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February 14, 2013

Missing Greatness

Joe Klein: "Barack Obama, liberated from the thrall of electoral politics, has now given us two major speeches to set the style and substance of his second term. Both were powerful; both had moments of high passion, a quality the President kept in mothballs for most of his first term. But neither was daring; neither pointed a way past the rutted politics of the moment. They assumed the status quo. They paved the way to past arguments."

"We're citizens, Obama amplified. But most of us aren't very active citizens, though, and the President never addressed the responsibilities that accompany citizenship. He asked nothing of us. But government isn't only about taking from some and giving to others. It is about the creation and maintenance of something much larger than all of us--a learning, evolving democracy, which requires an informed, rigorous public. I haven't heard a politician speak honestly about the sacrifices required for greatness in a long time."


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