President Barack Obama stood on the capitol steps, overlooking hundreds of thousands of spectators packed into the National Mall, and delivered his second inaugural address. It was Monday, Martin Luther King Day, and the world was watching.
KCRW carried live coverage of the swearing-in ceremony and speech, and then began the work of figuring out what it all meant.
To the Point had analysis of the president’s speech that looked at the historic nature of Obama’s presidency and the issues that defined his first term, while looking at the big ticket items he’ll face in the next four years. (Listen here.)
We asked our Facebook fans and KCRW listeners what they thought was important or noteworthy about the president’s speech. Here’s some of what you had to say:
Tanya Garay Mutant: “Acknowledging immigrants and their hard work to contribute to this land of opportunity. To join the American workforce instead of being kicked out of this country.”
Quintilia Avila : “A bilingual benediction, a Latino/gay poet & a Latina Supreme Court justice swearing in our VP. So historic!! So proud!”
Joshua Blackburn: “A decade of drones is developing. Our quantitative easing is now infinitely ineffective. America’s possibilities are limited.”
Richard Reese-Laird: “The whole damn thing. I was moved, and proud to have him as our president. First time I many years that I felt truly patriotic.”
On Which Way L.A., we got reaction from African-American, Latino, LGBT, and Gen Y Angelenos. The president’s prominent mention of gays and lesbians and the need for them to be “treated like anyone else under the law” got a big reaction from our listeners.
Rhiannon Knol: “Saying it isn’t enough, but is a huge first step! Presidents have historically simply ignored gay Americans and their issues. Declaring his commitment to equality is a huge blow against the people out there who oppose it precisely because it normalizes gay people. I am grateful.”
Vinny Ripps: “How hard would that be if he really wanted it done? He uses executive orders for wars, banks, and gun laws, but not for gay rjghts? Hmmmm weird”
Pablo Gallegos: “Wow, give the man some credit he washed away Dont Ask Dont Tell in 2011, and is making progress. Do you think Romney would do more for gays?”
And while the president is all the way in Washington, the issues are here in our backyard. In the week before President Obama started he second term, we asked local experts to tell us what Southern Californians should pay attention to: the economy, the environment, the opposition, civil rights, and immigration reform.