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Obama's Disappointing Speech
National Catholic Weekly ^ | 2009-01-20 14:57:00.0 | M.S. Winters

Posted on 01/20/2009 12:56:30 PM PST by lewisglad

Obama's Disappointing Speech Posted at: 2009-01-20 14:57:00.0 Author: Michael Sean Winters

President Barack Obama’s inaugural address was surprisingly leaden. It did not soar like his "Yes, We Can" speech after losing the New Hampshire primary, nor did it chart his plans for governance as did his convention speech in Denver. Most strangely, it did not seem to capture the history of the moment the way his election night speech did.

Part of the problem is with the nature of such an address. This was the speech of a head of state, not a head of government, even though the President serves both functions. But, presidential oratory only succeeds in head of state mode at times of national tragedy. After the space shuttle Challenger disaster, Ronald Reagan gave his best speech as Bill Clinton did in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. Inaugurals are festive occasions, and as we saw today, the impulse to speak for the nation often leads to the kinds of abstractions that do not make for great oratory. Still, one need not be so opaque about historical illusions: If you want to refer to Washington crossing the Delaware, speak of Washington crossing the Delaware not of "the coldest of months" and "the icy river."

One of the chief virtues of Obama’s campaign speeches was that they did not need flights of poetry. They were often quite prosaic. "Yes We Can" is not the most lyric of lines. But, he matched policy and purpose in those speeches, and he inspired not only in his presence but in his sensibility that government must be a force for good in our national life again, that governance was a moral act, that we were not at the mercy of economic laws made by the gods but could yet again be masters of our nation’s future through systematic, thoughtful analysis of our problems.

Obama’s speech contained a lot of spinach. Alan Wolfe thinks this was the primary problem with the speech – too much duty and not enough hope – and I think he is largely correct. Obama’s campaign was about hope, about our ability as Americans to reach for the stars. Obama’s tone today was gloomy and foreboding, sounding more like a stern, unpleasant uncle than the smiling man who captivated the nation last year. He needed to inspire, not merely to lower expectations, to make his talk about values less vague and more precise, more concrete. The speech too often seemed like spinach pretending to be poetry.

Obama said that our problems, and our solutions, would require common effort, and the sight of crowds stretching the entire length of the Mall emphasized the small "d" democratic quality of the speech better than the words he chose. But, inaugurals do not merely commemorate the voters who choose: They commemorate the choice. Maybe Obama is a more humble man, but I yearned for some reiteration of Franklin Roosevelt’s line: "The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it." We may need to focus on our common responsibility, as President Obama suggested, but we want leadership too.

Sitting here not three hours since the speech was given, it is sad to think that I can’t recall a single line from memory. I suppose almost any collection of words was likely to be dwarfed by the historical enormity of the moment. And such a moment it was.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: 0bama; barackhusseinobama; bho; bhoinauguration; bhospeech; goodbyebush; hussein; inaugural; inauguration; obama; obamessiah; obots; rats; speech; zero; zeroworship

1 posted on 01/20/2009 12:56:30 PM PST by lewisglad
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To: lewisglad
Is see the stock market agrees with this assessment of a dismal immaculation speech. It tanked 340 points, 5%.

We were tipped off when the oaf of office was botched.

yitbos

2 posted on 01/20/2009 12:59:26 PM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: lewisglad

Empty suit delivers empty speech.


3 posted on 01/20/2009 1:04:46 PM PST by Carley (Remember when we had a real President)
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To: lewisglad

The beginning of the speech was soooo depressing. Anything after that was lost.


4 posted on 01/20/2009 1:05:00 PM PST by griswold3 (a good story is more compelling than the search for truth)
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To: Carley

5 posted on 01/20/2009 1:07:11 PM PST by roses of sharon (Pray Hussein fails!)
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To: Carley

We’ve lost a POTUS and gained a POSER.


6 posted on 01/20/2009 1:07:16 PM PST by 6SJ7 (Atlas Shrugged Mode: ON)
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To: bruinbirdman
We were tipped off when the oaf of office was botched.

Unfortunately it was Chief Justice Roberts that botched the oaf. Hussein was just thrown off by the goof.

7 posted on 01/20/2009 1:09:10 PM PST by mc5cents (Show me just what Mohammd brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman)
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To: lewisglad

So does this mean that the words are not going to be chiseled into marble? That would be bad news for all of those out of work stone masons.


8 posted on 01/20/2009 1:12:43 PM PST by centurion316
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To: lewisglad

Yes, we can.

