-job-everyone, awards-all-round mutual backslapfest that is the cornerstone of US public life.

By that I mean that only about 60% of it was devoted to Americans telling other Americans how great Americans are and how America is the most wonderful country in the world. That's down from about 90% in a typical Washington ceremony.

One jarring note: Obama said America would be a friend to the world again and was "ready to lead again". Personally, when I'm looking for friends, I'm not looking for people who want to run my life.
I'll take the friendship without the "leadership", thanks ... we've seen enough of that lately.

In fact, I'll just be happy if you all just promise not to invade other people's countries for eight years.

Posted by: kevrobb | January 20, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27: Ahahaha! Thanks for a good laugh! Not a single thing I have said is hateful, but you wish me dead. I don't hate Obama in the least. I disagree with his policies. Look in the mirror to see bitter hatred. And probably seek therapy... you're coming off a little crazy.

Posted by: Work_for_my_money | January 20, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

SC_observer/ Nemo: why would I have a spirit of unification with a nation of people that elected a man who is all those things that I quoted? No, of course I don't. You say I'm negative? I say you're blind. What good is a positive attitude going to do me regarding this 'issue' when I believe he stands for everything I don't?

The people that voted for Obama continue to use words like "progress, unity, change". Those are as obscure and ambiguous as Obama himself. All you know is the economy is bad, so you're going to vote for practically anyone who promises different. How he plans on doing that.... no one really knows. Apparently by cutting taxes and decreasing the national deficit, all the while handing out free health care, which isn't actually free. I am among the most patriotic, but I am truly sorry that the first black president could not be great. I would have loved a wonderful black man or women to be our next president; he is not it.

Posted by: Work_for_my_money | January 20, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Work_for_my_money - I'll let you in on a little secret. MOST OF US would like to see your flag displayed, wrapped around your coffin as we toss you over the side... You right wing hate filled clodhoppers screwed this country up. If you've EVER done and honest days work in your entire miserable life, I would fall over in a faint. I've read posts like your's before and they are inevitably from some greedy swine that makes money off "investments", that is - off the misery of every one else, by fraud, con jobs, bilking, swindles. Your day, Go be thanked, is over! You and your like gutter snipes led this country off an economic cliff with your free trade Ponzi Scheme. You assembled toxic investment packages that you sold around the world and took down banks and retirement funds and governments. It was and is a crime against humanity, a series of international crimes every bit as bad as what was done to the world when Hitler's armies wrecked havoc. And, as with that defeated enemy, let me assure you that we have in mind for you international trials before courts that will either hang you or lock you up in some hell hole of a prison where you will rot, NOT some U.S. country club. In the long line of reforms that will take place, in addition to rigorous regulation of all of our financial institutions, paying attention to the warnings of Jefferson and the Founding Fathers about investors and banking vermin as the enemies of democracy, you can count on us coming for the likes of you, removing your ability to wreck further harm upon the people of this country.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 20, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

So is that government which we all have a free and equal right to participate in limited? Are there things it can't do, even if if follows democratic means in doing them? If your answer is yes, then you believe in limited government. If you believe in limited government then you should be scared of a populism that sweeps the nation with the notion that "yes we (meaning our government) can" do anything and solve any problem. That means it can and should manage my money for me, tell how big of a house I should buy, tell what car to drive, tell what to read, tell me who to marry, etc - if it reflects the popular will. I hope you will rethink your definitions.

Posted by: Rational4 | January 20, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Memorable words of the speech were from the Bible "it is time to put aside childish things". Read some of these comments and you can certainly understand. Also think of the Coulters, Limbaughs, etc. of the world. God, how childish, banal & silly the haters are. GROW UP and get a life! Geez.

Posted by: davidhunter2 | January 20, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Gee Thanks "Work_for_my...." I can see that you really are showing the spirit of unity and progress that we need to bring this country together and get things moving forward. In that spirit, I won't say all of the negative things that I am thinking about people who post and repost negative garbage like that... at least until the next time you post it.

Posted by: SC_observer | January 20, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

work for your money:
you say:
The least experienced, least qualified, least accomplished President-elect in history, with racist, anti-American, abortion extremist, and criminal associates, will be sworn in with the Bible of the greatest President this country ever had.

