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What do you think of President Obama's inauguration speech?

36 Comments

See speech at http://www.japantoday.com/category/world/view/full-text-of-inaugural-address-by-president-barack-obama

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I thought it was great, not his best in terms of inspirational moments, and a bit old-fashioned in its rhetoric (he may have spent a little too much time reviewing the inaugural speeches of past presidents), but nevertheless a rousing call to the world, and to the American people. I particularly liked the imagery of our offering an open hand to those who unclench their fists, and of carrying forward a gift of peace to those generations to come. I don't think many expect him to meet all of the lofty expectations built up around his candidacy, but I am confident he will govern with every bit of the intellect, honesty, and compassion he has shown throughout the election and the subsequent transition process.

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"I thank President Bush for his service to our nation" this courtesy statement should have appeared in the end not in the begining. Obama is a good speaker but his inauguration speech sounds 'theoretical'.

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Haven't heard it. Was it good?

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Loved it. The speech 'could' have been a repeat of his past inspirational "Hope" speeches, but instead it was: A line-by-line indictment of the bush years; A warning of the tough times ahead; And a reference to 1 Corinthians that instantly put any potential obstructionists on notice.

He is a brilliant orator.

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Hope over fear. Well said President Obama!

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I was actually not that impressed, I thought his speech on election night was a lot better. I would agree that he is a very good orator, but perhaps he was a little too nervous. Let's face it, he was not the only one. The Chief Justice also seemed a bit nervous, fluffing his lines.

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I waited up, and I thought it was kind of sensible and uninspiring.

I liked the centerism (goverment if it works, the good and bad of the free market).

The "America to lead the world again" bit a downer though. I wish America would stop thinking that the rest of the world wants a leader, and just avoid making a mess up of things.

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oh yeah! He has a great speech writer. I wonder how long it took him to memorize it. It always amazes how gulible people are in believing political speeches. How much of it do you actually believe he wrote? 2%?

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Sort of anti-climatic. I was hoping for more punch, something to match the crowds that came to hear him speak. Good speech, but also a bit flat. He does speak well, especially comparing with Bush.

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I waited up to watch the whole thing. It was impressive, because Obama is an impressive man. I was impressed that he took the Oath with his hand on the Lincoln Bible, thus recognising that there is a Greater Power than himself. That in itself is true greatness. I was impressed by his choice of people who took part - including the Pastor who offered a beautiful prayer, despite the hate directed against him by certain liberals. I was also impressed by Obama`s Speech. Not his best, but memorable for its content, nonetheless. Lets hope that he can change America, and lets pray for this potentially great leader of the Free World. He will need our prayers in the days ahead.

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I think the speech was quite OK, he 'changes' America back to the 'old days" ,the time when America was once "great", it is fine by me. And also he showed a very good consideration when the chief justice made a mistake( this chief justice ,I heard ,that he never voted for Obama and also Obama never voted for him).

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"I wish America would stop thinking that the rest of the world wants a leader, and just avoid making a mess up of things"

We will as soon as the world stops asking us to lead. If you can't look beyond Iraq, then you are blind. We have done so much for so many, but as soon as we go astray, the world gets it's undies in a bunch.

We will not be the world's whipping boy forever...

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"And also he showed a very good consideration when the chief justice made a mistake"

Actually, it was Obama that made the first mistake - which threw off Roberts. Obama jumped in too soon repeating his name before Roberts could continue - which is how it is rehearsed.

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"I wish America would stop thinking that the rest of the world wants a leader, and just avoid making a mess up of things"

But just look at the enthusiasm shown by the non-Americans here.

So if we hold it natural that the US is the defacto leader you can easily see how Americans residing in the Nifty Fifty have come to think that with all the gushing in the int'l press (not to mention the presence of millions from beyond our borders who have illegally invaded our country) the rest of the world still expects, nay, demands that we lead.

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Wazza

well now that the US looks like it actually has a leader(last 8 you didnt sorry just true)lets hope for some improvement which is needed.

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Obama's speech was not the best of all times, but is full of hope and it seems that he will put the house in order. Spite of this, Obama represent the minorities in USA, I'm not american but I've worked there and I'm sure black, latin, asian, arabic and all the races in USA are more than happy for his election. The world and USA will not be the same since yesterday.