9 posted on 01/20/2009 1:13:07 PM PST by Walmartian
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To: lewisglad

There's a bigger question.
Will it pass Peggy Noonan's Estrogen Test?

10 posted on 01/20/2009 1:14:11 PM PST by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: centurion316
"Sitting here not three hours since the speech was given, it is sad to think that I can’t recall a single line from memory"

I was thinking the same thing...

11 posted on 01/20/2009 1:14:54 PM PST by lewisglad
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To: mc5cents

Unfortunately it was Chief Justice Roberts that botched the oaf. Hussein was just thrown off by the goof.

If true just think how Putin,Hassan,Akmandinajad,Chavez and other advesaries will have their way with him. Roberts may have been nervous too. But he isn’t the leader of then semi-free world. Ya think they would have practiced this once or twice.


12 posted on 01/20/2009 1:18:57 PM PST by stevecmd
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To: lewisglad

I have been doing important thijgs today like cleaning up the attic. I can understand Justice Roberts botching the oath if he did, it was his subconscious punishing him for swearing in this usurper.

The words should have stuck in his throat, he just sold the Constitution down the river.


13 posted on 01/20/2009 1:19:21 PM PST by Venturer
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To: lewisglad
"Yes We Can" is not the most lyric of lines.

It was a theft of Cesar Chavez's lines.

I guess he couldnt find a better speech to plagiarize?

14 posted on 01/20/2009 1:23:29 PM PST by WOSG (The Barack Era: bailouts, boondoggles, big Government, bad economy.)
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To: mc5cents

“Unfortunately it was Chief Justice Roberts that botched the oaf. Hussein was just thrown off by the goof. “

I like Chief Justice Roberts. Good man. Heck of a job! ;-)


15 posted on 01/20/2009 1:24:35 PM PST by WOSG (The Barack Era: bailouts, boondoggles, big Government, bad economy.)
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To: lewisglad

While reading this I was listening to the radio and some commentator stated “parts of this speech will be carved into granite” (or “may well be carved, etc.”). The sickening veneration of this guy just continues. It was an outtake on the Sean Hannity show.

Oh, barf.


16 posted on 01/20/2009 1:25:49 PM PST by Robwin
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To: Venturer
The words should have stuck in his throat, he just sold the Constitution down the river.

No he didn't, the dimwits and libtards that voted for the messiah are the ones that did the selling. Obama automatically became president at 12:00 whether Roberts said a word or not.

Please place the blame squarely where it belongs.

17 posted on 01/20/2009 1:25:57 PM PST by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: mc5cents

No, listen again. Obama started to repeat the first part of a section of the oath before Roberts had finished giving it to him.

That threw the whole thing off, and they both started to stumble. It’s linked on Drudge.

Fox says that they both stumbled. But I think it was Obama jumping in before Roberts had finished speaking.

http://www.breitbart.tv/html/262133.html


18 posted on 01/20/2009 1:31:24 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: verga

the death of a nation was just born


19 posted on 01/20/2009 1:33:21 PM PST by schwingdoc
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To: lewisglad

Couldn’t watch this BS. Played my DVD of Celtic Women and relaxed with an occasional switch to Fox Business to watch the DJ tank.


20 posted on 01/20/2009 1:38:41 PM PST by Logical me (Oh, well!!!)
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To: mc5cents
"Unfortunately it was Chief Justice Roberts that botched the oaf. "

It was an omen confirmed by, "A nation of Christians and Muslims . . . and Non-Believers"

yitbos

21 posted on 01/20/2009 1:43:39 PM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: Carley

My friend, you should be writing covers for the new york post.


22 posted on 01/20/2009 1:43:57 PM PST by domenad (In all things, in all ways, at all times, let honor guide me.)
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To: schwingdoc

I am not buying what Obama is selling (if he ever tells us exactly what it is), but the death of this nation won’t be caused by the likes of puny Obama. We are much stronger than that. He may hurt us, but he can’t kill us. I understand your concern, but I can’t go along with the hyperbole.

My hope is that Obama implodes. It will be fun watching him try to vote “Present” in the coming four years.


23 posted on 01/20/2009 1:50:16 PM PST by NCLaw441
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To: lewisglad

>>Obama’s tone today was gloomy and foreboding...<<

Hmm. Sounds like Bush finally let him in on what is REALLY going on in the world.