Back it up with proof of what you say. Are you so prejudice and hateful? Why fly your flag at all? Yet, you will go and "work for your money" under the blanket of liberty that the institution of our Presidency provides in this country.

And the Texan Bush with the Bush family's "New World Order" that they want to shove down our throats was better?
Read up on the Bush family's "New World Order" and what it all entails.
You may just want to burn your half staff flag. !!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse


online definition of
populism:
politics or political ideology based on the perceived interests of ordinary people, as opposed to those of a privileged elite

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"The least experienced, least qualified, least accomplished President-elect in history, with racist, anti-American, abortion extremist, and criminal associates, will be sworn in with the Bible of the greatest President this country ever had. This is truly an Obamanation and a desecration, a violation of the posessions of the dead. Obamanation is a term that will live for a hundred years or more. Just wanted to take a moment to remind everybody that the President-elect couldn't have gotten a government job that required a security clearance otherwise because of some of his closest long-term associates. Yeah, I know, a lot of people don't care, but I'm displaying my American Flag at half-staff today for the dishonor being done to President Lincoln and this country."

-- couldn't have said it better myself!

Posted by: Work_for_my_money | January 20, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse


online definition of
democracy:
the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Rational4- Your chaotic and confused and confusing post points out the need for more funds for schools. You confuse the democracy with free speech and, then, meander off the map with your misconstruing of rights for minority opinion. "Populism" is precisely "democracy" in it's most unfettered form. Our government is a "representative democracy" purposefully designed to avoid exactly that (go read Jefferson!).

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 20, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It was a well structured speech but not overly dramatic. I thought it was appropriate for the occasion and I was struck by his early warning to prospective terrorists.

I did not hear him suggest unlimited government. Perhaps I missed that. I did hear him talk about personal responsibility.
Perhaps you missed that part, Rational4. I do agree with you that it is the BOR that defines our freedoms, not a notion of "populism". If you have a quote about unlimited govt., pls provide.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 20, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The country should be proud of itself. We picked ourselves a good president. Celebrate the day. Tomorrow we need to get to work.

Posted by: DonJasper | January 20, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Noonan, she ruined NBC's early coverage of the inauguration today. Why Noonan would be part of NBC's three- or four-person team at the inauguration of the first AA president is beyond me. She stands for what O is fighting against. Her pretentious, patronizing sighs, head tilts, hair tosses, and knowing nods were insufferable and silly. What's worse there were no persons of color in the NBC's monochromatic booth, at least when Noonan was on???... blah blah....
____________________________________________
It's either about race or it isn't.... why should NBC specifically choose "persons of color" (wtf does that even mean anyway?) to broadcast this event?? I thought Obama was supposed to unite the races, make us one... looks like you still have something to learn about racism!

Posted by: Work_for_my_money | January 20, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Drindle, Populism aka democracy is not what freedom is all about. If it were, then why do we have the first amendment which prohibits the populists throught their elections of legislating what religion I believe in or what I say. Freedom is all about clear, impenetrable limits on what government can do, thus leaving you and me free to live our lives the way we choose to live our lives. For Obama to say there should be no limits on government should scare you to death.

Posted by: Rational4 | January 20, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

President Obama gave a great inaugural speech. But I wish he had been a little more poetic in the style of Langston Hughes the famous Black poet of a few years back.....like "a dream deferred" is not going to hold us back.

Posted by: vs25314 | January 20, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by: atsegga | January 20, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What a great day for our nation!!

In my lifetime this country has gone from Jackie Robinson to Barack Obama. No where else on earth could this have happened. Even in Kenya, an ethnic Luo (Barack's father) could not be elected President.

Congratulations and best wishes to President Barack Hussein Obama.

:-)

Posted by: toritto | January 20, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"From the tone of Obama's speech and the frightening populism on display today, it's clear that our tradition of freedom is seriously at risk. "

Dude, you have no idea what words even mean. 'Populism' aka 'democracy' is what freedom is all about. What on earth are you talking about? Your freedom to be stupid?

