Inauguration 2013 January 22, 2013: President Barack Obama thanks staffers at last inaugural ball

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama thanks staffers at last inaugural ball

Source: Politico, 1-22-13

President Barack Obama thanked thousands of staffers Tuesday night and said they have come to represent his “deepest hopes for America.”

“My main job here tonight is really simple: It’s just to say thank you,” he told the crowd of between 10,000 and 15,000 at the last inaugural ball. “All of you have come to represent for me and Michelle our deepest hopes for America.”

“The average age here is probably around 20 something. And that’s only because I’m here, which brings the average age up, quite a bit,” Obama joked, according to a pool report….READ MORE

Full Text Inauguration 2013 January 22, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Staff Inaugural Ball

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at Staff Inaugural Ball

Source: WH, 1-22-13  

Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

9:00 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  You all clean up pretty good.  (Applause.)  You are looking good.

Couple of acknowledgements I want to make — first of all, please give it up for DJ Mel Sandico.  (Applause.)  The U.S. Army Band is in the house.  (Applause.)  We’re so proud — they can play anything — anything.  Go ahead and make a request, they’ll play it.  They are outstanding.  And we are so grateful for their service to our country each and every day.

Now, this is just a little gathering, little party among friends.  (Applause.)  Represented here are our outstanding OFA staff and volunteers.  (Applause.)  Our amazing PIC — that would be Presidential Inaugural Committee Team.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  This has been a great inauguration.  They’ve done a great job.

THE PRESIDENT:  Michelle just said this has been a great inauguration, and you’ve done a great job.

We’ve got the DNC convention team that did an amazing job.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the DNC team that did an amazing job.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got the White House team, which is pretty good.  (Applause.)  They did an amazing job.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  And you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m here, too.  (Applause.)  That’s true.  And the First Lady of the United States — (applause) — bangs and all — (applause) — looking very sparkly and twinkly.  (Laughter.)

Now, I’m not going to speak long, mainly because I’ve been speaking a lot and you all have heard me before.

MRS. OBAMA:  And the entertainment is pretty good.

THE PRESIDENT:  And, more importantly, we’ve got a couple of people who are pretty good musicians named Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in the house.  (Applause.)  This is like my — Michelle is like doing interpretive dance of everything I say.  It’s been a long weekend — she’s getting a little silly now.  (Laughter.)
But my main job here tonight is real simple, and it’s just to say thank you.  (Applause.)  You know, some of you were involved the very first time I ran, back in 2007, 2008.  (Applause.)  Some of you were 14 at the time, and so just got involved this time out.  (Applause.)  You know who you are.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT:  But regardless of whether you got involved six years ago or you got involved six months ago, what is true is that all of you have come to represent for me and Michelle our deepest hopes for America.

The average age here is probably around 20-something — (applause) — and that’s only because I’m here, which brings the average age up quite a bit.  But when I think about traveling around the country during the course of the campaign and getting to know some of you and meeting some of you and seeing the work you do in the White House or the work that you did during the convention, and I meet young people who are so much smarter and more thoughtful and more caring about the future than I ever was at your age, so much more capable, so much more serious, so much more poised, it makes me know that America’s future is in good hands.  (Applause.)

As long as all of you understand the immense and incredible power that you possess when you work together, when you join voices, when you extend yourselves not just on behalf of your own ambitions but on behalf of a larger cause, you cannot be stopped. And part of the reason I know that America will succeed is when I look at how you work together, what I saw in offices from Vegas  — (applause) — to Richmond — (applause) — to Colorado Springs — (applause) — to Manchester, New Hampshire — (applause) — to Orlando, Florida — it didn’t matter — (applause) — it didn’t matter where I was, I’d walk into a volunteer office and what you saw was people from every walk of life — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, gay, straight — it didn’t matter where you came from, you came together with a mission in mind and a vision in mind.  And you were willing to set aside whatever surface differences you had because you understood you were working on behalf of an America that was a little more just and a little more fair and a little more compassionate, and better stewards for our environment.  (Applause.)

