SACRAMENTO - In the cold light of dawn, from Washington through the Midwest, the Rockies, Southwest and all the way to the West Coast, the celebration is complete and the clean up began. The President and his core staff (sans a few remaining Cabinet Secretaries such as Secretary of State Nominee Clinton and Treasury Nominee Geithner with some issues to clean-up before their full Senate votes) went right to work.
There are still ceremonial activities taking place this morning, but the President’s key meetings today include pressing domestic and foreign policy issues. As promised, he dives into the economic stimulus package being hammered out with the Congressional leadership and meets with his military and foreign policy teams to swiftly make the shift from Iraq back to struggling Afghanistan.
The President’s Inaugural Address seems to be widely well received nationally throughout today’s media coverage. There is a good analysis and audio of the entire speech for you, courtesy of National Public Radio (NPR) .
While maybe not the most extraordinary of President Obama’s speeches, there were definitely striking lines and thoughts in the speech. While the overall tone was deeply serious, the tone was subdued and very direct to match these most challenging times.
President Obama’s speech was written purely for the audience of the American people. The speech aimed to settle nerves and build support and trust on the actions and initiatives the President will need to advance. I thought one of the most important messages in his speech on the frozen steps of the U.S. Capitol was the need for all Americans to actively take responsibility in working through the economic and other challenges this country faces. My favorite part of the speech was when the President said:
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
Isn’t that what we should always strive for, whether we are in government trying to work toward solutions, or outside of government looking to support our people, our economy and our nation, whether we are in Edinburgh or Washington D.C.?
The media was highly focused on the historical significance of America electing and supporting the inauguration of an African American President. There were moments throughout the day that were highly emotional and the significance of this moment was lost on no one. Millions of people from all walks of life went to Washington D.C. to personally witness the proceedings of this peaceful change of power. There was unity and everyone seemed to be of one color in the frosty, Northeastern weather – everyone was blue.
Click here for full coverage of the Obama Inauguration