Posted by: drindl | January 20, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse


for the dissents:

what are you afraid of?
what is going to happen in two years of congressional voting and presidential action under President Obama; that has you so scared?
if you are living in "fear of what may happen" ----my gosh, what kind of life are you living?

why are you so afraid?
or are you mad?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

'Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS'

What passes for intelligent commentary among the Braindead Brigade. Sad.

Posted by: drindl | January 20, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Pelozi said in her remarks that we're free because we choose our leaders. She got it absolutely wrong.

[Irrational junk in the middle omitted.]

Hopefully it's too little too late and by the Congressional elections sanity has returned and the Democrats are booted out with a vengeance.

Posted by: Rational4 | January 20, 2009 4:19 PM
________________

We know you are pining for some kind of pre-Mandela South Africa system, or pre-1939 Germany. We get it. But for at least eight years it's not happening here in O-Nation. By the way, Big Joe moved out of the top bunk in Room 44 of the South compound. It's all yours, irrational4.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Man,
I just love to hear and read the Cons cry and moan when the progressives (of which Obama is not as much as you think) get a chance to govern. You'd think we're going to march back in time to Mao and his comrades. Don't you enjoy 40 hour workweeks, overtime, pensions, drinkable tap water, highways, sewers, bridges, national parks, GI Bill, college loans and grants, workplace safety, the internet, vacation time, voting rights and way too many other things to name? You know, the things that make a country a great place to be? No one is talking about living in communal housing where everything is the same (think about that next time you pay your HOA taxes, uh, dues). Thank a Progressive next time you bother to actually think about those. You all have no sense of shame and frankly, no sense.
Sigh...

Posted by: mobyminnow | January 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Put a flag pin on today for the first time in eight years. It felt good to be proud of my country again.

The speech was sober as befits sobering times, but in its call for Americans to, basically, start acting like adults again, it was sorely needed.

As opposed in a time of trouble to be told "go shopping" by the previous occupant of the office.

All of us in our small town starting singing, nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey, GOODBYE when the Marine helicopter took the Bushes back to Texas. Please don't let any of them near the White House again.

Posted by: RealCalGal | January 20, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

" I tremble to think what Obama and a Democratic Congress will try to do in the next two years"
--------
The guy has already reached out to conservatives in a real way. He could get the votes he needs to pass his measures, but he wants as many people on board as possible.

Did you have any problems with Bush and his congress for 6 years?, because America and the rest of the world sure do now.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 20, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS

Posted by: hclark1 | January 20, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The far left loonies were afraid of Obama embracing his religious belief, the far right his spending programs. Pawlenty and other sensible Republicans have joined the spirit of cooperation. Israel made sure the ceasefire came before he was sworn in. Mandela wrote to him of inspiring hope. Al Jazeera got off the great satan and is open to the possibility of fairness. The News International, Pakistan wrote an editorial praising him with the hope of policy matching his words. A good start from what I've seen.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I liked the fact that he made the point that we all have to give of ourselves, shared sacrifice.

I think he should have told us WHAT he wanted us to do specifically.

Perhaps that is coming....

Posted by: JRM2 | January 20, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Pelozi said in her remarks that we're free because we choose our leaders. She got it absolutely wrong. We're free because we have a bill of rights and a political tradition that limits the power of those leaders we choose to do us harm. From the tone of Obama's speech and the frightening populism on display today, it's clear that our tradition of freedom is seriously at risk. I tremble to think what Obama and a Democratic Congress will try to do in the next two years. Hopefully it's too little too late and by the Congressional elections sanity has returned and the Democrats are booted out with a vengeance.

Posted by: Rational4 | January 20, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Peggy Noonan was caught off-mic saying that McCain picking Palin was a political joke and that the election was "over". This, less than one week after her pick.


Posted by: JRM2 | January 20, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

A truely frightening speech. This guy is a socialist through and through. I fear for our country.

Posted by: Rational4 | January 20, 2009 4:05 PM
____________

Dude, your spelling is what's frightening. TRUELY? BTW, Irrational4, lockdown is early tonight -- at 6:30pm. And ping-pong privileges are cancelled.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

French coverage of the inauguration was positive. There was certainly the local angle, with interviews of French people watching and a French chef in New York, and with Miss France, who is métissé like President Obama and was moved powerfully by his speech. The small reference to those Americans who died in Normandy was enough to cement relationships with America's oldest ally, the country whose arms and soldiers enabled our Patriots to win their revolution.

