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Inaugural Address

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  1. No Coalition from Canada writes: Common danger, patriotism, the greatest nation in the world. Somehow these remain as what defines America, and that arrogance is beyond the reproach of even the nation's first black president. It never gets old, does it?
  2. Jon Easton from Toronto, Canada writes: What's wrong with believing in something?
  3. a salajan from To, Canada writes: No Coalition from Canada

    Pep talk to rally the troops: done at war, sport games, hockey beer league, workplace, bedrooms and all other aspects of life. I beleive it bolsters morale a little more than saying: we are a bunch of whimps who spend money we don't have.
  4. carmen lopez from Canada writes: On a wall in my home there are three photographs. I go to them for inspiration. One is of Martin Luther King. Another of Nelson Mandela, and a third of the Dalaih Llama. All are ordinary humans, but,capable of inspiring us to believe that we can make great strides in addressing the injustices of our fellow-man. A fourth picture needs to be hung. It will be of Barack Hossein Obama. Not because he is perfect, or can on his own create change..but becasue he offers us an opportunity for that climate to exist. It is afterall our responsibility, no?
  5. Cameron Reid from Canada writes: The United States embodies both the best and the worst of the world; this address calls upon the American people to strive towards the best. This was a moving and impressive speech to watch and I truly hope the new president has the skill, drive, moral clarity, and ability to make reality of the image of America he painted in his address.

    As a Canadian, I am heartened to see a president that appears committed to leave the country and the world a better place than he found it; the power of the United States is very real, and I am very glad to see it again directed by a man who seems equal to the office he has been elevated to by his people.

    Whether or not Obama can live up to the vision he has painted remains to be seen, but at least he seems headed in the right direction, a welcome change both for Americans and those of us in the rest of the world.
  6. Sky Weir from Calgary, Canada writes: While watching Obama's speech, it gave me hope that if the Americans could vote for leadership, intelligence, compassion and integrity from their government, Canadians could do the same.

    Come on Canada, we could make advances too.

    I challenge all Canadians to USE their hearts and brains.
    It's obvious that the business model for government and running the world doesn't work if there are no counter balances.

    Money is important but the well being of all our people is most important!

    Actually taking care of the environment, education and healthcare on a fair and national level AS WELL as looking after our natural resources and business bottom lines - is, as I see it, the best we can be.

    Stop being complacent Canada.
    With a little thought we ALL can make a difference!
    THINK next time you vote - and VOTE!
  7. J W M from Canada writes: If we walk away with anything from historicial day , then let it be inspiration to believe in change.

    I know I was truely inspired today... I wrote my first poem.
  8. John Connor from Canada writes: Good Luck Sir.
    You are going to need it.
  9. Tyler Christensen from Yokohama, Japan writes: I'm not a big fan of the US, but I'm willing to give this guy a chance to make things right.
  10. No Coalition from Canada writes: carmen lopez from Canada writes: ' fourth picture needs to be hung. It will be of Barack Hossein Obama. Not because he is perfect, or can on his own create change..but becasue he offers us an opportunity for that climate to exist. '

    Carmen... this is the problem I have with the Obamamania... people are projecting their hopes and desires on to this man... and yet his only accomplishment to-date is getting elected (albeit as the first Black president).

    He reads words that are written for him by speach writers.... and fulfillment of any of the meaning behind those words remains yet to be seen..... Right now everyone is gassed up on hope and inspiration....and I think you might want to wait for a year or two before you start idolizing the man.
  11. Tiu Leek from Canada writes: That was the best inauguration speech I've ever heard. It was better than Kennedy's, and that's saying something.

    If there was ever a speech I could believe in, it would be that one.
  12. Jon Easton from Toronto, Canada writes: Sky Weir, I was totally with you until you decided that your power to make change in this world is limited to your vote. Letting govenrnment define your influence: that, to me, is complacency.
  13. Ed Flynn from Saint John, Canada writes: It was a good speech; one that may be destined to a higher place in American rhetoric depending on how Obama delivers tangibly. He's no Kennedy (Jack, Bobby or Ted) when it comes deleviring a good speech with the highly effective inflections of a great speaker but his message seemed clear.

