TPM Inaugural

'Obama Made History Today': Reactions To Obama's Second Inaugural Address

Liberals and conservatives alike took stock of the progressive vision articulated in President Obama's second inaugural address Monday, which called for equal rights for minorities and a robust social safety net for those in need.

Liberals welcomed the president's strong defense of the social safety net and praised his robust call for gay rights as a historic moment.

On the other side of the aisle, conservatives noted that Obama had used the speech to promote a liberal vision of the role of government and shut the door on small-government conservatism as a mainstream principle. Though conservative lawmakers stayed away from harsh criticism on Inauguration Day, they did not see the speech as an attempt to reach across the aisle -- a theme in President Obama's first inaugural address four years ago -- but rather to promote the liberal ideas of the Democratic base.

Here's a roundup of key reactions:

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Obama Becomes First President To Mention Gay Rights In Inaugural Address

President Obama on Monday became the first American president to refer to gay rights in an inaugural address, drawing effusive praise from gay rights advocates for his strong embrace of the cause and reflecting how much his views have changed.

"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law," the president said, "for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

He invoked the Stonewall riots of 1969, a landmark event in the history of the gay rights movement, tying them to seminal events in the battles for women's suffrage and civil rights.

"We, the people," Obama said, "declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall."

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Inauguration '13: Not The Same As Last Time, But It Still Resonates

Attendees Monday at President Obama's second inauguration described a more muted and orderly celebration, with some of 2009's enthusiasm tempered by four years of hard fought battles with Congress. But there were reminders that especially for African Americans the re-election of a black president signifies a decisive historical movement away from the country's long and often violent racial turmoil.

"The first inauguration felt like a real collective community, people were so energized," Jasmine Stringer, who traveled from Minneapolis, told TPM. "I hate to say it, but we live in a divided country."

Cyrus Sussman, 20, said that overcoming roadblocks in Congress was his biggest hope for a second term.

"You see polls where Congress is less popular than cockroaches and colonoscopies," he said. "I'm tired of us being the laughing stock of the world. I can't pinpoint one thing I want done in his second term, I just want things to get done at all -- for people to be able to compromise."

But if Obama's difficulties passing his agenda lent a tougher edge to people's assessment of his second term prospects, one didn't have to look hard to find reminders of the historic nature of his presidency either.

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President Obama: Progressive Goals Key To Perfecting Union

In the days following his re-election, in a manner reminiscent of his candidacy in 2008, President Obama called publicly for an end to divisive politics. But he's governed much more aggressively in the past months than he did in early 2009 -- battle hardened by two years of trench warfare with his adversaries in the GOP -- securing the first progressive income tax increase in nearly two decades, and using the power of presidential persuasion to tame angry Republicans before they could threaten his second term with more dangerous brinksmanship.

His second inaugural address captured that spirit of muscular liberalism to a much greater extent than it resorted to bromides about the end of partisanship. In addition to being the most progressive speech of his national political career, it also characterized liberal goals and ideals as more than political ambitions but as essential requirements of American citizenship.

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Obama Takes One Last Look At Inauguration Crowd: 'I'll Never See This Again' (VIDEO)

Shortly after delivering his second inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, President Obama took one last glance of the hundreds of thousands of Americans gathered to celebrate his second term. After all, it would be his last.

"I want to take a look one more time," Obama said, lingering for a few short moments to savor the view as the crowd of notables shuffled past him. "I'll never see this again."

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President Obama Sworn In For A Second Term

President Obama officially began his second term Sunday with a brief swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House just before noon. The Constitution requires that the president be sworn in on Jan. 20. The public ceremony will be held Monday, as is the custom when Jan. 20 falls on a Sunday.

Obama stood beside First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia. The oath of office was administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

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Debt Limit Battle Could Shape Obama's Second Term

President Obama's second-term ambitions include beefing up guns laws, reforming the country's immigration system and curbing greenhouse gas emissions, but he's stuck at least for now with House of Representatives controlled by Republicans who remain hostile to his agenda -- which is why the upcoming fight over increasing the country's borrowing authority is so crucial.

