Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Where Government Works

President Obama's inaugural speech was a very good one; I was able to listen to almost all of it on the radio, missing a few lines here and there while I was driving.

While he did make a couple of small points that I think can be reasonably disagreed with, his points were predominantly those with which everyone can agree with. His focus on personal responsibility and his toned-down rhetoric in exchange for practical approaches and a request for the help of the citizens of the United States were wise and well-delivered. His assertion that
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works ... Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
was an excellent one. His offer to the Muslim world was also a well said one:
...we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
Overall, it was a very good speech, though without (as of yet) any memorable lines like JFK or others had. This, too, is good - any such lines can come off as mere rhetoric instead of substantial, and many of the lines we now recall were only remembered further in the future. May God bless President Obama and may he be safe, successful, wise, and humble these next four years while keeping this wonderful country the same.

Other notes:
  • Rev. Rick Warren's address was quite good; it was really interesting to have him use Shema Yisroel as a central focus.
  • Rev. Lowery's address was very nice and a good close.
  • I believe it was Sen. Feinstein who was speaking early on who had some overly politicized portions to her speech. It was unnecessary.
  • I never realized how different the oaths given to the President and Vice President are; the President's is far simpler than the VP's. Obama seemed to choke up trying to get through it for a second, though perhaps he couldn't hear Justice Roberts well with all the noise.
  • The booing of President Bush and chants of "Get Out" were tasteless and disgusting; in contrast, the respect President Obama showed, the genuine camaraderie he and his wife seemed to have with the Bushes, and the acknowledgment of the incredible assistance the Bush administration gave to the Obama one in transitioning these few months was incredible.
  • President Bush seemed quite relieved to be finished, understandably.
God Bless America!

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