    If I'm an American watching this on TV or from among the throngs gathered in DC I'm thinking it can only get better. Witness poor old Cheney in a wheelchair for godsake! Quite a lasting image to be emblazoned on one of the all-time worst administrations.
  14. Michael Popowich from victoria, Canada writes: I was just wondering, since the reflecting pool is frozen, is that the same as when hell freezes over??
  15. Western Clods from Vancouver, Canada writes:

    Accomplishments aside, he also writes the bulk of his own speeches...including today's inaugural address. He's also the author of two fine memoirs.
  16. Sky Weir from Calgary, Canada writes: Jon Easton, I guess that I didn't think it through - I agree with you that leaving things to the govt. alone is being complacent.
    Government is only one spoke in our wheel of responsibility.
  17. Steve St-Laurent from Vancouver, Canada writes: I am hopeful for his administration. How could one not be after the past eight years? Still, Obama's inaugural address proves one thing: there is no more overstuffed couch than the lexicon of American patriotic/political rhetoric. In eighteen minutes he embraced pretty well every cliche. At this time, a short, tight and inspiring speech would have served him better. All the same, good luck to him!
  18. CK Cheung from Canada writes: It is great to see the American chosen a president with more brain and greater compassion to its fellow citizen.

    I agree USA is a powerful nation, but it is not neccessary a great nation. Obama may think America is a great nation, but that judgement is from the world.

    I use to think Canada is a great nation, but not lately.
    Can someone define what qualities constitute to a great nation?
  19. Kimberly Mills from Milton, Canada writes: I will only believe that we are capable of the great things that our leaders expect of us when we care enough to spell and use grammar properly so that we may express our views and articulate our passion. Perhaps then we may earn the respect and support of our fellow citizens.
  20. Name Witheld from Vancouver, Canada writes: @ No Coalition:

    You may be right, Barack Obama's speech may be all style. But if it can motivate a majority of Americans (and others) to buy in, and commit to emulating its message - won't the style beget the substance?

    @ Carmen:

    Don't pin your hopes and dreams on hero figures. Be your own inspiration. That fourth frame you need to hang should contain a mirror.
  21. Joe Little from Cowtown Calgary, Canada writes: CK Cheung from Canada writes: I use to think Canada is a great nation, but not lately.
    Can someone define what qualities constitute to a great nation?
    I think a nation can be called great at least can not be lead by a law breaker and liar.
  22. Arthur Kidd from Canada writes: a very good day for the world I hope and think. Objectively though(might just have been the feed) I expected more from this speech. Sure he was obliged to make some reference to every interest, group., that is the form I suppose, but I would`ve like a more singular message theme, something more artful.

    also I think there was a tone of drudgery, concerning the labour ahead to get things back on track, that wasn`t exactly necessary to such a degree. I think the job could be done in a way that could be perceived as less painless if the fervour is truly what it seems to have been stirred up to be. if one really believes that what they are doing is for good then the task is effortless, compared to when one thinks that the toil is only out of necessity for survival. I am a bit tired of the 'selfless-sacrifice-solution' line of rhetoric. I know it sells down there though.

    Americans already work a ton. Hard work is not the answer. Better thinking and a questioning of priorities I believe is. these things can be enjoyable especially if one believes they will be meaningful too.

  23. Sandy Richards from Mississauga, Canada writes: Ahh, the coming of the black messiah, who in fact is not black, but bi-racial (although that doesn't provide as much appeal to the masses or as much of a 'news' story for the media). I wish him well; he is obviously intelligent, articulate and ambitious, and a huge improvement over America's last choice. I can't help but feel that he cannot possibly live up to the hype, and when people's expectations aren't met (for no fault of his own), who will get the blame?
    Hard to believe that we're now in the 21 century and one's race, colour and religion are still the 'story' in a presidential election.
  24. P Martin from St. John's, NL, Canada writes: When I heard 'hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord', I immediately though that this is the exact opposite of Harper.