And seeing that kind of spirit operate day in, day out, no matter how hard the work, no matter how little you got paid, no matter how bad your candidate screwed up, it didn’t matter, you just kept on going.  And there were times during the course of this year where I might have gotten down, but you picked me back up.  (Applause.)  You lifted me up on your shoulders.  And you said, yeah, we know he’s gotten kind of old and gray-haired, and we know sometimes he stumbles.  But we are going to carry him across the finish line.  (Applause.)  Because this is not about him; this is about us.  This is about America.  This is about what we believe.  This is about what our values are.  (Applause.) This is what our ideals are all about.  We are going to go out there and change America.  (Applause.)

That’s what you did every single day.  And so this weekend belonged to you.  (Applause.)  To you.  (Applause.)

So my final message — because I’m already breaking my promise; I said I wasn’t going to talk long — is to say that you can’t stop now.  I know some of you have got to go back to school.  I know some of your parents are all like, okay, you did your little thing, but now you’ve got to go back and get your degree.  I know some of you’ve got some rent to pay, so you’ve got to –

MRS. OBAMA:  Some loans.

THE PRESIDENT:  — get some loans to repay.  You may be making a whole range of career choices and decisions right now.  And, look, not all of you will end up staying in politics.  Not all of you will end up pursuing professionally public service.  But every single one of you, in your communities, in your neighborhoods, in your workplaces, wherever you decide to put down roots, wherever you decide to make a difference, as long as you retain that spirit that you’ve shown during the course of these campaigns — the idea that you’re a citizen, that America only works when you make it work — (applause) — that you have the power to move this country and, as a consequence, the world  — if you retain that sense and never lose it, then I tell you, not only is America going to be in good hands, but what’s going to happen is you’re going to influence your peers and your friends and the folks you live next to and your neighbors and people in your workplace.  And suddenly, like Robert Kennedy described, you’re like a stone thrown in a pool and it starts rippling out.  And you don’t know where those ripples are going to go, and that’s the future that I see for you.

I know that every single person here donated $10 to a memorial on behalf of Alex Okrent Memorial.  (Applause.)  And Alex was one of you — this incredibly thoughtful, talented, compassionate, caring young person who decided to get involved because he thought he could make a difference.  And tragically, he ended up leaving us while working in the campaign — some of the people here were there when it happened.  And it was heartbreaking, and it reminded us of how precious our time on this Earth is.

We don’t have a lot of time.  I know when you’re young it seems like it goes on forever.  It turns out things are fragile. And yet, the thing that outlives each of us is what we do for somebody else, what difference did we make.  And we know Alex made a difference.  (Applause.)  And so his impact outlives him. And that means — that’s all right — somebody is over there and they probably fainted because they’ve been standing too long.  Many of you have been at rallies — there’s one over here, we’ve got EMS folks here.  People, bend your knees while you’re here.  (Laughter.)  And try to get hydrated as well.

MRS. OBAMA:  You know you’ve got to drink some water!

THE PRESIDENT:  Drink water is what I mean.  (Laughter.)  Juice is okay, too.  (Laughter.)

But in the same way that Alex left this indelible mark on my life and Michelle’s life, and many of your lives, you will leave an indelible mark as well, as long as you decide that you’re going to spend your life giving something back.

You’ve already given me an incredible gift.  You’ve given America an incredible gift.  Don’t stop.  Keep on going.  (Applause.)  Don’t stop.  Stay fired up.  (Applause.)

Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go!

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go.

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  I think Lady Gaga is fired up, too.

God bless you, guys!  (Applause.)  I love you!  Thank you!  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
9:16 P.M. EST

Full Text Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at Commander-in-Chief Ball

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Source: WH, 1-21-13

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

8:48 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Let me begin by just saying you all dress up pretty nice.  (Applause.)  I hope everybody is having a wonderful time.  Now, those of you who are in uniform, you look outstanding.  Your dates do look better, though.  (Applause.)  I just want to point this out.  (Laughter.)