If Obama successfully defuses a debt ceiling standoff, which is looking increasingly likely, he will at least provide himself and Congress some running room to debate other major issues. But if he fails -- if he accedes to GOP demands -- it will reinvigorate the conservative wing of the GOP and encourage them to pursue the same do-or-die strategy every time must-pass legislation is on the docket. Obama's second term will become bogged down in battles over basic government functions, squeezing out gun, immigration, and energy legislation.

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The Obama Legacy Won't Be Decided By Second-Term Accomplishments

Barack Obama's second term in office effectively began three weeks ago, after he captured an early re-election dividend in the form of a tax increase on top earners and arrested the fall over the fiscal cliff.

Now, on the eve of his second inaugural, Democrats and Republicans are steeling themselves for the big budget fights lying ahead: debt ceiling, sequestration and a possible government shutdown. But even if Obama navigates the dicey budget impasses and is able to pad his first-term legislative accomplishments with comprehensive immigration reform, gun control, and a cleaner federal budget, it will only have a marginal impact on his political legacy, which ultimately hinges on the durability of the things he accomplished during his first four years in office.

His legacy, in other words, depends more upon solidifying his early successes -- effectively implementing the health care law, further nurturing the economy, extracting the U.S. from foreign wars -- than it does upon advancing the agenda he set out during his re-election campaign.

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The Big Three: Obama's Top Priorities For His Second Term

Guns. Immigration. Climate Change.

It may not be what Democrats expected to be the White House's plan in November, but President Obama has repeatedly identified each of these areas as critical parts of his agenda since winning re-election. In addition to his upcoming skirmishes with Republican lawmakers over taxes and entitlements, Obama's second term could end up being defined by his success or failures on these three domestic policy fronts. As Obama learned after sinking a year into health care reform, it's easy to get bogged down fighting for just one major item at the expense of the rest, raising the stakes for getting it right across the board.

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57th Presidential Inauguration: Official Schedule

Official schedule of events from the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

Saturday, January 19 National Day of Service Summit on the National Mall Location: The National Mall Start Event: 9:30 AM ET The First and Second families are issuing a call to action for all Americans to join together in service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As part of the 57th Presidential Inauguration, the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is encouraging all Americans to participate in a National Day of Service on Saturday, January 1 - a tradition started by the Obamas at their first Inaugural four years ago. As part of this Day of Service, the Inaugural Committee will host a Service Summit on the National Mall, and is planning service events in all 50 states. In addition to the Service Summit, on Saturday the President, Vice President, and their families will also participate in service events in Washington DC.

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57th Presidential Inauguration: Getting There (Map)

From the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) for those attending in person:

"Tickets are not required to view the swearing-in ceremony from the National Mall. Ticketing information for the ceremonial swearing-in is handled by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) here.

The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m., but we [PIC] recommend arriving as early as possible as both ticketed and non-ticketed areas are first-come, first-served.

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57th Presidential Inauguration: Swearing-in

From the Presidential Inauguration Committee:

"If you plan on attending any of the public events, please be prepared to be outside for a long period of time and dress warmly. A limited amount of food and beverage vendors may be available, but attendees are encouraged to bring snacks and beverages in order to stay healthy and hydrated.

The following items are prohibited and will not be allowed through any security checkpoints: aerosols, animals (guide dogs will be allowed), backpacks, bags larger than 6" x 4" x 8", balloons, bicycles, coolers, glass or thermal containers, horns, laser pointers, mace/pepper spray, packages, structures, sign supports, weapons, and any additional items deemed a safety hazard by security.

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Obama Outlines Major Second-Term Agenda -- And How He'll Accomplish It

In an interview with editor and publisher of the Des Moines Register, which the White House initially insisted be kept off the record, President Obama outlined a list of significant policy objectives for his second term, and the political strategies he'll use to achieve them.

The agenda includes two major items -- immigration reform and budget consolidation -- that eluded him in his first term. And in an admission that will irk many of his supporters, Obama said he'd use his leverage -- leverage he didn't have in his first term -- not to achieve a more progressive fiscal outcome, but to cut the same deal with Republicans he's been pursuing for nearly two years.

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