    Where Obama wants to talk, Harper wants to argue.
    Where Obama wants to create compromise, Harper wants to bully.
    Where Obama wants to create opportunities, Harper wants to destroy.
    Where Obama wants to lead his country, Harper wants to control.
    Where Obama wants to fix wrongs, Harper wants to suppress.

    I could go on but it is easy to see how one has the potential to be a great leader while the other will be lucky to match the legacy of Bush. And for those that need it spelled out more clearly - Obama is a leader, Harper is anything but.
  25. Western Girl from Canada writes: 'On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

    On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.'

    Too bad Harper, Layton, Duceppe, and Ignatieff couldn't take these words to heart and fix the travesty that is Canadian politics right now. Instead, every one of them is invested in their petty power plays and their own egos, at the expense of the country and its citizens.

    If it was Harper delivering these words, the only thing we could be sure of is that he'd be lying.
  26. gerhard beck from Canada writes: P Martin from St John's, Well said and so true. Harper is not even a copy of Bush, much worse.
  27. Alistair Thomson from Canada writes: Great speech. Jon Favreau is a wonderful speech writer.
  28. Zac G from Penticton, Canada writes: Obama has given us no reason to trust him as a leader, he's not our direct leader - though his decisions effect us heavily. We can hope for a good Canadian leader to work with Obama to restore the North American relationship we used to have. Too many people are blindly in love with this new president even though he's done nothing to earn it so far other than make political promises (where have we heard those before...?). I'm deeply hopeful that he's able to accomplish the things he speaks about, but I'll leave the decision to like him until a couple years from now. I like Harper, and I hope he can rekindle a strong friendship with the U.S., and I remain ever hopeful that Obama will be the great leader he's been made out to be.
  29. ginny ! from Canada writes:
    In fact, he's wrong, 44 Americans have not taken the presidential oath. Grover Cleveland got counted twice, for having two non-sequential terms.

    Obama may be president number 44, but he's only the 43rd man to hold the office.
  30. Alistair Thomson from Canada writes: If all of Obama's support staff is as competent as his speech writer the US will have nothing to worry about.
  31. Stewart Mawdsley from Fort Smith, Canada writes: Damn right about Harper P Martin. Can anyone, even those who support the Conservatives, envision Harper as a uniter, not a divider? I think not.

    The true measure for Obama is that he begins his term as probably the most popular leader the world has ever seen. He was an mind-bogglingly enormous amount of political good will to work with, similar to what GW Bush had after the 9/11 attacks. Bush squandered that goodwill within months, if not weeks. Can Obama use it constructively and to the benefit of not only American but the world?

    Here's hoping.
  32. S C from Victoria, Canada writes: Alaistair Thomson, I think you've said a mouthful. If even his whole staff understands all the words in that speech, there's no way but up from here. That speech was very different. It was beautiful - eloquent with stirring imagery, and it was aspirational, and it made full use of the grammatical skills that should be at the disposal of anyone who has completed high school (to me this Presidency is less a triumph for race than a triumph for intelligence), yet this speech was always distinctly down to earth. Many during his campaign said he was to vague about how he wanted to effect change, but there was no lack of specifics today. He's done campaigning. Mr. Obama came to Washington to get things done!
  33. Robert Johnston from Oakville, Canada writes: We will not really get to know Obama for some months to come, but at this point in time, he is offering America change. and hope. In order to succeed in anything, we human beings need hope. He is very articulate, confident, and eloquent. Let us all wish him and all Americans, the best in resolving the many challenges they face at this time of their history.
    He has one thing going for him that Harper does not. He is overseeing a Nation of people who love and support their country, right or wrong. Harper on the other hand, must govern a country full of regional, self-centered whiners, -with one province that has never been happy, and never will be.
    Hey, and the other thing I love about this guy, is that he is a 'Southpaw'; and we Southpaws have been used, abused, and oppressed for generations; and it is about time we rectified this past injustice!! Let the Left-handed revolution begin!
  34. Dude, where's my Canada? from Canada writes: Great speech. Complete contrast to Bush and Harper.
  35. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: What a thrill it was to watch President Obama's inauguration address today. He inspired the billions of TV watchers and gave us all a reason,to once again, love America through his theme of Hope, Change, and Inclusion. Contrast this to our Prime Minister Stephanie who preaches, divisiveness (English vs French, East vs West, Gays vs Straights, ), exclusion, no hope, infighting, etc. What a difference. What did we do to deserve such a fundamentalist, right-wing nut? God help us. Iggy, Canadians desperately need you!
  36. Gerry Werthers from Vancouver, Canada writes:
    Oh Canada. Country of irony. You gush ecstatically over the new President of the United States; who talks about harnessing the sun and the wind and the soil to power our future. Who talks about choosing hope over fear.

