Obama Speech Bodes Well for the Constitution

Inaugural address may hint at a more respectful administration
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 6:40 PM CST
Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush wait to wave goodbye after Obama was sworn in as the 44th President in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – All presidents swear to uphold the Constitution when they take the oath of office, but John Nichols is pleased that Obama went further than that in his inaugural address today, he writes for the Nation. Invoking Ben Franklin, Obama rejected “as false the choice between our safety and ideals,” adding that generations of Americans have shed blood to protect "the rule of law and the rights of man." Those ideals won't be sacrificed "for expediency," he vowed, setting a tone of Constitutional respect that has been sorely missing for the last 8 years.

“Obama has impressed and disappointed when it comes to Constitutional issues,” Nichols writes, and there will surely be disappointments to come. But for now, “We can and should hope that Obama's reference to the rule of law suggests a determination far greater than that of his predecessor to abide by the oath he has taken this day.”