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Actually it was the chief justice that made the errors, not Obama.

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Speech are all great and grand but run hallow if no actions come from them. I do not believe that the Presidency would be easy for the next person to take the lead. There are many things that need to be addressed and not so much breathing room for mistakes. The learning curb needs to be fast as the issues are many.

Medicine sometimes taste very bitter, it will be up the President to see if he can easy the bitterness or at least strenghten the will of us who have to take it.

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IN reference to the oath before the inaugural address:

Minneapolis Star Tribune: "..a lunch in the Capitol, Roberts- performing his first inauguration. chatted briefly with Obama and appeared to take responsibility for the error.."

AFP: "In Obama's first luncheon as president, the affable Roberts appeared to apologize, prompting laughter and a handshake from Obama."

So, even Roberts knew it was Roberts. Case closed.

But getting back to the address, it definitely differed from his previous speeches in that it was more confrontational of bush's policies. America's off-the-books unemployment rate might be as high as 20%. We're in real trouble over here, and I would hope that everyone hopes he succeeds. Because when he succeeds, we succeed.

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Wonder how long it took him to memorize it. It always amazes how gulible people are in believing political speeches. How much of it do you actually believe he wrote? 2%?

From what I've read and heard, he probably wrote 90% of it and his speech writer(s) assisted. Obama was the law review editor at Harvard and that position alone requires immense writing skills. And he didn't have to memorize it because, unlike an unnamed former US president, Obama can read. (the teleprompter).

As to the content, I thought it was not as inspiring as I had hoped but it covered all the bases. My favorite line was about 'getting science back to its proper place' in American society.

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I voted for President Obama because I have great hopes for him and the United States. He was not my first choice however. At first, I switched parties to try to get Dr. Ron Paul on the presidential slate. When I saw that he could not make it, I switched back to Democrat so as not to waste my vote. I have a wait-and-see attitude. I, for one will be patient and tolerant. I think that President Obama's speech addresses many of our hopes and fears. God willing, he will be able to carry out his objectives.

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@JapanHusker: By the way, you mention about looking beyond Iraq, but have you ever looked BEFORE Iraq? I remember that some of your allies warned you about the danger of starting a war in Iraq... and the only thing you have done was ignoring them, and even worst, insulting them. So now we could say: deal with YOUR mess!! Who's the troublemaker and the "whipping boy" right now??

I really hope that Obama will change the mentality of some American people who see no problem in stating that the United States are meant to lead the World. (In fact, thinking about it, I remember a small guy wearing a moustache speaking exactly the same way...)

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williamsmith,

When compared to George Bush, Homer Simpson is a GREAT SPEAKER! I voted for Obama in hopes that America can return to a place of honor among nations. We are not, and should not be a world "dominator". America should set an example by maintaining the highest standards for itself as a nation. We should not impose our type of government, our religious beliefs, or our way of life on others. We should respect the customs and cultures of others and encourage everyone to join together in their own way towards a common goal of peace.

There, enough of my soapbox preaching! Go luck Mr. President!

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Speech wasn't a mover in a real sense. Been reiterating the same type of things through the campaign. Honestly though , the idea of responsibility that was a theme seemed a bit boring but I guess that is the parlance of politics.

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It was a good speech. When the conservative home school the kids guy said "he sounds like a Republican" I figured Obama had covered all the bases.

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in terms of inauguration speeches, i think mr. obama's ranks behind:

JFK's FDR's MLK's (ha ha ha ... ok, so it wasn't an inaguration speech but, it was very inspiring).

his memorization, delivery and evocation were excellent. perhaps, the best among 20th century presidents of the U.S.A. the worst 3, you ask?

GWB's RWR's GWHB's

ha ha ha ... what do these 3 men have in common? republican moderators, please feel free to exercise your partisanship in erasing my comments. you know you will.

