THE INAUGURATION OF THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Well, that was remarkably short. As expected, it went through themes of economic hardship, new cooperation and internationalism and a Call to Arms of service and responsibility. Note this article from Alex Smith that points to how different these themes are to those espoused by David Cameron in Britain. And check out this great video we just found online!
‘Our challenges may be knew, but those values upon which our success depends – tolerance and curiosity – these things are old, these things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is required of us now is a new era of responsbility, to ourselves, our nation and the world.’
‘This is the price and the promise of our citizenship. This is the meaning of our liberty.’
‘Why a man who couldn’t have been served in a restuarant 60 years ago, can now stand before you and take the oath.’
‘The spirit of service, a willingness to find something greater than themselves. It is this spirit that must inhabit us all.’
‘We can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, for the world has changed and we must change with it.’
‘Our power grows through its prudent use, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.’
On terrorists: ‘Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken, you cannot outlast us and we will defeat you.’
‘To the Muslim world we seek a new way forward based on mutual interests and mutual respect.’
‘People will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.’ Lyndon Johnson anyone?
‘Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience sake.’
‘Know that America is a friend of each nation and we are ready to lead once more.’
‘Without a watchful eye, the market can spin off on its own.’
‘We will build the roads and bridges, we will restore science, we will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories…to meet the demands of a new age.’
‘There are some who suggest our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. The question we ask is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.’
‘We remain the most propserous powerful nation on earth. Our capacity remains undiminished.’
‘Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking of remaking America.’
‘All are equal, all are free and all deserve the same chance to pursue their full measure of hapiness.’
After a stumble at the very beginning, you get the feeling that the more Obama ease into this and starts feeling like he’s back on the campaign trail, the better it will become.
Well, I didn’t expect them to be late. But constitutionally, Barack Obama is now the President of the United States.
Here comes Barack! Oh, no, Yo-Yo Ma is up first. It’s starting to feel like a scene from the West Wing. Where’s Santos?
Joe Biden will go first, as is traditional, in pledging his oath. The oath is longer than I remember it! I thought it was just, ‘ I do solemny swear to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States, so help me God.’
Aretha takes the stage! Odetta was due to sing today. She sadly died in December. But DC looks spectacular as Aretha booms ‘Freedom regins’ over the Mall, from the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, which hosted Bruce Springsteen et al on Sunday night.
Josh, I couldn’t agree more. Today’s events bring America full circle, from the original sin of slavery, through Civil War, segregation, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement.
Wow, George Bush looks frozen, as the speaker says ‘We gather to etch another line in the solid stone of History.’
‘Ladies and gentlemen, the President elect of the United States, Barack H. Obama.’ Who’d've thought two years ago that Barack Hussein Obama would be the President? The throngs are still singing ‘Yes We Can’ and ‘Obama’…it’s like a rally in the weeks before the election.
An estimated three million people are packing the streets of the Mall in Washington, DC. LabourList will be on hand to cherrypick the best lines from Obama’s speech, which is due to begin in 19 minutes.
George Bush looks more than a little nostalgic as he walks through the Capitol and out onto the deck for his last official act as president.