Posted by: bdiem | January 20, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."

Gerald Ford in his speech to the nation upon being sworn in as president,
August 9th, 1974.

These words are equally appropriate today, January 20th, 2009.

Posted by: Kevbo1 | January 20, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

America is back, baby! Freedom, liberty, and prosperity are back on the menu!!!

Posted by: hiberniantears | January 20, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Not to vary from the theme but it sure is nice to hear a President make an important speech and not stumble over every other word. I liked Mr. Cillizza's phrase 'red meat' too. It seems clear President Obama intended to set a clear tone for his administration, and has taken the first oppertunity available to do that as president.

Posted by: bensonward1 | January 20, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"The Fix" is absolutely right that this didn't sound at all like a campaign style speech. Had he given this speech during the campaign, most American's would've never voted for him. What does he really think, we all wondered, as he give those meaningless "yes we can" speeches. Now we know what he thinks but it's too late to return the product. This is a disaster.

Posted by: Rational4 | January 20, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely right, jimonei1150. Chief Justice Roberts got it wrong. In the oath, prescribed in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution, the word "faithfully" comes before "execute," which was what Pres. Obama was clearly expecting, not after, where Roberts put it. Kinda scary that the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court cannot read the literal words of the Constitution correctly!

Posted by: dzdorfman94708 | January 20, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

A truely frightening speech. This guy is a socialist through and through. I fear for our country.

Posted by: Rational4 | January 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"Peggy Noonan, is in fact, devoutly rightwing, as she would tell you herself. She is also extremely divisive, and not at all what we need right now.

Posted by: drindl | January 20, 2009 3:48 PM"
______________

Speaking of Noonan, she ruined NBC's early coverage of the inauguration today. Why Noonan would be part of NBC's three- or four-person team at the inauguration of the first AA president is beyond me. She stands for what O is fighting against. Her pretentious, patronizing sighs, head tilts, hair tosses, and knowing nods were insufferable and silly. What's worse there were no persons of color in the NBC's monochromatic booth, at least when Noonan was on??? Fox News (yes, Fox) and BBC seemed to have the best coverage: they let the imagery and the event speak for themselves...Best commentator: ABC's Donna Brazile; Donna got it even if her self-absorbed colleagues didn't...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Greed and Power for Liberal Socialists will trump the hope of our nation."

... unfortunately, the hopelessly moronic are still with us.

Posted by: drindl | January 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

from Noonan's column:

To believe, suspend disbelief. We have been through this before, the flags and fine speeches, the brass donkey paperweight, the glass elephant, the rise and fall of administrations, the coming and going of figures great and small. It's good to put that aside for a few days, to remove yourself from politics, partisanship and faction, to suspend your disbelief, to be grateful that the signs and symbols endure, as does the republic, and raise a toast: "To the president of the United States."

This is NOT the hate filled bile of a Limbaugh or the tripe of some political hack, these are the words of someone profoundly in contact with feelings of the people of this country. And, drindl and Mitchavery7, get one thing straight, Barak Obama is President of the United States, not President of left wing twits or Democrats or liberals. He has an approval rating in the 70's, even 54% of self described conservatives approve of him and want him to succeed. Your outpouring of hatred and small minded bigotry is reminiscent of the garbage right wing talk radio spews forth. In the new world, God willing, there wont be any room for it. Grow up!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Actually Roberts screwed up the presidential oath, not Obama.

Posted by: jimoneill50 | January 20, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

As for OBAMA and his moment in the sun. It was AWESOME! AWE INSPIRING ABSOLUTELY! "If I only had a brain" is a distant memory because now we have a PRESIDENT that actually has one! And uses it... I am a Bill&Hilary fan for life but Barack has inspired me to move past it and see the posibilities. GOOD ON YOU MR. PRESIDENT!
We feel your love and send it back hoping to allow you to help us remake America in ALL OF OUR IMAGE!

GOBAMA!
GOBAMA!
GOBAMA!
and 'there ya go Joe' BIDEN!

Thank you for your tremendous efforts and
accomplishments...

