Washington, Jan.21 (ANI): The inauguration speech delivered by the United States's 44th President, Barack Obama, on Tuesday, was a message much of the world was waiting to hear, says a New York Times editorial.
It was a message of hope and determination to overcome the challenges at home, but was also matched with a warning to America's enemies, especially terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations, that "you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
"It is that balance - the promise of an America that hews to its ideals, but achieves victory through silent strength - that will be the true test of Mr. Obama's administration. It is a test yet to come, but one that begins today," the editorial says.
"Though couched in indirect terms, Barack Obama's inaugural address was a stark repudiation of the era of George W. Bush and a vow to drive the United States into "a new age" by reclaiming the values of an older one," it adds.
Obama, the paper says, blamed no one other than the country itself.
"Our collective failure to make hard choices" and a willingness to suspend national ideals "for expedience's sake," he said during the course of his speech.
Yet every time Obama urged Americans to "choose our better history," to make decisions according to science instead of ideology, to reject a "false choice" between safety and American ideals, to recognize that American military power does not "entitle us to do as we please," he signaled a commitment to pragmatism not just as a governing strategy but as a basic value, says the paper.
"It was, in many ways, exactly what one might have expected from a man who propelled himself to the highest office in the land by denouncing where an excess of ideological zeal has taken the nation."
What was surprising about the speech was how much Obama dwelled on America's choices at this moment in history, rather than the momentousness of his ascension to the presidency.He barely mentioned his race in his first moments as the 44th president of the United States. He did not need to. The surroundings said it all as he stood on the steps of a Capitol built by the hands of slaves, and as he placed his own hand on the Bible last used by the Great Liberator.
He talked instead, with echoes of Churchill, of the challenges of taking command of a nation beset by what he called "gathering clouds and raging storms." And as a student of past inaugural addresses, he knew what he needed to accomplish. He had to evoke the clarion call for national unity that Lincoln made the centerpiece of his second inaugural in 1865.
His appearance on the Capitol steps was so historic that the address became larger than its own language, more imbued with meaning than anything he could say. (ANI)