Obama Pushes Diversity and Unity in His Second Inauguration
Now there’s the President Barack Obama we remember! The President laid out an ambitious tone for his second term in his inauguration speech, inspiring hope for equality and unity in the nation. Obama’s 20-minute speech, while different than his 2009 inauguration speech, echoed many of the sentiments from the 2012 campaign trail, especially his keynote at the Democratic National Convention.
Gone was the somber, cautious Obama we’ve seen in recent months, and back is the idealistic young Senator from Illionois – although with a few more gray hairs. Perhaps the President was emboldened after last week's executive orders on gun control -- a topic he didn't emphasize today. Instead, the speech touted diversity, equality, and the ability of the American people to help themselves, if given the opportunity -– while at the same time highlighting the need for all Americans to work together, not as factions. Big cheers for mentions of the environmental protection, equal pay for women, gay rights, voting rights for all, welcoming immigrants. Some of his mentions were more subtle, such as the inclusion of Stonewall, New York – the site of a major gay rights demonstration in 1969 – along with Seneca Falls and Selma.
This is a very different speech than he gave last time -- and I like it a lot better.— Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn) January 21, 2013
Wow. Notice he said: (diversity) doesn't make us a nation of takers... it makes this country great.Throwback to the election.— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad_OBrien) January 21, 2013
Tell 'em, POTUS! "The rights of Constitution may be self-evident, but not self-executing." #Inaug2013— Andrea Plaid (@AndreaPlaid) January 21, 2013
Glad Obama addressed gender equality, but wish he didn't phrase it relationally to men: "our wives, our mothers, & daughters."— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) January 21, 2013
I believe this is the most 'progressive' speech Obama has ever given— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) January 21, 2013
I thought it was pretty boring and familiar. But it fit with his legislative strategy of isolating Tea Partiers from the mainstream.— Michael Grunwald (@MikeGrunwald) January 21, 2013
Of course, the President shared the stage with many other Democratic luminaries, including Vice President Joe Biden his family and former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. The Obama women turned heads on their own. Sasha, Malia and Michelle, entered with Grandma Marion Robinson. The girls wore pink and purple cloth coats, reminiscent of the first inauguration, but looking taller and much more grown-up today. As we’ve come to expect from the First Lady, the family was dressed in American fashions, J. Crew and Thom Browne quickly became buzzwords on Internets, as the requisite Obama fashion reports rolled out.