Inside and outside of Oakland

Inauguration 2013: The day after and what it may mean

  There's no doubt that the weather in Washington was chilly for President Barack Obama's second inauguration, even though it wasn't particularly cold by northern standards of January. But it was cold enough to be noteworthy by people in attendance.
  The day after the inauguration, pundits are weighing in on its significance, from Obama's address to the political challenges ahead. The online Politico put together a wrap and snapshot of the day after.
  Here's what Politico's Morning Score had to say:

  THE NARRATIVE - OBAMA IS THE LIBERAL REAGAN: John Harris and Jonathan Martin call yesterday's speech "the most ideologically ambitious speech since Ronald Reagan's first inaugural address a generation and a half ago."
Charles Krauthammer: "This was really Obama unbound. And I think what's most interesting is that Obama basically is declaring the end of Reaganism in this speech."
Andrew Sullivan: "'If you have long believed, as I have, that this man could easily become the liberal Reagan by the end of his second term... then this speech will not have surprised you.'
The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky: "He wants to do for liberalism (without using the word of course; we're still not at that point yet) what [Reagan] did for conservatism. And he can-but only if he understands and acts on the differences between his situation and Reagan's, and not their similarities."
The Atlantic's James Fallows: "Four years ago, when people were expecting a barn-burner, the newly inaugurated president Obama gave a deliberately downbeat, sober-toned presentation about the long challenges ahead. Now -- well, it's almost as if he has won re-election and knows he will never have to run again and hears the clock ticking on his last chance to say what he cares about."
  OBAMA'S SECOND-TERM AGENDA: Obama gave a more political speech than many expected. Here are the big policy themes he raised and the political implications going forward (watch for him to put more meat on the bones in the State of the Union):
  ON CLIMATE CHANGE: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."
The New York Times' Richard Stevenson and John Broder: "Mr. Obama's path on global warming is a case study in his evolving sense of the limits of his power and his increased willingness to work around intense conservative opposition rather than seek engagement and compromise. It is a far cry from Mr. Obama's 2008 pledge to heal the planet and a reflection of recalibrated strategy - and more realistic expectations - as he embarks on his second term."
POLITICO's Erica Martinson: "Prospects seem bleak for getting a major climate bill through Congress ... But climate activists say Obama has tools he can wield to bypass the gridlock on the Hill - including going ahead with tough EPA regulations on coal-burning power plants, offering more incentives for green energy and, contrary to the expectations of many, killing the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada."
  ON IMMIGRATION: "Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country."
David Axelrod said an immigration push is coming early this year: "I expect you're going to see immigration surface early in the year," he told reporters after the speech, per the Los Angeles Times. "We have certain immutable deadlines relative to the fiscal discussion, but I do believe he's going to move quickly on immigration as well -- he's got a State of the Union in three weeks."
Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes an omission: "What Obama didn't say in his speech, and the thing Republicans will latch onto in the days ahead, is that he wants to tie the popular idea of raising visas for skilled workers to making broader changes in immigration laws-to which that Republicans strongly object."
  ON GAY RIGHTS: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.' He became the first president to use the word "gay" in an inaugural address:
POLITICO's Kevin Robillard: "President Barack Obama on Monday became the first president to use the word "gay" in an inaugural address in reference to sexual orientation, making two references to gay rights as he began his second term."
  ON GUN CONTROL: 'Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm."
NBC's Mike O'Brien: "Obama's ability to pivot toward his other major priorities, gun violence and immigration, may well hinge upon how quickly and cleanly he can dispense with this spring's spending fight. ... [His] plan won little praise from Republicans, and Obama might have to lean upon any reservoir of goodwill he has left after the spending fight to reach his goals."
  ON ENTITLEMENTS: "We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time,' he said. But those reforms should not just be guided by deficit concerns. '[W]e reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."
POLITICO's David Nather: "Obama's message could make it harder to negotiate entitlement changes down the road as part of a deal to head off across-the-board spending cuts, or to keep the government open this spring after its temporary funding runs out. But it could also buy him some room to make cuts that don't restructure the programs - as long as Obama can convince Democrats that they don't shift costs to 'the generation that built this country.'"
  ON DEBT AND DEFICITS: "We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit."
Republicans are confident that their debt ceiling legislation will pass. Jake Sherman: "House Republicans will vote on Wednesday to raise the debt ceiling without matching spending cuts - a proposal that represents both a concession and a new legislative strategy for them. The fact that House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote on the controversial bill in less than a week since the idea surfaced signifies that they have an unusual amount of confidence in their 233 members."
  A SMALLER CELEBRATION: Early attendance reports suggest that about a million people came to D.C. to watch Obama take the oath of office Monday - about 55 percent of 2009's 1.8 million attendees. The D.C. metro system said metro usage was at about 63 percent of what it was on this day in 2009:
(1) How long will Obama's honeymoon period last?
(2) How will Republicans respond to the liberal tone of Obama's inaugural address the day after?
(3) Will Obama do anything to show he's serious about tackling climate change?
(4) How many RNC members will vote against Reince Priebus for chairman?
(5) How much traction will Marco Rubio's immigration plan get?

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