I’m not going to give a long speech.  What I really want to do is come down and express the extraordinary gratitude not just of me as your Commander-in-Chief, but more importantly, the thanks of all the American people.

I want to start by thanking some of our outstanding leaders who are here:  our hosts, our Senior Enlisted Advisors from all five branches of our military.  (Applause.)  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Marty Dempsey, who promised to sing sometime tonight, so you should hold him to it.  (Laughter.)  The Vice Chairman, Sandy Winnefeld, and all our outstanding members of the Joint Chiefs.  Our Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Vietnam veteran, Ric Shinseki, who is here.

And we’re honored to be joined by some truly extraordinary Americans, our wounded warriors, who inspire us with their incredible strength and resolve.  (Applause.)  Our enlisted men and women and junior officers — the backbone of our military.  (Applause.)  Our amazing military families — (applause) — including the families of the fallen — our Gold Star families  — we will stand with you always.

The members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen in the house.  (Applause.)  And the recipients of our nation’s highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor.  We are honored by your presence.  (Applause.)

Today, we experienced the majesty of our democracy; a ritual only possible in a form of government that is of, and by and for the people; a day made possible because there are patriots like each and every one of you who defend our freedom every single day.

So this little party is just another way to say something we can never say enough:  thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you for volunteering.  Thank you for stepping up.  Thank you for keeping us strong.  Thank you for always making us proud.  I have no greater honor than being your Commander-in-Chief.  (Applause.)

It’s because of you that with honor we were able to end the war in Iraq.  Because of you that we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.  (Applause.)  Because of you that it’s even possible to give Afghans a chance to determine their own destiny.  We are going forward, and we’ll keep our military the finest fighting force that the world has ever known.

Now, tonight, we’re also joined by some of our servicemembers in Afghanistan.  They can’t see us, but we can see them on this monitor.

Who we got there?  General, are you there?  Abe?

MAJOR GENERAL ABRAMS:  Sir, good evening.  Mr. President, congratulations on your inauguration.  It is Major General Abrams, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division and Regional Command-South.  We’re honored to be able to join you there this evening.

Sir, I’m joined tonight by some fantastic airmen and non-commissioned officers and soldiers serving here in Kandahar.

SERGEANT JACKSON:  Congratulations, Mr. President.  Sergeant First Class Orlando Jackson from Lake Charles, Louisiana — 3rd Infantry Division, Falcon Brigade, Task Force Light Horse.  I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done.

MASTER SERGEANT SKOWRONSKI:  Mr. President, Master Sergeant Robert Skowronski, Superintendent 807th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, hailing from Detroit, Michigan.  I want to say, go Tigers!  (Applause.)

SERGEANT WOOD:  Good evening, Mr. President.  My name is Sergeant First Class David Wood.  I’m out of Monument, Colorado — 3rd Infantry Division, Falcon Brigade, Task Force Light Horse.  Thank you very much for having us here at your party.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

MASTER SERGEANT GODLEWSKI:  Good evening, Mr. President — Master Sergeant James Godlewski.  I’m the Operations Superintendent, the 807th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron and the world’s greatest Air Force.  (Applause.)  I want to say congratulations on tonight.  I hope you guys have a blessed evening.  (Applause.)

MAJOR GENERAL ABRAMS:  Mr. President, we’re honored to be able to join you tonight.  And we’ve got one more thing for all of you there — Rock of the Marne!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughter.)  Well listen, to all of you who are there, we know it’s tough being away from your families.  We know the incredible sacrifices and challenges that you meet every single day.  But I can tell you that you’ve got a room full of patriots here.  (Applause.)  And although I’ve got to admit that they’re a little spiffied up right now — (laughter) — their heart and soul, their dedication, their sense of duty is at one with every single one of the folks who are in Kandahar right now.

