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Judging “The Speech” — what did you think?

January 20, 2009

Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States on Tuesday. In his much-anticipated inaugural speech, he said the “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.”

But the new president also said the United States remained “the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth,” and that “we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

What did you think of the speech? Did it meet the hype? Were you moved, or dismayed?


Same old thing diffrent day!! Blah blah blah!!

Posted by mary | Report as abusive

Thoughts become things. If Borak Obama is truly thinking and feeling what he spoke of, I feel we will prosper, Emotionally, Financially and in unison. The sort of old school statment I used to hear playing sports really does apply here to this moment in time of “Dust your self off” we need to all conciously and sub- conciously dust our selves off and begin to get back in the game. America needs to be it’s own quarterback calling it’s own plays once again!

Posted by John Zambrano | Report as abusive

I am a moderate independent and I thought the speech struck exactly the right tone. Bush should have urged the same actions after 9/11. Instead he told the nation to go out and shop.

Individual responsibility, open and accountable leadership, moral integrity, and cooperation. What could possibly be wrong about that?

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

I think the speech was warm and confortalbe at the same time he was telling us to work together because this is our country and together we can make everything work.It is not one person job it is all of our job to work with each other.
we can do it yes we can. The time has come for everyone to pull together and work hard.This is all of our dreams to over come as one to work as one and to be as one we are American.Our new President has open the eyes of the world and we will pick up and dust off and begin our new making of the United States. I am moved .I cried and I cheered on because we are starting a new era WE WILL ALL RISE TOGETHER. Thank You


Very riviting and captivating, Barak held my attention with every word that he uttered

Posted by Ahad Husain | Report as abusive

Disappointing, an opportunity to unveil positive progressive future but relied on threats and worn out campaign rhetoric!

Posted by Chuck | Report as abusive

Perfect! Just perfect! He has inspired me to do everythng in my power to help him make it work! If we all jump behind, it will happen!

Posted by eoise | Report as abusive

Not memorable at all.

It was unnecessarily negative in tone and did not accentuate the positive. Typical of a crisis monger which is precisely why Carter didn’t last longer than one term either.

As for working together, if that is so important to everyone, then they have had their chances since 9/11. It isn’t as though working together is a new idea. The Bush haters talk of peace, love and working together. Well, where were you for the last eight years?

The biggest mistake Bush made during his administration is he never “asked” the country to sacrifice after 9/11. We all went about our lives like there was, and is, no terrorist threat. The threat is, the terrorists want to kill us and they don’t care who it is.

Anyway, not a great speech and no memorable lines.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I truly believe that President Obama was sincere in his every word. As Americans we need to step away from the “I” mentality and the finger pointing and embrace the WE!!!! The constitution starts off with “We the People” and the sooner we get back to that and stop finger pointing & being so selfish, we as a nation can and will be back on top and prosper. Many of the blogs posted here speak about the “same old-same old”, but we had the same old same old for the past 8 years and look where it landed us. Back in debt…further than we’ve ever been. It is truly time for a change and America made that first step by electing it’s FIRST African American President. Don’t let it stop at that. Let’s get America back to what this country is truly all about anyway…UNITY!!!!!

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

I really like him, I am sure that his words were
meaningful, I liked that he said we should get jobs
and make something of ourselves. I hope that he means
it and those of us that feel left out join in and
get moving.

Posted by Toni Arlotta | Report as abusive

I thought the message that he sent to the other leaders of the world was very strong: you will be remembered for what you build, not what you destroy. His message about our spirit being stronger, and outlasting the terrorists was also very positive. I agree with the comment above about “shopping” vs “acting”.

Posted by kg | Report as abusive

The speech was awesome; had great flow and some pieces of it moved me…. most of all it was refreshing. It felt like Spring in the cold Winter month. I felt that there is hope and we WILL done with the bad days quickly.

Posted by SP | Report as abusive

Just more of the same from an empty Harvard suit.

Posted by WDD | Report as abusive


Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Best speech of his career. A genuine appeal for all of us to pull together to get out of this mess and a warning to others not to get in the way while we do. i didn’t vote for him and never have voted for a Democrat, but for now, he is all we have got and we should support him as a buffer against extreme progressive elements in Congress. He deserves a chance.

