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Obama's Second Inauguration


H.R. Haldeman

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John King on CNN has just used the words "elegant and artful" to describe Obama's speech, and that's a good description in my opinion. Very nicely constructed and very well delivered. Not that high on soaring rhetoric, but with a very clear and thoughtful focus on the themes of equality and unity. I think history will judge it highly.

There were two very, very striking winners in the speech, and indeed the entire inauguration event.

First, gays. Obama said:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth...

...Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
Transcript: President Obama 2013 inaugural address

To put Stonewall in there with Selma is a major, major moment in gay rights. Even more astonishing for me, the pastor who gave the religious dedication mentioned gays! Religion, Lord save us, is even down with the gays! My jaw hit the floor when that happened. I'm not sure what a President can do about gay marriage at a Federal level, but I think Obama will do as much as the office allows over the next 4 years, perhaps in the final lame-duck period when he won't get much else done but might be able to get consensus on this.

The second big winner was the climate change movement. In a totally unexpected passage, Obama spent several paragraphs on the subject. It seems likely he'll push on climate change, also perhaps in his lame duck years. But the fact he mentioned it at all is a big win for those concerned about climate change.

Here's the full speech:

[video=youtube;zncqb-n3zMo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zncqb-n3zMo[/video]
 

meriwether

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Israel is a loser here.

That is, Israel with Bibi at the helm. Obama doesn't like him, and now has a 4 year term with no reelection to worry about to deal with the Middle East.

I don't think he's going to invade Israel or anything, but the comfort blankey of the US is becoming a bit more uncomfortable.
 

james5001

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Another lovely speech. Aww.
A glorified Bertie, that sums him up.
 

owedtojoy

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Israel and the Deficit were passed over.

Damm Right.

He channelled Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and Kennedy very effectively, but he was at his ever best in his "We, the people ..." passages. Touched all the bases, but it was still the speech of a moderate conservative, with gays, women and climate thrown in.
 

james5001

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Oct 27, 2009
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Israel is a loser here.

That is, Israel with Bibi at the helm. Obama doesn't like him, and now has a 4 year term with no reelection to worry about to deal with the Middle East.

I don't think he's going to invade Israel or anything, but the comfort blankey of the US is becoming a bit more uncomfortable.
You wouldn't think that from the policies of Obama's previous administration!
 

ManOfReason

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May 24, 2007
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Israel is a loser here.

That is, Israel with Bibi at the helm. Obama doesn't like him, and now has a 4 year term with no reelection to worry about to deal with the Middle East.

I don't think he's going to invade Israel or anything, but the comfort blankey of the US is becoming a bit more uncomfortable.
I think you mean "to NOT deal with the Middle East" - but then who can blame him, it is a f**king mess over there so it would be hard work and that's not his strong point.
 

owedtojoy

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Feb 27, 2010
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Israel is a loser here.

That is, Israel with Bibi at the helm. Obama doesn't like him, and now has a 4 year term with no reelection to worry about to deal with the Middle East.

I don't think he's going to invade Israel or anything, but the comfort blankey of the US is becoming a bit more uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, Israel is about to elect its most right-wing Knesset ever, and the one most out-of-step with US interests as conceived by Barack Obama.

Maybe an interesting four years in store!
 

stopdoingstuff

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Feb 26, 2011
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Let's hope the doesn't get all soft and let up on the war crimes like some sort of pussy.
 

Colin M

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Noticed he didn't get out the word 'States' during the oath.
 

H.R. Haldeman

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An interesting anomaly about today: it's actually the FOURTH time Obama has been sworn in. Twice two years ago, and twice this time around. Not sure we'll see that again for some time.

Also, he actually flubbed the words again. Or, at least, the word "States". Roberts will be relieved it's not his fault this time though!
 

Porkypie

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Dec 14, 2012
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4,240
I watched it and wondered who he kept reminding me of in his rhetorical style.

And then I remembered...


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Enda likes Obama's rhetorical style. He reminded us of it at College Green. I'm sure Ireland's great orator will remind us again.
 

True Republican

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Apr 3, 2008
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Obama seems to be more sensible on Israel when compared to the neo cons, also I hope Hagel is confirmed as defence secretary, I also hope Obama pulls US troops out of the backward dump that is Afghanistan.
 

Armchair Activist

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Your dearly beloved nobel Obama.



 

Astral Peaks

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A very good speech yes, HRH, but not a great one.

He has an opportunity to carve out progress on a single issue legacy item now, perhaps climate change might be that issue?

Frankly, I think movement on that is more pressing a requirement than advancing gay marriage, but no doubt I'll be eviscerated here for saying that?
 

Sister Mercedes

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He hasn't given a good speech since his terrific breakthrough speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
 

Armchair Activist

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They're good for words.

 

H.R. Haldeman

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He hasn't given a good speech since his terrific breakthrough speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

Not correct Sister. His speech on race after the Jeremiah Wright controversy was astonishing. And the best speech of his career IMO was in the aftermath of Gabby Gifford's shooting in Arizona. Both of them better than 2004 IMO.
 
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