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Inaugural Address

29 Jan 2013

Inaugural Address

A Washington Post editorial called it a “liberal manifesto.” James Fallows, writing for The Atlantic, called it “the most sustainedly ‘progressive’ statement Barack Obama has made in his decade on the national stage.” And David Remnick at The New Yorker wrote, “This was Barack Obama without apology—a liberal emboldened by political victory.” Reaction to the president’s inaugural speech seemed to conclude that Obama took a decided turn to the left on Monday. Whether that is good or bad, of course, depends on one’s political point of view. Wrote The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, “Mr. Obama was laying down a marker that he has no intention of letting debt or deficits or lagging economic growth slow his plans for activist, expansive government.” THE PRESIDENT LIBERALS WERE WAITING FOR or I’M THE PRESIDENT, DEAL WITH IT The Fix writes, “ … in his second inaugural address, President Obama became the progressive leader that many liberals thought they were getting when they voted him into office four years ago. Couched in rhetoric about the need to come together as a country was a strong — and surprisingly pointed — invocation of a laundry list of progressive principles: gay rights, voting rights, climate change and the inherent value of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. This was a speech that could only be given by someone who knew that he would never have to run for re-election again.  … This was Obama unbound. Obama’s rhetoric matches what seems to be a marked change in his approach to legislation — and Congressional Republicans — since he won re-election last fall. On both the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling showdowns, Obama outlined his position and stuck to it, forcing Republicans to either move in his direction or run the risk of engaging in a public political fight with him. Both times, Republicans blinked.”

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