If Barack Obama had previewed his inaugural speech before the November election, would he have been able to give it in January? Apparently, our president did not think so.
From the first days of his re-election campaign until as recently as a month ago, President Obama described himself “a pretty practical guy” who is “not driven by some ideological agenda.”
Dispensing with that fiction in his inaugural address, he’s been commended for finally and honestly revealing himself. No longer is Barack Obama a national Rorschach test in which anyone can see anything. He has staked his ground: President Obama is an unabashed advocate of the old-fashioned American left. That’s not good news for Democrats who have trekked with him to the end of an ideological limb.
Obama’s inaugural statement displayed “a sweeping liberal vision,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. Andrew Coyne headlined it, “The Most Full-throated Defense of Liberalism Since FDR.” Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin called it “a powerful defense of collective action, of government.” Chris Matthew’s “Hardball Blog,” not known for restraining its lefty enthusiasm, did not disappoint: “Liberalism is back! President Obama’s inaugural address revealed a liberal vision — a full-throated defense of progressive policy.”