Washington, Jan.21 (ANI): There was no shortage of powerful imagery on Barack Obama's Inauguration Day, starting with the confident man who defied all political conventions - that he was too young, too inexperienced, too black or not black enough - to stand on the steps of the Capitol and take the oath of office in a city and a country that are still racially divided in many shameful ways, says the New York Times.
With Bush looking on, President Obama declared: "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn- out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics."
According to the paper, Obama's speech was not programmatic, nor was it filled with as much soaring language as F.D.R.'s first inaugural address or John Kennedy's only one.
"But it left no doubt how Mr. Obama sees the nation's problems and how he intends to fix them and, unlike Mr. Bush, the necessary sacrifices he will ask of all Americans," says the paper in its editorial.Just as he reshaped the Democratic Party to win its nomination, and the American electorate to defeat John McCain, Obama said he intended to reshape government so it will truly serve its citizens.
"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified," he said.
Obama says the paper was also unsparing in condemning the failed ideology of uncontrolled markets. He said the current economic crisis showed how "without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control" and that the nation has to extend the reach of prosperity to "every willing heart, not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good."
Instead of Bush's unilateralism, Obama said the United States is "ready to lead once more," by making itself a "friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity."
He said "our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please."
Mr. Obama told the Muslim world that he wants "a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."
Obama was steely toward those "who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents." He warned them that "our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you." (ANI)