And I want you to know that when I was standing on the steps of the Capitol today, looking out over close to a million people, the single-biggest cheer that I always get — and today was no different at my Inauguration — was when I spoke about the extraordinary men and women in uniform that preserve our freedom and keep our country strong.  (Applause.)  So know that every single day we are thinking of you.

We’re going to make sure that you’ve got the equipment, the strategy, the mission that allows you to succeed and keep our country safe.  Know that we are going to be looking after and thinking about your families every single day, and that when you get back home you’re going to be greeted by a grateful nation, and that you will be on our minds tonight and every single night until our mission in Afghanistan is completed.

Can everybody please give our comrades-in-arms a huge round of applause?  (Applause.)  And please, all of you give our very best to your families back home, because I know it’s just as tough, if not tougher for them to see you in harm’s way and away from the family.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

There’s one last thing I’ve got to do.  I’ve got a date with me here.  (Applause.)  She inspires me every day.  She makes me a better man and a better President.  (Applause.)  The fact that she is so devoted to taking care of our troops and our military families is just one more sign of her extraordinary love and grace and strength.  I’m just lucky to have her.  (Applause.)

I said today at the lunch over at the Congress that some may dispute the quality of our President, but nobody disputes the quality of our First Lady.  (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, my better half and my dance partner, Michelle Obama.  (Applause.)

END
9:00 P.M. EST

Political Headlines January 22, 2013: Republicans Express Skepticism Following President Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Republicans Express Skepticism Following Obama’s Address

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-22-13

ABC News

Given the statements made about President Obama’s second inaugural address, it appears that he won’t have an easy go of it with GOP lawmakers this term either.

Some prominent Republicans lawmakers criticized Obama’s inaugural address on Monday, saying he failed to reach out to their party….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 22, 2013: President Barack Obama, VP Joe Biden attend inaugural prayer service at Washington National Cathedral

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama, Biden attend inaugural prayer service at Washington National Cathedral

Source: Washington Post, 1-22-13

AP Photo

Some 2,200 guests filled the Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday morning for the inaugural prayer service, a tradition as old as the country itself. The service is meant to provide a spiritual boost to the newly sworn-in president….READ MORE

Obamas attend National Prayer Service

Source: Politico, 1-22-13

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama capped off more than three days of public inaugural events Tuesday with the National Prayer Service at Washington National Cathedral.

The Obamas were joined by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill. The service includes prayers, readings, blessings and hymns delivered by religious leaders from across the country. The Rev. Adam Hamilton, founding pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., was selected to deliver the sermon.

The inaugural prayer service is a tradition dating back to President George Washington and has been held at the National Cathedral since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first inauguration in 1933….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama at the Inaugural Balls — Elegant inauguration spins to a starry end

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s elegant inauguration spins to a starry end

Source: USA Today, 1-21-13

President Obama and first lady Michelle wrapped up their inauguration with a night of merrymaking.

President Obama Michelle Obama dress
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama show off her inaugural gown by Jason Wu.(Photo: Joe Raedle Getty Images)

Story Highlights

  • The president’s second inauguration was a star-filled affair
  • Inaugural balls culminate weekend of fashion, fun and celebrities
  • Mrs. Obama goes for Jason Wu gown again

An elegant second Obama inauguration, packed with high-fashion, high-energy and high-profile stars, twirled to an end Monday as President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama — she in another stunning gown — danced the night away at the inaugural balls.

