Few people would have had low expectations for Obama’s inauguration speech, and he did deliver; however, as far as Obama-speeches go it seemed to fall a little flat, lacking a measure of his patented passion, inspiration, and lustre. Perhaps this was due to a sober mood or the nervousness exhibited when he swore the oath; nevertheless, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Final notice was served to Bush and a good inauguration speech was delivered, especially in contrast to the sermon (oops, I mean prayer) Rick Warren delivered. Here are some highlights he could have stressed more vigorously on a less solemn occasion with fewer security and time constraints.
He placed the blame squarely where it belongs:
The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.… and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
Furthermore, he implicated his opponents, his doubters, and the Bush administration:
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.Although I felt he spent too little time addressing the World, what he did say was encouraging:
Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. … To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.