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Obama turns the page, looks forward to second term

Posted: January 21, 2013 - 9:00pm
President Barack Obama speaks at his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  AP
AP
President Barack Obama speaks at his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON — Turning the page on years of war and recession, President Barack Obama summoned a divided nation Monday to act with “passion and dedication” to broaden equality and prosperity at home, nurture democracy around the world and combat global warming as he embarked on a second term before a vast and cheering crowd that spilled down the historic National Mall.

“America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands,” the 44th president declared in a second inaugural address that broke new ground by assigning gay rights a prominent place in the wider struggle for equality for all.

In a unity plea to politicians and the nation at large, he called for “collective action” to confront challenges and said, “Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time — but it does require us to act in our time.”

Elected four years ago as America’s first black president, Obama spoke from specially constructed flag-bedecked stands outside the Capitol after reciting oath of office that all presidents have uttered since the nation’s founding.

The events highlighted a day replete with all the fanfare that a security-minded capital could muster — from white-gloved Marine trumpeters who heralded the arrival of dignitaries on the inaugural stands to the mid-winter orange flowers that graced the tables at a traditional lunch with lawmakers inside the Capitol.

The weather was relatively warm, in the mid-40s, and while the crowd was not as large as on Inauguration Day four years ago, it was estimated at up to 1 million.

Big enough that he turned around as he was leaving the inaugural stands to savor the view one final time.

“I’m not going to see this again,” said the man whose political career has been meteoric — from the Illinois Legislature to the U.S. Senate and the White House before marking his 48th birthday.

On a day of renewal for democracy, everyone seemed to have an opinion, and many seemed eager to share it.

“I’m just thankful that we’ve got another four years of democracy that everyone can grow in,” said Wilbur Cole, 52, a postman from suburban Memphis, Tenn., who spent part of the day visiting the civil rights museum there at the site where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

The inauguration this year shared the day with King’s birthday holiday, and the president used a Bible that had belonged to the civil rights leader for the swearing-in, along with a second one that been Abraham Lincoln’s. The president also paused inside the Capitol Rotunda to gaze at a dark bronze statue of King.

Others watching at a distance were less upbeat than Cole. Frank Pinto, 62, and an unemployed construction contractor, took in the inaugural events on television at a bar in Hartford, Conn. He said because of the president’s policies, “My grandkids will be in debt and their kids will be in debt.”

The tone was less overtly political in the nation’s capital, where bipartisanship was on the menu in the speechmaking and at the congressional lunch.

“Congratulations and Godspeed,” House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, said to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as he presented them with flags that had flown atop the Capitol.

Outside, the Inaugural Parade took shape, a reflection of American musicality and diversity that featured military units, bands, floats, the Chinese American Community Center Folk Dance Troupe from Hockessin, Del., and the Isiserettes Drill & Drum Corps from Des Moines, Iowa.

The crowds were several rows deep along parts of the route, and security was intense. More than a dozen vehicles flanked the president’s limousine as it rolled down Pennsylvania Avenue, and several agents walked alongside on foot.

As recent predecessors have, the president emerged from his car and walked several blocks on foot. His wife, Michelle, was with him, and the two held hands while acknowledging the cheers from well-wishers during two separate strolls along the route.

A short time later, accompanied by their children and the vice president and his family, the first couple settled in to view the parade from a reviewing stand built in front of the White House.

A pair of nighttime inaugural balls completed the official proceedings, with a guest line running into the tens of thousands.

Obama addressed cheering crowds at the Commander in Chief Ball, speaking by video to thank a group of troops in southern Afghanistan. Then he introduced his “date,” Michelle Obama, who danced with her husband in a ruby chiffon and velvet gown while Jennifer Hudson sang “Let’s Stay Together.”

In his brief, 18-minute speech, Obama did not dwell on the most pressing challenges of the past four years. He barely mentioned the struggle to reduce the federal deficit, a fight that has occupied much of his and Congress’ time and promises the same in months to come.

He spoke up for the poor — “Our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it” — and for those on the next-higher rung — “We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.” The second reference echoed his calls from the presidential campaign that catapulted him to re-election

“A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun,” said the president who presided over the end to the U.S. combat role in Iraq, set a timetable for doing the same in Afghanistan and took office when the worst recession in decades was still deepening.

“We will support democracy from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom,” he said in a relatively brief reference to foreign policy.