And it’s a gown by Jason Wu, the same designer who crafted her 2009 white inaugural gown. The White House said this one is custom-made, ruby red, sleeveless, backless, cinched at the waist, chiffon and velvet, flowing pleats falling to the floor, with a handmade diamond-embellished ring by jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald. She is wearing shoes by Jimmy Choo. And her hair was down in her new style with the bangs everyone has been talking about….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Offers Liberal Vision in Second Inaugural Address: ‘We Must Act’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Offers Liberal Vision: ‘We Must Act’

Source: NYT, 1-21-13


Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Leslye Davis/The New York Times

Josh Haner/The New York Times

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Josh Haner/The New York Times

Joe Klamar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Christopher Gregory/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times


Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Barack Hussein Obama ceremonially opened his second term on Monday with an assertive Inaugural Address that offered a robust articulation of modern liberalism in America, arguing that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

On a day that echoed with refrains from the civil rights era and tributes to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Obama dispensed with the post-partisan appeals of four years ago to lay out a forceful vision of advancing gay rights, showing more tolerance toward illegal immigrants, preserving the social welfare safety net and acting to stop climate change….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama & the Bidens Finish Inaugural Parade Route on Foot to White House

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obamas finish parade route on foot

Source: WaPo, 1-21-13

President Obama, first lady Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill walked the rest of the parade route from Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House….READ MORE

Obama, first lady walk part of inaugural parade

Source: AP, 1-21-13

                                    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Thousands  marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Thousands marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Monday emerged twice from their limousine to respond to wildly cheering crowds along the inaugural parade route from Capitol Hill to the White House.

The couple waved to chanting, flag-waving crowds lining Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate the start of Obama’s second term. Spectators began shouting ‘‘Obama, Obama’’ as they returned the greetings from the first couple. Many in the crowd used their cellphones for picture-taking to capture the scene. The first lady blew air kisses to the crowd as the couple got back in their limousine after walking about three blocks….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama & VP Joe Biden Toast Congress During Inaugural Luncheon: ‘Democracy Is Not Always Easy’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama, Biden Toast Congress During Inaugural Luncheon: ‘Democracy Is Not Always Easy’

Source: Mediate, 1-21-13

On Monday afternoon, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden offered toasts during the inaugural luncheon. The president noted that while there were “profound differences” among those in the room, he was thankful for everyone’s service….

VP Joe Biden:  “It really is the place where we get together in a different way than every other time we gather. I used to enjoy this lunch more than anything we did in the Capitol.”

President Barack Obama: “I recognize that democracy is not always easy…. The longer you are there, the more humble you become….. There is controversy about the quality of our president, no controversy about the quality of our first lady.”

Full Text Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama & Vice President Joe Biden’s Speeches Giving Toasts at the Inaugural Luncheon — Transcript

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President and the Vice President at Inaugural Luncheon

Source: WH, 1-21-13 

National Statuary Hall
United States Capitol

2:35 P.M. EST

SENATOR SCHUMER:  Mr. President, Dr. Biden, and your whole wonderful family, I now rise to toast the Vice President of the United States and my former colleague and my friend, Joe Biden.

Mr. Vice President, you’ve been an extraordinary leader of this nation and a true partner to our President these past four years.  You play many roles — advisor, advocate, implementer, persuader, strategist, and most important of all, friend.  We’re confident this unique partnership between you and our great President will only grow stronger and more productive over the next four years.

Mr. Vice President, on the surface, we don’t share a common ancestry, but on a deeper level we do share a common story, an American story, of achieving our dreams thanks to the sacrifice of our immigrant forebears.

As you embark on your well-deserved second term, in the spirit of those who came before us, and on behalf of all Americans, we offer you all our support and warmest wishes, and we say to you — Sláinte.  L’chaim.  Salud.  Cent’anni.  And cheers.  To our great Vice President.

(A toast is offered.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Mr. President, and to all the
Presidents assembled — I always enjoyed this lunch more than anything we did in the Capitol.  For the 36 years I served in the Senate, I had the great honor of being included in this lunch of former Presidents and Vice Presidents — because it really is the place where we get together in a way unlike any other time when we gather.  It’s always a new beginning every time we’re in this room.  And there’s a sense of possibilities and a sense of opportunity and a sense — sometimes it’s fleeting, but a sense that maybe we can really begin to work together.