Posted by joe pawelka | Report as abusive

He should of held his hand up to stop the crowd from booing Bush. That display of disrespect ruin the whole thing for me. Change and Hope turned to same ol same ol??
I think everyone watching was embrassed for our country

Posted by patsy | Report as abusive

I thought it was the perfect tone. He wasn’t trying to be negative but only reminding Americans the work ahead. Yes, it’s a celebration but after all of this, the real work begins. He’s asking us to work together now more than ever. I don’t think we was trying to make that historical line like the presidents before him. It needed to be uplifting and encouraging but also introducing himself to the world and saying the type of president he will be.

And for TC, 9/11 and our current economic crisis are like apples and oranges. President Obama wants us to work together during the hard economic crisis–just like what he said in his speech: “It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.” THAT’s one of the ways he wants us to work together.

How did you want us to work together after 9/11? The only thing we could do was to comfort each other after the attacks. It was up to our then President to figure out how to get the suspects. For a few months he was on the right path in Afghanistan but then deciding to go to Iraq was (on of) the biggest failure of his administration.

Bush didn’t “ask” us to work together–you’re right. But his administration never cared to “ask” because they had the trust-us-we-know-what-we’re-doing-cause- we’re-right attitude. Bush sold the war to the American people by claiming there were W.M.D.s in Iraq even after reports confirmed there were none and even his claims that Saddam was helping bin Laden were proven false. And you’re asking where we were the last 8 years? The last 8 years we’ve been complaining to his administration not only about the war, but the economy, health care, No Child Left Behind Act, Guantanamo, Katrina–basically we were asking him to focus on his people for once but only to be turned away. IF he cared, IF he did his job, you think we’d be where we are now? and NO Bush did not inherit the recession, reports already confirmed we began the recession by the end of 2007. That’s what we were doing, TC.

Posted by Mar | Report as abusive

My favorite part was when he said we would protect our country, without compromising our ideals, then the cameras went right to GW Bush. A clear reference to the crimes committed under the name of security.

Posted by don | Report as abusive

If intention can create action then there is hope. I was particularly optimistic when he acknowledged our unsustainable consumption of natural resources – which might lead to the eventual deindustrialization of our civilizations – even after a healing of the economies of the world. I believe he is a different breed of politician than those who have come before him – and I think he will succeed if he has the support of the people behind him. He has mine.

Posted by Nan | Report as abusive

I missed the speech live, and read it before hearing it. I was very impressed when I read it. I was disappointed when I heard it. For most of it, the speech didn’t come across as if they were his words, rather, it felt like he was just miming someone else half heartedly. I then realized that if you took it out of this year’s context and had Ronald Reagan deliver the exact same speech on any occasion, he’d have pulled it off and convinced you it was straight from his heart. Obama is a far better speaker than Bush, but I miss the Great Communicator, which Obama will never be. He can’t speak well without a teleprompter and doesn’t do that much better with one in my opinion. I did like the line to the Muslim leaders that their own people will judge them more by what they can build than by what they can destroy though.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

First, the speech was disappointing, sounded like a campaign speech, not a historic one with memorable phrases. Instead of sketching out a broad vision of values and principles that all people could rally behind and use to guide their actions, he was talking about jobs, autos, statistics….Second, it struck me as ironic and immoral that he should ask all Americans to unite and rally behind him while, for the past two years, he did everything he could to get the people to oppose the then President in every policy…. Third, for the focus on the new era of responsibility, he will be starting his term with a $2 trillion check for new debt to spend on every cause under the sun, $150 m on the inauguration, a tax cheat for Treasury Secretary….looks like the market responded responsibly today…

Posted by P Rao | Report as abusive

I did not hear the speach. We have heard it all the last 6 months. Nothing is going to change except the following.
We will pay more taxes.
Many will lose their jobs.
If I am asked to take a pay-cut. Why should I. I didnt cause this problem nor did anyone else in this post. I have already taken a pay-cut in what is most assuredly going to be a tax hike.
As for the banks 3 months ago we had the opportunity to send a clear message. You play with with fire you are gonna get burned. We let one of them go Lehman Brothers they must have had some enemies in the Treasury department. But Congress felt otherwise and appropriated (stole) $700 billion dollars from you and I even after the consensus was no bailout the politicians flipped us the bird. Are we really any better off now. . .no. Looks like our helping hand is being bitten off by the banks and the greed of Wall St. I am glad I am out of it. I probably wont go back in for a year or 2 maybe longer.


Posted by Daddio | Report as abusive

Same old crud from obamo. What he says and what he does have always been different. Ya’ll watch your rights dwindle down to nutin’!

