Presidential Inauguration 2013
President Barack Obama, declaring that “our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it,” used his second inaugural address to make an impassioned appeal to defend the social safety net that was at the heart of his reelection campaign.
Back in November more than 60 million Americans thought they were voting to reelect the man who has served as our president for the past four years. Little did we know that a very different man would place his hand on the Bibles of President Lincoln and Dr.
Michelle Obama’s done it again. She’s worn a Jason Wu dress for a second round of inaugural balls.By the time the president took the stage at the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball to greet the audience and to introduce the first lady—“I have a date”—the Twitterverse was hyperventilating over which designer she would choose.
Inside the bowels of the Washington Convention Center, where President Obama and his wife would soon dance in front of a well-heeled crowd of supporters, Rosemary Weaver was holding court over a boxed sandwich-and-cookie lunch.
The first lady’s Jason Wu gown, the Obamas’ first dance, and more from inauguration night’s big parties.
George Stephanopoulos Confuses Bill Russell for Morgan FreemanOn Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That happened.Biden’s InaugurationSupreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic person to administer a presidential or vice-presidential oath of office Monday, guiding Vice President Joe Biden through the ceremony.
President Obama will from time to time describe himself as a strong believer in the free-enterprise system. Yet these avowals are often expressed in a defensive tone or as preambles to a follow-up clause carrying an implicit “however.
In terms of star wattage on the day, it ranked well below President Barack Obama’s address, Kelly Clarkson’s “My Country Tis of Thee,” and Beyoncé’s national anthem. Heck, it probably even generated more cellphone checks and minds wandering than the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir or Chuck Schumer’s schticky emceeing.
“To form a more perfect union” has always been the core idea animating President Obama’s career, an attempt to bridge old divides, blending the personal and the political.The president used his second inaugural address to try to demolish the false dichotomies that have defined the overheated political debates of the past four years, implicitly making the case that his Democratic Party’s agenda is squarely in the mainstream of American history—expanding individual freedom through collective action.
Barack Obama’s speech was elegantly pugnacious, a fine articulation of civic-republican liberalism and a very clear statement of a political agenda, with its specific mentions of climate change and inequality and other concerns.
My CNN column explains why President Obama's inaugural address is likely to fail.The inaugural addresses of the presidents are, for the most part, a wasteland of howling rhetoric and dried-out inspiration.History has little noted, nor has it long remembered, more than a handful of them.
Here’s what I don’t want to hear in President Obama’s inaugural address:The word “I.” A recap of his first term. How hard things have been. No straw men. No references to “they.” As in, “They said we couldn’t, or shouldn’t take on .
Every inaugural address is part Hallmark card to America: liberty, greatness, unity, democracy, yadda yadda. What people remember (when they do, which is rare) are the phrases that capture the national mood at a particular moment in time.
“History will be kind to me,” Winston Churchill once said. “I intend to write it.”So it will likely be for President Obama. While criticized by some for fictionalized accounts and composite characters, his autobiography is as literate and lyrical as any presidential writing.
Barack Obama starts his second term Monday. Or Sunday, technically. That in itself makes this a good week. And while I know I should be thinking about higher-plane issues like the great arcs of history and liberalism and whether Gunnar Myrdal or William Julius Wilson had it right all along, as I watch him take the oath (which I trust John Roberts has been practicing this time), I’m going to be thinking chiefly about two things.
Have you been living under a rock for the past four years? Well, if you have, here is everything you missed during President Obama's first term. In 120 seconds.
Botched oaths, a lassoing cowboy, $4 inaugural-ball tickets, and more iconic inaugural moments.
As the nation watches, Barack Obama has a chance to use his Inaugural Address to set the narrative for his second term, writes John Avlon.
Lauren Streib on who’s footing the inauguration bill.
Allison Samuels talks to Michelle Obama’s former hairstylist.
Email us your pictures from the Mall on Monday—or just from your setup at the office or at home.
Howard Kurtz sets the scene at a brunch that drew everyone from Harvey Weinstein to Grover Norquist, David Axelrod to Eva Longoria. The Daily Beast’s bipartisan brunch, in partnership with Credit Suisse at Georgetown’s Cafe Milano, was co-hosted by editor in chief Tina Brown, Credit Suisse’s Pamela Thomas-Graham, Mark McKinnon, Longoria, and Weinstein.