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No doubt, the White House thinks the American people know Obama's story. But since the Inauguration, we've seen only the president's present: his perfect family, his Ivy League elegance, his effortless mastery of complex issues. We never see him sweat. And we forget that he ever had to struggle.
Dee Dee Myers
The last time I saw Ted Kennedy was a generation after my first meeting, at the Senate subway below the Capitol on Obama's Inauguration Day. He was his usual gregarious and gracious self - with beaming smile and booming voice wishing my husband and me good luck with our pregnancy and expressing his excitement about the new president.
From being a little girl in the projects, going through all of the mess that I was going through, to ending up at the Inauguration for the first African-American president, I'm speechless right now because I never thought I'd - I never ever - I couldn't even see that far. Even when I ended up in the music business, I couldn't see that.
Mary J. Blige
I have been very encouraged by President Obama's call to action on climate change both at his Inauguration and in the State of the Union Address. This is a global imperative. I also welcome President Obama's intention to pursue reductions in nuclear arsenals.
President Obama called for a 'we' nation in his Inauguration Address. Art convenes. It is not just inspirational. It is aspirational. It pricks the walls of our compartmentalized minds, opens our hearts and makes us brave. And that's what we need most in our country today.
Anna Deavere Smith
It would be unthinkable in Canadian public life today for the public inauguration of our supreme political figures to be accompanied by prayer.
Ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of my election I received many letters from people representing all segments of the population and all professions, especially from the younger generation, linking my inauguration with great - far too great - expectations.
When every high school graduate can spell the word, 'inauguration,' let's put lampshades on our heads and listen to his speeches until Obama's voice gives out.
Mandates are rarely won on election night. They are earned after Inauguration Day by leaders who spend their political capital wisely, taking advantage of events without overreaching.
I and others of my sex find ourselves controlled by a form of government in the inauguration of which we had no voice.
Housing was ground zero for the Great Recession. Between early 2006 and Obama's inauguration in 2009, average house prices fell by a third across the country. In certain areas, including cities as diverse as Akron, Orlando and Las Vegas, house prices fell by more than half.
Since the heady days of the 2009 Inauguration, middle-class independents have grown increasingly distant from Obama. Working-class voters - always more enamored of Clinton - have grown even more wary and distrustful of the Chicagoan. Both voting blocs pose the danger of serious defection in 2012. Without their support, Obama cannot win.
There are no more heroes in America. Because of the Internet, heroism has become momentary and within seconds someone who we should be thinking about will be replaced in people's minds with news that Beyonce lip-synched at the inauguration.
My dad took me to John Kennedy's inauguration when I was 8. We come every time, Republican and Democrat, because of this great country.
It was clear soon after his election that Obama, like FDR, wanted to start dealing with the economic crisis immediately after his inauguration.
Few expected very much of Franklin Roosevelt on Inauguration Day in 1933. Like Barack Obama seventy-six years later, he was succeeding a failed Republican president, and Americans had voted for change. What that change might be Roosevelt never clearly said, probably because he himself didn't know.
President Obama had voiced strong support for the effort in Afghanistan during his campaign, pledging to add two brigades, which he did. But since the inauguration... the administration had signaled that the U.S. commitment needed careful assessment, and we needed to recalibrate the strategy and objectives.
Stanley A. McChrystal
Whatever he does in office, no man can live up to the high expectations of the world, but we have been changed by his election. Obama's inauguration is a historic global achievement, a major milestone in the journey of a powerful nation.
Peace in the Middle East has been on the Obama administration's mind from the beginning. Two days after his inauguration, the president traveled to the State Department to announce the appointment of George Mitchell as his Middle East peace negotiator.
The first reports of AIDS closely followed the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan, whose 'family values' agenda and alliance with Christian conservatives associated AIDS with deviance and sin.
As a former member of President Obama's economic team, I have a soft spot for the fiscal stimulus legislation he signed just a month after his inauguration.
The president of the United States, on Inauguration Day, takes an oath to faithfully execute the laws. Those are the laws that are passed by Congress.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.
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