Posted by bas | Report as abusive

obama has a positive mind and i think if we could all follow his example, it can be a better world – enough negativity!!


Fabulous speech. Wonderful President. It can only get better from here! Hooray!


President Barack Obama may well become known as much as a “Great Communicator” as was Republican Ronald Reagan. His speech was sober, yet encouraging, tempered and reasoned, yet below he surface was the passion of a preacher. While there might not be a single line that will echo in the future as was in JFK’s “Ask not…,” the man we’ve elected will make this whole speech significant in the future. Harry Chapin noted that “sometimes words can serve me well, sometimes words can go to hell, for all that they do.” The words are the easy part, now the real work begins.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

The speech was terrible in my opinion. Everyone knows what problems we face, but no new solutions were offered. I found the tone objectionable as he varied between pontificating and appeasing. I would have appreciated less grandstanding and more solutions. I’m sure he will pat himself on the back, but I think this will be a historic occasion for all the wrong reasons; especially 2 years down the line when this country is in the worst depression ever, and I’m unemployed subsisting on fried dough and wild squirrels.

Posted by Stephen | Report as abusive

Very disappointing. He should have let his speech writer do his job. Mostly I am still concerned about Obama’s lack of certification of eligibility for the office. Why, if he has the proper documentation, does he not present it to the American people and put an end to the court cases, the arguements and the second guessing.

Posted by Cowgirl in Cody | Report as abusive

being European Mr. Obama did not strike the cord with me as he will have done with many Americans. I however was moved by his words. I made an attempt to try and see if I felt hollow sentences were used or bad rhetorics but he made a beautiful speech. The man does not shy away from the negatives the country is facing and which he will have to deal with (how can he TC, surely an “all is hunkydory” message would not have made him appear very credible, would it?) but tried to combine it all with determination.
If Mr. Obama lives up to his words then we will have a truly remarkable president to add to the history books.

Posted by Yvonne | Report as abusive

If Obama’s speech is a measure of the man the world thank goodness is in safe hands

Posted by Rachel | Report as abusive

At our school we took time out to watch the inauguration and it was great. We had a mixture of people in ages ranging from 18 to 60 and the consensus was that Obama’s speech was great, straight to the point of what needs to be done and how we as a nation can get everything done if we work together. I look forward to the next 4 years and having this great President serve our country!

Posted by Mary Nicholson | Report as abusive

Fascinating altruistic propaganda, check back in 100 days! I especially liked the “pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again” song lyrics. Well delivered, but truthful, who knows? I just want the government to leave me alone to enjoy the freedoms guaranteed in the constitution and bill of rights. When the senate has unemployment, pay cuts, lay offs and reduced or eliminated medical and pension benefits, I’ll start listening again. Good show!

Posted by CSMG | Report as abusive

From a foreigner’s perspective his speech does promise a return to the idealism of America’s founding fathers. Hope it works out that way.

Posted by gopalarao | Report as abusive

Very pretty words – but the substance remains to be seen. I can give the benifit of the doubt. I do agree with one writer that said that there should have been more respect for Bush. Hate or love, good or bad – he was still the leader of this country and deserves respect. I think the part that I was really insulted by was the preacher who decided to add a little poem at the end of the prayer. Very disrespectful. At what point do we stop concentrating on the past sins and start concentrating on going forward and teaching that color, any color, should not ever be a factor in any situation.

Posted by Dee | Report as abusive

Beautiful words. Words that have been stated by the last 30 presidents. snore. Now let’s see action. So far he said:

1. I will cut programs (not what he advertised during his campaign)
2. Help companies in trouble like GM (After stating he would not assist companies that outsource jobs – they outsource)
3. Told the African Americans present to nurture your own children – something they should have been doing all along.

Yah yah yah yah yah – back to sleep

Posted by Frank R | Report as abusive

BRING BACK BUSH!!!!!!!! BUSH WAS THE GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER! The 60% that didn’t approve of him were all idiots anyway

Posted by Frank Russo | Report as abusive

I am a South African currently visiting the USA on business. You should consider yourself blessed to have Barack Obama as your President. This speech should be read in every classroom in every school every day. If there could be a President of the World I cannot think of a better man to be that than Mr Obama. He should be given not only a chance to succeed but everybody’s positive assistance to do so.

