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Opinion, Politics

Obama inauguration sets tone for second term

Obama gets serious with inauguration speech

President Obama’s words echoed with a vibrant resonance to the estimaed crowd of 800,000 at his second inauguration: “We are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.”

Obama centered his second inauguration speech around themes of unity, perseverance, and social justice. The crux of Obama’s speech centered on continuing to tackles the challenges presented by the former generation fo the 50s, and 60s, including the widening income gap, proclaiming that “our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.”.

Obama’s speech was deeply patriotic, calling for oft-repeated reforms to our tax code, school system, and healthcare system. He wasn’t afraid to highlight the more neglected spheres of America, bringing into focus poverty – a word never before uttered in an inaugural speech – saying “‘we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice.” Obama was presidential, forceful but hopeful.

There was a certain fire in Obama’s eyes and in his words, as if the crushing weight of the past 4 years of slow progress and obstacles in Congress and the news media had been lifted; truly a new beginning has befallen Obama’s spirits. While he still called for bipartisanship and unity, often centering around the phrase “We The People”, gone seemed Obama’s first-term promise of being the great comprimisor. With no more re-election efforts in the future, Obama truly seemed ready to tackle the challenges with the full force of a believer with nothing to lose.

Obama became the first president in history to call for renewed gay rights initiatives during an inaugural speech, echoing previous comments in which he became the first president to support gay rights, period. Women’s rights and equality were also mentioned, underlining Obama’s commitment to liberalism and progressivism. After the celebration and inaugural balls, Obama’s second term will get fully underway, and it remains to be seen if he can live up to the hefty promise of his stirring speech.

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