24 posted on 01/20/2009 1:52:28 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Nazism was in the 1930's.)
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To: lewisglad

This is from AMERICA, the Jesuit magazine. They would be disappointed in 0bama’s speech. He didn’t scream “Kill More Babies!” at intervals during the speech, did he? This would cause AMERICA’s editors to have severe reservations about 0bama’s commitment to Social Justice.


25 posted on 01/20/2009 1:57:16 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: lewisglad

Failed speech.
Market sinks.
Obama’s fault.


26 posted on 01/20/2009 1:57:34 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares (Refusing to kneel before the socialist messiah. 1-20-13 Freedom Day.)
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To: lewisglad

No more hope? No more whipping the rock star crowds into a frenzy with “Yes We Can”?
The Obama adorers will find out just how much reality sucks. The speech is just the beginning of their disillusionment with this man. I predict that by next week the economy won’t have recovered, the earth will not have started cooling (as if it needed to) and Hamas and Israel will not be singing Kumbaya together, also Christopher Reeves will not have risen up and walked again due to an embryonic stem cell transplant What a suprise!
As far as memorable speeches go “An angel in the whirlwind” still comes to my mind.


27 posted on 01/20/2009 2:07:16 PM PST by Merlinator (January 20. 2009, A National Day of Mourning)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

Thats very haiku like...a much better poem than the ramblings of that poet at the inaugeration. I like it.


28 posted on 01/20/2009 2:08:54 PM PST by Merlinator (January 20. 2009, A National Day of Mourning)
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To: lewisglad
There's that word again: enormity n. , pl. -ties . The quality of passing all moral bounds; excessive wickedness or outrageousness

I can't think of a more appropriate word for Obama.

29 posted on 01/20/2009 2:52:58 PM PST by MathDoc (Don't blame me, I voted for Governor Palin and the wrinkly white-haired guy)
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To: schwingdoc
the death of a nation was just born

Only if good men and women do nothing. If we stand up, If we do everything we can to fight back against what we know in our heart is wrong, we can and will prevail.

30 posted on 01/20/2009 3:07:10 PM PST by verga (I am not an apologist, I just play one on Television)
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To: Logical me

I LOVE Celtic woman! Nothing could have been more therapeutic today. /off-topic


31 posted on 01/20/2009 3:09:19 PM PST by Julia H. (Somewhere in Kenya or Indonesia, a village is missing its idiot.)
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To: lewisglad

He is not the Wizard the MSM has manipulated the public into believing. The MSM only knows the money generated from Political Commercials pays their salaries.


32 posted on 01/20/2009 3:19:46 PM PST by FreedBird (BB)
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To: Merlinator
"Christopher Reeves will not have risen up and walked again due to an embryonic stem cell transplant"

Especially true considering his death in 2004.
33 posted on 01/20/2009 4:27:27 PM PST by AndrewB
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To: AndrewB
Especially true considering his death in 2004.

That was because Bush was elected that year, right?

"Could not he who said 'Yes, we can!' have caused that this man should not have died?"

34 posted on 01/20/2009 5:26:01 PM PST by thulldud (All your rumor are mong to us.)
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To: AndrewB

Is resurrecting the dead above his pay grade? 9 out of 10 Obama supporters don’t think so.


35 posted on 01/20/2009 6:25:54 PM PST by Merlinator (January 20. 2009, A National Day of Mourning)
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To: stevecmd
Unfortunately it was Chief Justice Roberts that botched the oaf. Hussein was just thrown off by the goof.

Actually it was both. First Roberts misplaced "faithfully", then when Obama hesitated, Robertes restated correctly. Obama then said it the way Roberts said it the first time.

Unfortunately I think the "formal" oath is just that, the formal oath, and the oath may have been sworn earlier, perhaps just on paper. If not, we have a problem, and had another. First, we had no President, not even a poser, for some period, as the taking of the oath occurred somewhat after noon, when President Bush's term ended. Fortunately nothing happened to require the President's action during that period. Secondly the oath is the only thing in the Constitution in quotes, it must be sworn as written. It wasn't. So, technically, and Constitutionally, if the oath was not sworn before the formal ceremony, even a written oath would be OK, we still don't have a President or a poser, since swearing of the oath, as written, is commanded by the Constitution (Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he *shall* take the following oath".) (members of the military both swear an oral oath and sign a written oath, (for officers these are: AF Form 133, DA Form 71, NAVCRUIT 1000/20) but I don't know if the President does or not.)

36 posted on 01/20/2009 6:46:16 PM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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