Posted by: Mitchavery7 | January 20, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

to revcain77...
The 35 word oath was 'faithfully' boggled by the Chief Justice...and corrected by the President, charmingly and with a smile.

Posted by: outrigger | January 20, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

___________________________________________________

I honestly hope Obama will lead this country to economic recovery, victory over terrorism, a healing of the rifts between militant liberalism and the average Americans...

Alas, I suspect Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Moveon.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, NARAL, PETA, NAMBLA, the DNC, Oprah Winfrey, George Soros, the Hollywood Elite, and such will not allow what is best for our country to move forward.

Greed and Power for Liberal Socialists will trump the hope of our nation.

It will take the REAL Messiah to fix this decay that has infected the U.S. of A.

Unfortunately, President Obama has been talking down the country, the economy, and lowering expectations as much as possible as he realized he won the campaign he never thought he would based on idealistic promises he knew then and knows now he cannot deliver.

In spite of his dishonest campaign, pure political expediency in his actions as a senator and legislator and deep involvement in the dirty Chicago Political scene, I do believe men and women can change... and it appears he may be rising to the responsibilities of the office of the President and doing the right thing.

As long as he does so he should have the support of all Americans and he has mine with his personal responsibility and helping your neighbor philosophy.

God Bless.

_________________________________________________________

Posted by: StarsAndStripesForever | January 20, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse


revcain:

i can pull out great sentences from President Obama's speech that can equal the infamous JFK statement.

like this one:
The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

or would you like one that is less words and quicker to say???

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Peggy Noonan was Ronnie Rayguns speech writer! Raygun was the ABSOLUTE DUMBEST PRESIDENT EVER. And she wrote a lot of his words! God HE was a MORON! Puuuuhleaze. Drop her on her head next to Ann CoulterCulture...

Posted by: Mitchavery7 | January 20, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

How well this speech is remembered or not will depend on whether the new president delivers or not. If the economy is still in a declining or weak growth mode four years from now, it won't really matter because we will be talking about the first speech of the 45th president.

Posted by: kenpasadena | January 20, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Peggy Noonan, is in fact, devoutly rightwing, as she would tell you herself. She is also extremely divisive, and not at all what we need right now.

Obama has made a good start in trying to reach out to Republicans and to other countries that are willing to leave their aggressiveness behind. Let's give him a chance.

Posted by: drindl | January 20, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

yeah you:

Change everything? Nah, just ....
let's see if I can make a fast list:

1) the FDA (don't forget to take the Prozac to continue a zombie life)
2) USA Patriot Act and how local law enforcement in states have run wild with it
3) oh yeah, the mortgage industry and especially that loan officer that lied and told you that you could afford the 1.2 million house
4) the elected officials who like to troll dormitories of the young legislative liaisons for sex
5) the $90,000 in the freezer from bribes
6) Katrina and not helping anyone
7) unemployment and the companies that like to see you beg for the job, making you feel like crap
8) the Weapons of Mass Destruction that weren't there
9) Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri that are NOT DEAD !

hmmm...i can think of others.
No doubt, a mission accomplished !
YA THINK?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I am very excited about the first black President. King's dream is alive!

But...ceremony-wise this was a big disappointment. Obama flubbed his oath. The "poem" was hiddious. The classical music rendition of "Simple Gifts" was boring. And basically, his speach was "okay." We were expecting a John Kennedy "ask not what your country can do for you...."

Posted by: Revcain777 | January 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Actually I thought the first half of the speech was as close to an utter condemnation of his predecessor as good manners would allow.

Posted by: smuhlberger | January 20, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes - I know you were being cynical, but you are right. Peggy Noonan is one of our most elegant and articulate speech writers. She isn't particularly conservative or liberal, politically, and her ability to capture the feelings of ordinary people would make her an excellent addition to Obama's team in this time of national and international crisis.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 20, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

President Obama's (don't you just love the sound of that?) inaugural speech dotted every i and crossed every t, in my opinion. I was most impressed! And I truly appreciate the fact that he recognized the existance of non-believers in this country, that he recognized that we, too, care deeply for this country and this world. It's about time! Also, I really enjoyed Rev. Richard Lowery's benediction. There's a man who understands what life is all about.

