What an awesome inaugural speech!
With cadences inspired by Dr. King, a call to service right of John Kennedy and a call to responsibility right out of Mom's kitchen, Barack Hussein Obama took the presidential oath of office before a relieved nation today.
Obama's speech was surprisingly severe in parts. Scathing references to the excesses of the Bush administration were peppered throughout.
Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.
But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.
...this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.
But also, there were admonishments to the American people for our bad habits and collective folly. He made it clear that it's time not just for the adults to be in charge, but for all of us to become adults.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Ouch, Daddy O! That smarts!
But Obama also made sure to tell us that we were fully capable of doing better. His examples from the past -- of ancestors toiling "for us" and his stirring final image of a beleaguered George Washington readying his battered troops to cross the Delaware in the harsh winter of 1776 -- were intended to remind us that we are the heirs of greatness, courage and achievement.
The words were simple -- very few multi-syllabics and college talk. But the message was profound. We are a great people, we were told, capable of greatness and expected to deliver.
Congratulations, President Barack Obama, and may we go with you, with God's blessing, into a glorious future.