The former community organizer made it clear he views government as an engine of progress. While that was far from surprising for a Democrat, his emphasis on the need to combat global climate change was unexpected, as was his firm new declaration of support for full gay rights.

His speech hinted only barely at issues likely to spark opposition from Republicans who hold power in the House.

He defended Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as programs that “do not make us a nation of takers; they free is to take the risks that made this country great.”

He referred briefly to making “the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit,” a rhetorical bow to a looming debate in which Republicans are seeking spending cuts in health care programs to slow the rise in a $16.4 trillion national debt.

He also cited a need for legislation to ease access to voting, an issue of particular concern to minority groups, and to immigration reform and gun-control legislation that he is expected to go into at length in his State of the Union speech on Feb. 12.

But his speech was less a list of legislative proposals than a plea for tackling challenges.

“We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect,” he said, and today’s “victories will only be partial.”

There was some official business conducted during the day.

Moments after being sworn in, the president signed nomination papers for four new appointees to his Cabinet, Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state, White House chief of staff Jacob Lew to be treasury secretary, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary and White House adviser John Brennan to head the CIA.

Associated Press writers Larry Margasak, Darlene Superville, Donna Cassata, Alan Fram, Andrew Taylor, Stephen Ohlemacher, Jim Kuhnhenn, Julie Pace, Tom Ritchie and Tracy Brown, in Washington; Adrian Santz in Memphis, Tenn., and Stephen Singer in Hartford, Conn., contributed to this story.

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Norseman
2957
Points
Norseman 01/22/13 - 09:49 am
1
2
Very proud to be an American

Very proud to be an American and watch President Obama begin his secnd term.

We need to get congress and the senate to do what we sent them there to do and this is get something done and quit the devisiveness that is paralyzing our country.

The records show we have the worst congress since the birth of our nation. Time for the politicans to stop catering to the lobbyists, corporations, mega millionaires, and worrying about getting reelected. Instead, begin to work together like the rest of us who work for a living have to do.

If any of us ran a household or worked in our jobs like congress does, we all would be living under a bridge kicking an empty can around.

We have many issues facing us as a country, but let's work together instead of tearing each other apart.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 01/22/13 - 11:38 am
0
1
Also Very Proud to be American

I'm also Very Proud to be an America with Freedoms to WARN my fellow Americans to watch Prez. BO continue his Dream of Fundamentally Changing America into a Global Citizenry for a Union One World Order.
We will not get the senate or congress to do anything as they are a Divided House, just as WE THE PEOPLE are Divided and as Gods word says "a house Divided will not stand."
Yes the records do show that we have the WORST congress & president since our birth as a Soveriegn Nation, and it's only gonna get worse this catering to money and Obama is one of the worst at doing so nonstop.
Yepper those of us that have some common sence can read the written WARNINGS of we can't keep going on spending the way we are, so we had better start preparing for a national collapse from an Economic crash, dragging all the world down with us, just as they have planned to do.
I agree we need to stop infighting and dividing the nation, state or local community. The question is how can this be done when there are TWO DIFFERANT sides in this Spiritual Battle for the souls of mankind?
We can't have it both ways forever, Good & Evil side by side working for their desired End Dreams, now can we?
Not wanting to be a bummer dude, but, what we saw yesterday was a Messianic speach of more of the same, only with gr8r vengence and push Foreward this time from your chosen one, OUR President Obama, not a Uniter, but Divider and distroyer of all.
History shows that EVERYTHING Obama has done has had an End Game result of driving us deeper into moral as well as economic bankruptcy as a Soveriegn Nation of Free people who use to depend upon God and selves for our survival as we worked and prayed side by side in support of our gr8 nation.
We are a house DIVIDED and we will fall, so the thing is will you continue to be mislead by messiah and his followers who say everythings gonna be ok, just follow our leader? Or will you see the light of reality and start preparing for earthly as well as eternal survival at this the End of an Era for America and all the world?
DON'T BE DUPED BY WORDS OF SUPPOSED PATRIOTISM BY FALSE PROPHETS & MESSIAHS WHO SEEK OUR DEMISE AND SOVERIEGN RIGHTS AS A FREE PEOPLE.
TWO SIDES to ever issue and many are lead astray out of ingnorance and not really seeking our own wisdom for decission making as individuals who when all is said and done must stand alone and give an account to the Judge of all, for things we did, or did not do as individuals.
God help us ALL as we go Foreward off the cliff of dispare following these Power Hungry Pied Pipers.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 01/22/13 - 12:06 pm
0
1
Turned Page in SAME BOOK

