Presidents are required, by job description, to give an inaugural address standing out in the cold so we can examine the plumes of their breath.
For the most part, inaugurals aren’t memorable speeches. Especially when it’s a president’s second term and the juice has disappeared like a blown transformer.
Obama’s second inaugural address was a blatant call to liberalism.
The gloves are off now that he doesn’t have to enter the squared circle with the ballot box again.
Obama delivered a percussive defense of liberalism and the obligations of citizenship — making rights more real than Cheez Whiz, helping more Americans work up to the middle class, and caring for those who can’t – red flag alert: or won’t — care for themselves.
There should have been a rainbow in the sky above him, but apparently Obama isn’t that well connected with Mother Nature even though he did mention climate change.
This was the rainbow address, a tribute to the diversity of America in which he included gay rights firmly in the civil rights portfolio.
In so doing, he passionately defended the social safety net that was the core of his reelection campaign.
After all, Obama is the Pied Piper of the needy.
He harped on the founding vision of the country, hijacking that theme from the conservatives and boiling over Tea Party kettles.
Obama conveyed the animating principles of the U.S. as not merely limited government but a balance between freedom from government and the need for an effective government.
His speech was overpopulated with uplifting rhetoric and under-populated with specifics.
In a concession to his Republican adversaries and a brief fling with bipartisanship, he interrupted his liberal narrative with a brief admission that we must reduce the cost of health care and the size of the deficit.
Granted, Obama’s new mandate in this second go-round is achieving bipartisanship through force, not conciliation.
With two presidential election wins under his belt, the commander in chief has a defiant liberal swagger.