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January 21, 2013

Reactions to Obama's Second Inaugural Address

Andrew Sullivan: "If you have long believed, as I have, that this man could easily become the liberal Reagan by the end of his second term... then this speech will not have surprised you."

James Fallows: "I was expecting an anodyne tone-poem about healing national wounds, surmounting partisanship, and so on. As has often been the case, Obama confounded expectations -- mine, at least. Four years ago, when people were expecting a barn-burner, the newly inaugurated president Obama gave a deliberately downbeat, sober-toned presentation about the long challenges ahead. Now -- well, it's almost as if he has won re-election and knows he will never have to run again and hears the clock ticking on his last chance to say what he cares about. If anyone were wondering whether Obama wanted to lower expectations for his second term ... no, he apparently does not."

Ezra Klein: "In his first term, Obama changed policy. In his second, he wants to change minds."

Chris Cillizza: "This was a speech that could only be given by someone who knew that he would never have to run for re-election again... This was Obama unbound. Distill Obama's speech to a single sentence and that sentence is: 'I'm the president, deal with it.'"

Ta-Nehisi Coates: "There was a time when merely stating the ideas Obama put forth would have gotten you killed."

E.J. Dionne: "Some will no doubt think (and write) that Obama should have sought more lofty and non-partisan ground. The problem with this critique is that it asks Obama to speak as if the last four years had not happened."

Greg Sargent: "Today, Obama all but declared ideological victory."


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