Obama Gives Message of Unity

The president took to the podium after taking the oath of office Monday and quoted the Declaration of Independence—while also saying that “fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges.” The speech, which was longer than President Bush’s second inaugural address but shorter than President Clinton’s second address, hit on some very specific themes: climate change, gay marriage, ending the war in Afghanistan, and women’s rights. Quoting “we hold these truths to be self-evident: all men are created equal,” Obama said that it is "this generation's task" to follow through on those rights. The president strove for a unifying message in his speech, saying that “this generation of Americans has been tested by crises that have steeled our resolve and proved our resilience.”