Politics

January 22, 2013

Inaugural address: Obama issues call to tackle challenges

THE VISION: President sets a liberal agenda and seeks the public's support THE TONE: Election gave him confidence to pursue goals on his own terms

By DAN BALZ and DAVID A. FAHRENTHOLD The Washington Post

(Continued from page 2)

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President Obama blows a kiss as he and first lady Michelle Obama walk on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House during the Inauguration Parade. The ceremonies included appearances by pop-culture icons, including Beyonce, who sang the national anthem.

The Associated Press

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President Barack Obama receives the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts as first lady Michelle Obama and his daughters Malia and Sasha listen at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol on Monday.

AP

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On Monday, he touched only lightly on that crisis and spoke of the economy in positive terms. "An economic recovery has begun," he said.

As Obama spoke, a flag-waving crowd spilled down the Mall toward the Washington Monument. Their numbers appeared smaller than in 2009, when 1 million or more people watched Obama's first swearing-in. The best measure of the difference may have been ridership on Metro: As of 4 p.m., about 538,000 rides had been taken. At the same time four years ago, there had been 807,000.

Obama and Biden were, technically, on day two of their second term. Both had taken their oaths of office in private ceremonies on Sunday, to meet the constitutional date of Jan. 20.

On Monday, Obama's day began with a motorcade ride to the opposite side of Lafayette Park for a service at St. John's Episcopal Church.

After a slow motorcade ride along Pennsylvania Avenue, the inaugural ceremonies began. There were appearances by pop-culture icons, both old and new: James Taylor sang "America the Beautiful," Kelly Clarkson sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and Beyonce sang the national anthem.

Opponents will find much to dislike about what Obama said Monday, for this was not a speech aimed at mollifying those who lost the election. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who lost the presidential race four years ago, expressed disappointment that Obama was not more explicit about bringing the two sides together.

"I would have liked to have seen more on outreach and working together," McCain said. But "it's his privilege to say what he wants."

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Today's poll: Obama's speech

How did you feel about President Obama's inaugural speech?

Liked it

Didn't like it

Indifferent

View Results

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