Obama details 'must' list of progressive agendas in speech - KMSP-TV

Obama details 'must' list of progressive agendas in speech

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President Barack Obama is now in his second term, and the speech he gave at his inauguration may have set the tone for the next four years.

Although the inauguration was much more low-key this time around, it still had plenty of pomp and circumstance. Four years ago, the nation's outlook was still pretty bleak, but the key words from this year's speech created a commanding, liberal call to action.

Obama's second inauguration is historic, but his speech before 800,000 was also memorable. He took his oath on two Bibles -- President Abraham Lincoln's and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s -- and then delivered a dream speech for the 21st century.

"Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts," he said. "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."

No president has ever spoken of gays at such a moment, invoking the stonewall riots in the same breath as Selma and Seneca Falls. The inaugural poem was delivered by a gay man, and the benediction was read by a Cuban exile who led the fight for marriage equality.

Some were surprised when Obama also talked of tackling climate change.

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," Obama said.

Yet, to do anything he will need a partnership with the man who sat over his shoulder, House Speaker John Boehner.

"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit, but we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future," Obama said.

Those words may have been echoes from a bruising campaign, with Rep. Paul Ryan seated behind Jay-Z and Beyonce.

There were Minnesota touches at the inauguration too. Rep. Colin Peterson was noticed for his Ponemah, Minn., hat -- and the Fergus Falls High School marching band played too.

Of course, security was tight -- especially as the first family left the motorcade to walk along Pennsylvania Avenue, but the president made one last poignant stop before getting back to work.

"I'm not going to see this again," he said as he paused to look out over the crowded mall.

Looking back, it seems the nation inaugurated a president who lived Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream -- and may be its greatest steward.

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