    YET you chose to leave the Canadian political leader out in the cold who said the very same things. Who talked about the politics of hope and the politics of fear.

    And you re-elected the guy who thought there wasn't that much wrong with the economy. Talk about a Judas syndrome!
  37. Jennifer Pohl from Canada writes: With an unheard of over 80 percent approval rating in Canada, Obama could move here after his couple of terms to sort things out (Just kidding! I'm not trying to start a flame war.) Hopefully by then we'll have agreed upon or found a leader all Canadians have confidence in. According to the Angus Reid Poll our current prime minister is seen as the least trustworthy and honest of all party leaders, but Obama gives us hope. He appeals to people better natures.

    My eyes were sore from crying after listening to this. Even on a personal level both his books were inspiring. His mother would get him at four in the morning to study and say 'this isn't a picnic for me either Buster!' Behind every great man...

    It is so wonderful and fitting that Lincoln's bible was used in the ceremony.
  38. P.M. F. from Berlin, Germany writes: Obama's greatest strength is his ability to inspire and mobilize people, not only in America but internationally.

    This, as well as his intelligence, integrity and unsurpassed leadership skills, is exactly what America and the world needs at the moment.

    I admire him enormously and wish him and all of us the best for the future!
  39. Robert Ranalli from Hamilton, Canada writes: As the saying goes, he can talk the talk, now can he walk the walk?
  40. Kim Philby from Canada writes: 'What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world...This is the price and the promise of citizenship.'

    Stirring words, indeed, but Kennedy said it much more succinctly: 'Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.'

    It was interesting that he acknowledged that some Americans are, in the context of religion, non-believers.

    Nice parting dig at Bush - his statement that America will lead once again.
  41. handy andy from burlington, Canada writes: 2 thoughts.
    1) among all the ringing rhetoric one phrase was for me particularly striking. When he was addressing the Muslim world : 'know that your people will judge you on what you can build not on what you destroy'. Would that their leaders will heed that advice.
    2) I cannot help reflecting how sad it is that Canadians can generate more enthusiasm for a foreign politician than we ever can for a Canadian one.
  42. don ross from Toronto, Canada writes: The admiration of Obama is deserved, however we must
    acknowledge that he was raised by his white mother and
    white grandparents after his black father took off and left
    his family to fend for themselves.
    He is bi-racial but to appeal to the masses and make a DREAM come true his blackness is being pushed to the forefront. I wish him well.
    The vast majority of the world's economic woes began
    in the U.S., let us hope Barack Obama and his government can help put things back on a positive footing for future generations.
  43. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: Well, that was quite the speech. Too bad that our current PM, let alone his supporters and mentors, can't ever reach that level. Stupid fools that they are.

    Hopefully, we here in Canada will also see the removal of the neo-con Fascist thugs and a restoration of real personal and individual responsibility and performance.

    That ideology thing really needs to be booted out the door onto the midden heap.
  44. Greg Ast from Nanoose Bay, Canada writes: What a lovely day, what a great man, what promise for the future. Barack Obama is the tonic needed for the America's to move forward from our current malaise.

    Oh, one other thing, I like Aretha's lyrics for "God Save the Queen" ;-)
  45. poppy ann from Canada writes: From President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address:

    "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history."

    Newspaper editors take note.

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