Posted by Fritz Visser | Report as abusive

I thought it was very impressive. He gave hope and asked for our efforts. He did not promise a quick fix.
He tied us back to the rest of the world. I am proud to be in a country that can embrace such a quality leader.


Hi was absolutely incredible. After philadelphia speech it was going to be hard to top ut he is the real deal .That is why he consistently reasonates with the majority of the
American people and calls out to the best on each of us. He does not let us off the hook but is prepared to lead!!!We love him!!!

Posted by Esther & Chuck Wagenheim | Report as abusive

The speech was moving while also being realistic. We have a tough journey ahead of us, but I believe we have the right man at the helm.


Obama’s call for “a new era of responsibility” is the call I’ve been waiting for the last eight years; for a nation that surely needs leadership from the darkness of the Bush administration.

Posted by Gretna Bear | Report as abusive

I am surprised by the number of negative comments. I’m also surprised at how similar they sound, how similar the sentence structure, the words used, the cadence. It also saddens me to read them.

Obama gave a remarkable speech and I’m proud to be an American today. He’s the best man for the job. And a great orator.

Posted by Suzann | Report as abusive

I was playing tidlywinks and couldn’t care less.
It’s just another stupid TV show.


So many memorable phrases! This was a great speech, one that will be quoted and remembered for years to come.

I am proud today, for the first time in years, to be a U.S. citizen. I am completely confident this remarkable man will be able to solve the situation in Iraq responsibly, to forge peace in Afghanistan, to solve our common problems, and to restore our country to the leadership position that it once held.

We are so very lucky to have a man of such intelligence, conviction and background serving as our President. One who doesn’t try to sugar-coat the reality of the situation, one that can bring us together to solve these problems.

Posted by Suzan | Report as abusive

I was impressed with how Obama has acknowledged the problems which will need to be faced but in regards to the part where he referred to the ‘Muslim world’, while I agree with the sentiment, I think Obama should have made a more open approach by not just referring to the ‘Muslim world’ but to the world outside the US in general.

In todays world, conflict has been brought about by more than just a Muslim/West ideological divide – we only need to look to the conflicts over mineral resources and political power on the African continent and the various conflicts involving Russia/Georgia and China/Tibet to illustrate this. If Obama were to recognise that dealing with the complex troubles that exist between Western and Muslim elements is only one part of America’s intention of being a true global citizen with a view of having all nations work together, it would provide a platform that would see the US as wanting to work with the world and have the world work with them – a handy sentiment to develop if we are to tackle the global issues that will affect us all in the future.

Posted by Warwick | Report as abusive

I loved the speech. Obama took a stand to show the change in direction he would take. The country is in terrible shape thanks to Bush. I loved hearing the boos for Bush. After all the hell he put us thru for the last 8 years, he does not deserve any special respect. I do not give him credit for making us safer. The deaths of 4000+ soldiers and the maiming of hundreds of thousands more is destruction to the USA even if it happened elsewhere technically. He bullied everyone and silenced us by calling us traitors if we did not give him carte blanche. Obama has a huge amount of courage to stand up against the outrages Bush foisted on the American people and around the world. I can’t wait for the changes to come and I support him. Hopefully Bush’s reign of destruction CAN be turned around.

Posted by Mary S | Report as abusive

I thought it was thought-provoking but optimistic. It made me proud to be an American. We have a long way to go, but at least we’re on the right path now.

FINALLY CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA! HOORAY! It’s a great day for this country.

***As for the person posting below who thinks GWB had a 40% approval rating- get REAL! Try 22%, the lowest in history.

Posted by anna | Report as abusive

I thought the speech was good and delivered eloquently. The message is all about change; an opportunity to get involved in rebuilding America. It feels great to have the enthusiasm and new energy to get going on rebuilding America. We who live in the United States are indeed fortunate beyond measure and now we have a great, enthusiastic, leader who is a thinker. And so it is!


The fact of the matter is no matter how feelings may differ on the speech he is on a path to bieng the greatest president of all time…….
Because he has not only inspired a nation but a world as well. People are staring into the face of not only Americas hope but the hopes of everyone on the planet. He has given a sense of “I CAN” to the world .

Respect it!

Posted by Walter | Report as abusive

Obama did a good job with the speech. Vice president Biden looked healthy as well. And the reverends both did a fine job. It was comforting to hear Obama clearing the slate on world affairs. No war is a good war. Non petroleum energy is the way to go.

Posted by twist | Report as abusive

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