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This was the first time in my life that I have voted Democrat. Not because of the racial issue but due to the fact that I really think Obama can help mend strained relation with other countries that the last administration tried so hard to destroy. The economy will eventually stabilize and grow again it comes in cycles. Obama will have a huge task ahead of him but the quicker we get the economy running smoothly the faster the world will catch up. Our economies are so intertwined that if one fails it drags down all the others. Obama carries the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans as well as millions from around the world. I pray that he has the strength and willpower to make the world a better place, and soon... I want to visit Japan some day, and it won’t happen with this economy. Japan is one of the safest places on the planet and I hope it remains that way. Stay Beautiful Japan and help us pray for Obama to turn this country (USA) into a posative direction.

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Speech worked for me except for the line about we will kill people who oppose us (or something to that order)...but, 'twas a great day! Watched it on cnn.com. The crowd! It's a new day for Americans, 'cause they could look at each other and not see the color, gender, age, socio-economic level, but the beauty of each as Americans. Sorry, none of this would have happened with McCain/Palin in charge. It's a beautiful day and I am deeply moved to say "President Obama"!

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williamsmith at 01:05 PM JST - 21st January "Actually it was the chief justice that made the errors, not Obama."

No, it was Obama who made the error. He jumped in early which, in turn messed Roberts up.

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I thought the only false step was "we will defeat you"--which did not seem to resonate with the crowd of liberals. He could have rephrased it as "we shall prevail" -- something more poetic. It did not seem like something Obama would say; he did it to appease the hawks.

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At first, I switched parties to try to get Dr. Ron Paul on the presidential slate. When I saw that he could not make it, I switched back to Democrat so as not to waste my vote.

It's not a wasted vote to vote your conscience. I voted third party, because I think the two party system is flawed and outdated. As far as Obama's inauguration speech? Sounded a lot like Bush, and went back to his well, very vague and not a lot of substance. He swoons the American public with his confidence and bravado, the "citizen of the World" bs. He is the epitome of the celebrity worship complex America has. The media created him, and will not speak an ill word of him his time in office. He'll probably try to go Chavez on everyone and change the term limits to three terms, or indefinite. In the end, he's a great talker, but don't bark if you cannot bite.

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onewrldoneppl at 10:34 PM JST - 21st January in terms of inauguration speeches, i think mr. obama's ranks behind: JFK's FDR's MLK's (ha ha ha ... ok, so it wasn't an inaguration speech but, it was very inspiring). his memorization, delivery and evocation were excellent. perhaps, the best among 20th century presidents of the U.S.A. the worst 3, you ask? GWB's RWR's GWHB's ha ha ha ... what do these 3 men have in common? republican moderators, please feel free to exercise your partisanship in erasing my comments. you know you will."

No they won't, because the moderators are as liberal and biased as you are.

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In this speech Barack Obama actually said that government is where people are gonna turn when they need work. And of course people will turn to the government to fix their problems instead of trying to fix them on their own first. It was a campaign speech, and I think that he tried to just touch on too many things and strive for memorable line after memorable line. And, as such, it came off as an infomercial. There wasn't anything of substance, but there were good sound bites. Of course that's what any politician looks for.

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I read the transcript on JT. Impressive.

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In reflecting on what happened on the Capitol steps, if you think about it, some day in the future Obama's face will adorn our currency. Maybe not in my lifetime or yours, but certainly in our grandkids' time.

For Obama, Feinstein and Pelosi, it is one thing to preach hope from the Capitol steps that day; it will be another story to preach the same hope two years from now. As an American, the cure for our economy is not building bridges or roads or infrastucture with printed money. Nevertheless, it is hard to determine what is the best course of action.

I do wish that history will reflect on #43 as one that protected our country, saved millions from oppression and as someone who inherted the mess the Clinton-led fiasco left him... down to the libs who cried foul when people who could really not afford to buy homes were allowed to buy. Unknown to many of you, yes, McCain saw the danger in allowing credit rules to become compromised several years ago.

As for the valued ability to deliver speeches and sway people's feelings and beliefs, that is what many a fraudster uses to enrichen themselves and take from others. Speech giving does not a good president make.

Let us see what happens when he tries to stop F-22 production or clamp down on guns instead of criminals. While I do support our President as an American, hope and holding out his hand can only go so far.

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"...a tale told full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

--William Shakespeare, MacBeth

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