And, Chuck, we may come from different ancestries, but as all our colleagues know over the years, we’re cut from the same cloth — that we share that same common, absolute conviction that was expressed by Harry Truman when he said, “America was not built on fear.  America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

That’s what you’ve done throughout your career, and that’s what almost everyone in this room has done.  At the end of the day, it’s an absolute confidence — absolute confidence — there’s not a thing, a single thing this country can’t do.

I spent too much time with all of you not to know you feel it with every fiber in your being that there’s nothing – nothing — this country is incapable of.

I must say the President kids me occasionally — I know Harry Reid always calls me a Senate man.  I am proud to have been a Senate man.  I am proud to be President of the Senate.  But that pride is exceeded only by the fact I’m proud to be Vice President of the United States, serving as Barack Obama’s Vice President.  It’s been one of the great privileges — (applause)  — one of the great privileges of my life.

As a matter of fact, if the President will forgive me, as we were walking out and he was, as he said, savoring the moment, looking out at the crowd and all those Americans assembled, I found myself — surprised me, even — I turned to him saying, thank you.  Thanks.  Thanks for the chance.  Thanks for the chance to continue to serve.

And so, folks, I raise my glass to a man who never, never, never operates out of fear, only operates out of confidence — and I’m toasting you, Chuck.  (Laughter.)  And a guy who I plan on working with — you can’t get rid of me, man.  Remember, I’m still part of the Senate.  (Laughter.)

God bless you, Chuck.  You’ve done a great job.  And, Lamar, you have as well.  To Chuck Schumer.  Good to see you, pal.

(A toast is offered.)

SENATOR SCHUMER:  The best parts of these events are unscripted.  (Laughter.)

I’d now like to introduce our Senate Majority Leader, my good friend and, really, foxhole buddy — a great man, Harry Reid — to offer the official toast to the President.  (Applause.)

SENATOR REID:  Americans todays are wishing the President Godspeed for the next four years.  People all over the world are looking at us, and our exemplary democracy, and wishing the President the best in the years to come.

I’ve had the good fortune for the last many years to work on a very close, personal basis with President Obama.  I’ve watched him in the most difficult challenges that a person could face.  I’ve watched him do this with brilliance, with patience, with courage, wisdom, and kindness, for which I have learned a great deal.

So, Mr. President, I toast and pray for you, your wonderful family, and our great country four more successful years.

Barack Obama.

(A toast is offered.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Michelle and the Speaker of the House came to a meeting of the minds that I may be delaying the proceedings too much.  And so I’m just going to be extraordinarily brief and say thank you — to my Vice President, who has not only been an extraordinary partner but an extraordinary friend; and to Dr. Jill Biden, who has partnered with my wife with extraordinary generosity on behalf of our men and women in uniform.

To the entire Cabinet that is here, I am grateful to you.  Some of you are staying and some of you are leaving, but I know the extraordinary sacrifices that you and my team have made to try to advance the cause of progress in this country, and I’m always going to be grateful to you for that.

To the Speaker of the House and Nancy Pelosi, to Democratic Leader Harry Reid, as well as Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and to all the congressional leaders and all the members of Congress who are here — I recognize that democracy is not always easy, and I recognize there are profound differences in this room, but I just want to say thank you for your service and I want to thank your families for their service, because regardless of our political persuasions and perspectives, I know that all of us serve because we believe that we can make America for future generations.

And I’m confident that we can act at this moment in a way that makes a difference for our children and our children’s children.  I know that former President Carter, President Clinton, they understand the irony of the presidential office, which is, the longer you’re there the more humble you become and the more mindful you are that it is beyond your poor powers individually to move this great country.  You can only do it because you have extraordinary partners and a spirit of good will, and most of all, because of the strength and resilience and fundamental goodness of the American people.

And so I would like to join all of you not only in toasting the extraordinary work that Chuck Schumer and Lamar Alexander and others have done to create this special day for us, but I also want to thank each and every one of you for not only your service in the past, but hopefully your service in the future as well.

