What They're Saying About Obama's Speech

Let's take a look at the instant pundit reaction to specific segments of the inaugural address, from gay rights and health care to gun violence and climate change.

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President Obama touched on gay rights, school shootings, climate change, and health care in his second inaugural address. Online chatter from the right, left, and center of the spectrum offered widely diverging takes on his points. But even if he polarized the audience, President Obama seems to have accomplished one difficult feat: In a Twitterscape easily distracted by memes and silly jokes, he got most pundits to discuss serious issues in a serious way. There were still memes and silly jokes, but let's take at the instant pundit reaction to specific segments of Obama's forceful speech, and what they might mean for the second term.

Gay Rights

Obama's quote: "We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall ... 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."


Climate Change

Obama's quote: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."


Gun Violence

Obama's quote: "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."


Health Care

Obama's quote: "We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we 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."



Obama's quote: "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."


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.