Posted by: lassair | January 20, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

In the early part of his speech Obama said:
"Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath."

The only way the count could reach 44 would be if Obama views also Jefferson Davis as an "American president".

Obama is called the "44th president" but before him only 42 persons have held the office of the president of the United States of America. Grover Cleveland is counted twice because he held two non-consecutive terms.

It is, perhaps, not a big deal if a speechwriter is careless. I sincerely hope Obama assigns more careful people to be in charge of the "football".

Posted by: soini | January 20, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Honestly - I didn't really care who was the new President - after all of this insanity. There has to be a quicker and easier way to get a new leader. I mean this, this has been way too much (money, time, press, nerves, hoopla)---couldn't our time and money be better spent?

Sorry to rain on anyone's inaugural parade, I just had to finally admit this and take a breath. I think Obama will do a fine job even though I voted against him twice...let's just let him do the job with little second guessing and less media hype.

Posted by: newbeeboy | January 20, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

America is back, baby! Freedom, liberty, and prosperity are back on the menu!!!

Posted by: hiberniantears | January 20, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Timnguyen,

Why do you hate America?

I thought the speech was everything it needed to be. My daughter tells me that kids at the high school -- not generally political enthusiasts -- were wowed by it.

Posted by: drindl | January 20, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama's speech was perfect the way it was. Those of whom are saying what he should've added are right in that he could've added many things to this speech and could've talked for hours. His words were gentle, firm and perfect and I don't think anyone on here would have done nearly as good as he has done with his speeches, especially this one.

If you think you know what the world wants to hear, why aren't you speaking for the something? The fact is you don't know what the world wants to hear and what you added to his speech of what you thought he should have said, in my opinion, was just general talk that would not have stood out in my mind at all.

Obama knows what he is doing so let it be.

Posted by: unearthlyjoy | January 20, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

America is back, baby! Freedom, liberty, and prosperity are back on the menu!!!

Posted by: hiberniantears | January 20, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

hey babenemo:

if your so happy to be an American why do you want everything to CHANGE.

Posted by: yeahyou899 | January 20, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

An opportunity missed.

He shuld have started with "Hello America. Hello World." More importantly, the tone shuld have been that "our problems are not our burdens, they are our opportunities. We can and we will govern from our values of liberty and opportunity" and gone on from there.

It would have been far more inspirational and a much stronger message to the world.

Posted by: Patrick16 | January 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The President gave a very good inaugural speech. No need to focus on the presence or absence of a memorable term or phrase. I think this election is already immortalized in American history. I'd like to see people give the civil rights references a rest. And while we're at it I hope that the real journalists will refer to this speech when evaluating the President's actions over the coming months and years.

Posted by: DCwaryman | January 20, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.” Great roadmap into the future for Planet Earth...

Make sure you drop the anti-freedom Patriot Acts and the fascist BAILOUT bills for the private sector!

Another NWO/CFR puppet!

Posted by: rkhufu7 | January 20, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse


yeah you:

i can see you are real happy to be an American.
Why don't you split?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

uuuuhhhhhh what?
The speech was eloquent as all heck.
Do you need me to post it here for you?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

hahaha, Obama is a liar, along with every other political candidate and along with all the media, whether it be fox news, cnn, or articles written wherever, its all deceiving and its all BS. So all of your beliefs have been spoon fed to you too rightdown.

Posted by: yeahyou899 | January 20, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Lowery's benediction was wonderful, Obama's speech had the tone of a bully. Too bad.

Posted by: lockmallup | January 20, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse


uh oh....just heard that Senator Kennedy collapsed at the luncheon.
Paramedics have been called

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It was a "Seinfeld" inaugural address, much about nothing. Hire a new speechwriter Barack. I hear Peggy Noonan is available.

Posted by: vbhoomes | January 20, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I think is about time to put aside the arrogance and prepotence and take responsibility and action. America is the place where an individual can become what in other nations is oppressed or destroyed. We have a gift, it's not a right outside this borders, and we all take it for granted.

Posted by: wilmor77 | January 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

C.C. does a good job, but I think he gave Pres. O a free pass on this one. THE FIRST TWO THIRDS OF HIS SPEECH SOUNDED EXACTLY LIKE A CAMPAIGN SPEECH.