And I would like to offer one last toast, and that is to my extraordinary wife, Michelle.  There is controversy about the quality of the President — no controversy about the quality of our current First Lady.  (Laughter and applause.)

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you, and God bless America.

END
2:44 P.M. EST

History Buzz January 21, 2012: Michael Beschloss: Barack Obama Joins Club of 16 Presidents Elected to Consecutive Terms: If You Thought Getting Elected the First Time Was Hard…

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

If You Thought Getting Elected the First Time Was Hard …

Source: PBS Newshour, 1-21-13

Meet the 16 men who have been elected to serve consecutive terms as president.

When he retakes the oath of office Monday, President Barack Obama will join an exclusive club. Obama becomes the 16th of the nation’s 44 presidents who’ve been re-elected to serve as commander-in-chief for two consecutive terms….

“Nowadays the problems are great and Americans are more inclined to blame presidents, especially for a bad economy, than they would a hundred years ago,” explains Michael Beschloss, presidential historian and NewsHour regular….

“[Richard] Nixon felt that the difference between a re-elected president in history and a one-term president in history was so great that he felt compelled to authorize the excesses that led to the Watergate scandal,” Beschloss says….

“Sometimes you wonder why presidents would like to have a second term when you realize from FDR on, [they] have almost consistently had some very horrible experiences after winning re-election,” Beschloss says.

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Cites U.S.’s Ideals in Call to Act in Second Inaugural Address

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Cites U.S.’s Ideals in Call to Act

Source: NYT, 1-21-13

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Pool photo by Win McNamee

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

“We must act; we must act knowing that our work will be imperfect,” said President Obama.
Mr. Obama renewed his oath of office with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Monday.
A view of the podium in front of the Capitol.
The Obama family on the podium.
Mr. Obama greeted guests as he arrived for the ceremony.
The crowd on the National Mall was expected to swell to an estimated 600,000 people.
The justices of the Supreme Court arriving for the ceremony.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton arriving.
American veterans gathered on the Mall to view the inauguration.
Spectators bundled against the cold made their way to the Mall.
Some entryways to the Mall were lined with cheering, flag-waving greeters.
Mr. Obama and his family arrived for a church service on Monday before the ceremony.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his family were welcomed to a morning church service.
Members of the military prepared for their role in the inaugural ceremony in front of the Capitol.
Tape marked the positions for the first and second families on the inaugural podium.

President Obama renewed his oath of office on Monday, marking the beginning of another four years in the White House without the clouds of economic crisis and war that hovered over his first inauguration….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Calls for ‘Collective Action’ on Nation’s Challenges in Second Inaugural Address

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Calls for ‘Collective Action’ on Nation’s Challenges

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-21-13

ABC News(WASHINGTON)

Invoking the nation’s founding values, President Obama marked the start of his second term Monday with a sweeping call for “collective action” to confront the economic and social challenges of America’s present and future.

“That is our generation’s task, to make these words, these rights, these values — of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — real for every American,” Obama said in an inaugural address delivered from the west front of the U.S. Capitol….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address: ‘We are made for this moment’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama: ‘We are made for this moment’

Source: WaPo, 1-21-13

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Debbi Wilgoren

In his speech, the president struck some notes of bipartisanship, as expected after a bruising campaign and a bitter debate over the fiscal cliff. But he also emphasized the liberal themes that were the hallmarks of his successful electoral effort….READ MORE

Full Text Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: Richard Blanco’s ‘One Today’ Poem for President Barack Obama’s Inauguration

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

One Today

Richard Blanco, written for the 57th Presidential Inauguration, January 21, 2013

One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper—
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives—
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.

All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches 2
as mothers watch children slide into the day.

One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.

The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind—our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.

Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across café tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello| shalom,
buon giorno |howdy |namaste |or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me—in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.

One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound 3
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together

%d bloggers like this: