Politics Today

Obama’s Historic Inaugural Speech, Powell Slams GOP Idiocy, and More

Having His Say:

Barack Obama made history Monday, becoming the first president ever to use the word “gay” in reference to sexual orientation during an inaugural address. In his speech, President Obama called for homosexuals to be treated “like anyone else under the law.” He also invoked the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a seminal event in the history of the gay rights movement, and compared it to signature moments in the fights for civil rights and women’s suffrage. “We, the people, 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,” Obama said. (Read more)

Climate Zone: President Obama also pledged in Monday’s inaugural address to take action on the important and pressing issue of climate change. He paid more attention to the matter than he did in his 2009 speech, where he mentioned global warming only in passing. “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms,” Obama said in his second inaugural address. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2012 was the hottest year on record in the U.S. (Read more)

By the Book: The two bibles that President Obama placed his hand on when he took the oath of office are both steeped in history. The first bible Obama put his hand was the same one used by Abraham Lincoln when he took the presidential oath of office in 1861; the second one is the so-called traveling bible used by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (Read more)

Rejection Notice: So much for civility on Inauguration Day. Paul Ryan, the man who would have been sworn in as vice president Monday had Mitt Romney won the presidential election, was met by a chorus of boos as he departed the Capitol to make his way down to the inaugural ceremony. The Republican congressman said last week he would attend Obama’s public swearing-in because it was his “obligation.” (Read more)

‘Birther Nonsense’: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican and supporter of President Obama, lashed out at those in his party for “shouting out about all this birther nonsense” and its continuing “idiot presentations” during an appearance on ABC News’ special inauguration coverage. He added that GOP leaders needed to publicly denounce such talk. “It’s killing the base of the party,” Powell said. “I mean, 26 percent favorability rating for the party right now. It ought to be telling them something. So, instead of attacking me or whoever speaks like I do, look in the mirror and realize, ‘How are we going to win the next election?’ ” (Read more)

Video of the Day: President Obama got a little sentimental after he finished delivering his second inaugural address. The president lingered briefly, gazing at the hundreds of thousands of people who descended on the Capitol for the occasion. “I want to take a look one more time,” Obama said. “I’ll never see this again.”

Tracy Bloom
Assistant Editor
Tracy Bloom left broadcast news to study at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. There she eventually became deputy editor of Neon Tommy, the most-trafficked online-only college website in…
Tracy Bloom

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