Please allow me to state right up front i DO NOT, DO NOT, hate OUR President. If i truly Believe that my God is in absolute control of all rulers who rise to power in accordance with his, Gods Good pleasure, then the very same also applies to OUR Prez BO.
For just a times as this is why BO is president again to GET-R-DONE his Dream of a Global Citizenry with America involved, actually leading the way when our Dollar crashes and all the worlds economies crash due to that and all people cry out for a savior, the False savior will arise for the End times 7 yr Global Government.
Many can see & many can't see what i see even if they are Bible readers due to their being blinded by the god of this present evil worlds systems, of which Obama belongs and is working for nonstop drawing people away into a flase hope and change to believe in.
We are at the End of the Age, Era of time as many others have WARNED, we are not at the End of the World or history of mankind like hollywood and others tried to say we were.
Always before New can start to grow there has to be the distruction of the old by some means of distruction.
Thats what we see happening now with this Fundamental Change thingy, the distruction of the old, for the growth of the New, only thing is this new is not gonna last very long and in fact must also be destroyed for the Good New to grow.
Once again i DO NOT hate OUR Prez. but, at the same time i must WARN others that his Dream is not a Good Dream, nor is it ment to be good for any, not even him or his followers.

Same Book, just ANOTHER PAGE from the same book, be wise is all i can say as we go Foreward to OUR Appointed destiny as a nation and mankind as a whole under Gods ever watchful eye, it's not that all seeing eye on our dollar either.
Have a GR8 year and prepare as individuals knowing what is true or false due to your own studies of each, not caried along by hipe or excitement due to a gr8 speaker who pushes his virsion of Freedoms for all, which actually Inslave all into a total dependance on Govt. for everything to survive.

KenaiKardinal88
396
Points
KenaiKardinal88 01/23/13 - 05:28 pm
2
0
Obama, Begich Liberal Idiots

The news media panders to liberals like Obama and Begich.

These idiots have killed the American Dream for at least the next generation.

+$16 Trillion in debt to the Chinese, Japanese and others who do not have our best interests in mind.

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 01/24/13 - 07:00 am
1
0
obama

The nation can survive obama what the nation can't survive is 51% living off 49% because the 49% are getting sick of it.And when the 49% give up the obama lovers will get good and hungry in the cold.

Obfuscate
235
Points
Obfuscate 01/24/13 - 03:47 pm
1
0
Curious

Norseman - I am curious why you are placing all the blame on Congress? To quote you - "If any of us ran a household or worked in our jobs like congress does, we all would be living under a bridge kicking an empty can around."

The Presidential administrations have done nothing but spend far more than receive. The current administration is no better than the recent past, it simply is spending it in other places.

I agree with you, if I ran my household in this manner, I would not be where I am today. Being proud of Obama whilst simultaneously chiding Congress is very misguided. Obama wants to "spend-baby-spend" and when he runs out of money his answer is borrow/print more and tax more. That is the equivalent of you spending all the cash you make, taking out more loans than you can possibly ever pay back and when the loans run dry you go to your boss and demand a raise because you are out of money. That is pure nonsense.

I am proud to be an American, but I am not proud of the federal Government as a whole. If we want the devisiveness that is paralyzing our country to end, it probably needs to start at home.

radiokenai
560
Points
radiokenai 01/25/13 - 07:51 am
1
0
Absolutely Disgusted in the American Voter!
Unpublished

What a complete SHAME that Americans were DECEIVED into re-electing a communist president!

This [filtered word] we have in office is destroying America, and idiots like noresman have the gall of endorsing him!

Makes one wonder what kind of person Norseman is?

Can you say uninformed, uneducated, anti-American who is a welfare basketcase?

Norseman
2957
Points
Norseman 01/25/13 - 08:01 am
0
1
You are ignorant if you think

You are ignorant if you think that ALL of the countries problems are the result of one man, such as a presdient.

Let me educate you a little bit.

President Cinton left office with BILLIONS in the fed coffers. The congress and senate were the ones who made that possible, the president really has little to do with it.