The balance was better but lacked eloquence that many of us were anticipating. If he makes a good President (and I think he will) it doesn't matter.

Robert Dorff

Posted by: rdorff | January 20, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

C.C. does a good job, but I think he gave Pres. O a free pass on this one. THE FIRST TWO THIRDS OF HIS SPEECH SOUNDED EXACTLY LIKE A CAMPAIGN SPEECH.

The balance was better but lacked eloquence that many of us were anticipating. If he makes a good President (and I think he will) it doesn't matter.

Robert Dorff

Posted by: rdorff | January 20, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse


for sure Kansas...and the line prior!

Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to the NEW United States of America. The huge blended crowd that gathered to witness, up close, this important and significant event is very much representative of this great country. God bless U.S. of A indeed.

Welcome, 44th President Barack Obama!!
We have a long journey ahead, but this is a start.

Posted by: Obama2008 | January 20, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

BHO nailed it. A 10.0...
File it next to the Gettysburg Address and Churchill's "This was our finest hour" speech. Great roadmap into the future for Planet Earth...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

oh, and Tim - your time is done.

America is moving forward - you can join us, or be left in the dust of history.

Posted by: WillSeattle | January 20, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Chris: You failed to mention what I thought was an incredible ending to his speech:

“…Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

Posted by: KansasDem | January 20, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

It's great to have returned to an America, based in hope, free from fear and hatred, and grounded in science.

Time to move forward!

Posted by: WillSeattle | January 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Look everyone....Timnguyen knows how to cut and paste!

Does your team think that repeating something over and over and over again somehow makes it true?

I realize that is how you've been spoon fed all your beliefs by Fox News and W's Administration but it doesn't translate very well here in the real world.

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | January 20, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Timnguyen,

(LOL) You posted the same -- word for word -- garbage on NY post's website.

Don't be a "traitor" -- you know, the name all the anti-war/bush supporters had to endure, especially in 2003, 2004, and 2005 -- and support the new president, Barack Hussein Obama.

Posted by: dauphins | January 20, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

(yawn to Tim)))
he must have been talking to Jake. Gee, if it's not the birth certificate, it is now the smoking. Petty, to say the least.

And hold the phone,
who is the greatest liar?
Maybe that loan officer that sold that house to you ---when he/she knew, damn well knew....you would not be able to pay for it in 2 to 3 years.
Oh wait....Baby Bush when he was sure WMD was the reason for Iraq. Mission accomplished brother!

I'm going to lunch for a half smoke and a real smoke.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 20, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Thought it was a great speech.

I've grown so incredibly tired of voices on all sides referring to the citizens and residents of this country as consumers. As Obama so aptly reminds us, this country was built by PRODUCERS, not consumers.

We should banish the word "consumer" from our discourse. It has no place in this new world.

Chris -- if anyone would know it's you...any last minute/last second pardons?

Posted by: rossjudson | January 20, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

DO NOT LISTEN TO WHAT BARACK OBAMA SAYS, BUT CAREFULLY WATCH WHAT HE DOES !!!

Barack Obama is the greatest liar in history (no wonder he is an excellent lawyer!) During his campaign, he told lots of hope in future for America if he was elected, but now he warns Americans of oncoming darker economy and not to put too much hope in his promises. He promises a big plan to reduce budget deficit but his inauguration ceremony this January will be the most costly in history (50 millions) while the nation is in deep depression, as well as his presidential campaign (600 millions), which was far more than his opponent John McCain's. He swears to clean up Washington DC, but he failed to first clean up his homestate Illinois, one of the most corrupt state with the scandal of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who greatly helped Obama to win his state senate seat in 1996, 1998, and 2002. And his favorite slogan is "Yes, we CAN", yet he himself CANNOT quit smoking at all !!! (Each year about 1.3 million American smokers quit successfully).

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 20, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

A concise and realistic address. We are in difficult times, the road ahead will be bumpy and all of us must do our part. Contrast this with the bitter partisanship of prior years.

An aura of confidence settles in over Washington. Confidence in the American people, confidence that we can and will do better and, yes, confidence in the new administration.

Posted by: NotBubba | January 20, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

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