Obama's Speech a 'Home Run'

Right/left praise speech

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2009 2:41 PM CST

(Newser) – The early reviews are in from Barack Obama’s inauguration address, and the news is positive. Here’s what the critics are saying:

  • At the National Review, Michael Knox Beran thought the speech was a “home run.” It predictably had “a few lines at which a conservative would cavil,” but impressed with its somber tone and deference to the founding fathers.
  • Jacob Heilbrun of the Huffington Post saw something else in the references to Washington and company. “He promised a new American revolution,” with a fresh generation renewing America’s promise.

  • Obama struck a somber tone right off the bat, speaking of humility, gratitude, and sacrifice, notes Nancy Gibbs for Time, sending the clear message that Obama would miss no opportunities, lead boldly, “and above all, tell the truth.”
  • It was the rare memorable inaugural address, and clearly written by Obama himself, says Robert Kaiser of the Washington Post, though he was surprised by the “shots he took at Bush, with the outgoing president sitting right there.”

President Obama waves after he delivered his inaugural address at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.
President Obama waves after he delivered his inaugural address at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
President Obama waves after his inaugural address at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.
President Obama waves after his inaugural address at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
President Obama is greeted by former President George W. Bush after Obama delivered his inaugural address at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.
President Obama is greeted by former President George W. Bush after Obama delivered his inaugural address at the US Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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At a time of scarcity, do not waste opportunities. When the world is watching and willing to follow, tell them where you want to take them. And above all tell the truth. - Nancy Gibbs

On the whole I was impressed by the new president’s tone, by his précis of the American tradition, by the tribute he paid to our forebears and to those “guardians of our liberty” who are making sacrifices today. - Michael Knox Beran

The tone of his speech was somber, but his vision of the future was not. If America can navigate the icy rapids that threaten to submerge it, it can emerge into a sunlit harbor. - Jacob Heilbrunn

I've been at many huge events on that piece of real estate over the years, but this seemed to dwarf all of them. - Robert Kaiser

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