Presdient Bush started out with BILLIONS in the fed coffers, but 8 long years later, we had TRILLIONS in the red. Again, congress and the senate are responsible for that.

The president is mainly a figurehead for us to either point blame or praise at. The real decisions for this country are made at the house and senate.

Now if you want to point your anger somewhere that is rational, point it at the supreme court ruling that gave corporations the ability to donate without disclosing how much to campaigns.
Look at the pork that our congress and senate dole out to each other.
I could list more points but I know it will not change your mind.
When one hates so much, they are blinded by reality.
Whether you love or hate this President, the problem for our financial situation lies with congress and the senate.

They are what is tearing this country apart and are to blame for our situation. Their inability to work together because of special interest monies, or fear of not getting re-elected, has paralyzed this nation.

The solution would be to have campaign finance reform and term limits. One term and you are out period. No more career politicans. No more family dynasties. No more special interests dictating policy.

radiokenai
560
Points
radiokenai 01/25/13 - 10:04 am
0
0
Just as I said! UNEDUCATED NORSMAN!
Unpublished

I believe the one that needs a little EDUCATING is you Norseman...Let me teach you a thing or two!

You are very correct that congress made a surplus possible during the Clinton Era. That was a REPUBLICAN led Congress dummy! President Clinton was EDUCATED enough to know that the only way to balance a budget was to cross party lines!

Now we are FOUR TRILLION MORE IN DEBT from a Liberal President that was leading a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT congress!

I am not going to follow your BX Rabbit Trail of refocusing anger against the Supreme Court Noresman! I am focusing my anger directly where it should be: At a idiot of a leader who does not have a clue on what leadership is, and the uneducated idiots who voted for him...

You see, it is the PRESIDENT who should be a part of crossing political lines, Learning the term "Compromise", making decisions, offering solutions, making cuts....NOT BE SPRAWLED OUT ON A BEACH IN HAWAII TAKING A FREAKING VACATION!

Return to school homeboy, I am sure there is free obama money for you to do that!

radiokenai
560
Points
radiokenai 01/25/13 - 10:04 am
0
0
PS...
Unpublished

The person who is Tearing this Country apart is a communist muslin named barack obama....

Obfuscate
235
Points
Obfuscate 01/25/13 - 10:12 am
1
0
Agreed

I’m not positive that your post was directed at me Norseman, but sure seems like it so I will respond. I would agree with you – it would be foolish to place ALL the blame on the President. Just as foolish as it would be to place ALL the blame on Congress.

Thanks for your education. I was around during the last few administrations; I can remember. I will share some education with you. It was the Clinton administration that set this country up for the giant housing bubble that nearly single-handedly plummeted our economy in the toilet long after Clinton was out of the picture.

But enough of the blaming, it does no good, especially if we are not learning from the mistakes. I would adjust one comment you made: If you want to point your anger somewhere that is rational, point it at the entire Federal Government as a whole. The whole machine is rampant with abuse and corruption. It would be very ignorant to think that only one branch of the government is full of this.

I will try not to take offense to your assumption that hate is what drives me. I hope that you can understand that comments like “When one hates so much” can be used in virtually either direction and doesn’t really serve a purpose during a civil discussion. I could as easily type “When one loves so much, they are blinded by reality” and it would fit perfectly well with those that truly think that our current President was going to be the savior of this country. Whether you love or hate this President, the problem lies within the entire Federal Government; none of the branches are completely innocent. Do you really think there was no special interest monies used to get Presidents elected? Do you think none of the Presidents fear not getting re-elected? Do you honestly believe that all the Supreme Court Justices were appointed in an impartial manner with no one-sided special interest? The reoccurring corruption and corresponding uncontrolled growth in the Federal Government is what is tearing this country apart. They are all to blame.

And I agree with your solution. I’m not sure it would be the complete solution, but it would certainly be a darn good start. It would have to be applied to all three branches of the government. The Government needs to return to the people and people need to return to taking responsibility for themselves and their choices.

The big question I have – Is this going to happen? Are we going to be able to pull the reigns back and correct course before the proverbial cliff.

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 01/25/13 - 02:58 pm
1
0
norseman

"The solution would be to have campaign finance reform and term limits. One term and you are out period. No more career politicans. No more family dynasties. No more special interests dictating policy".
I agree with this. I would let Senators have 2 terms and House members 3 but no career politicians. Family dynasties drive me crazy regardless of what party.

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