Obama Invigorates Progressives as 2nd Term Begins


White House officials sought to downplay emphasis on any particular agenda or policy proposals in Obama's second inaugural, saying the president's commitment to liberal ideals on the environment, gay rights and social safety-net programs is not new.

"I would reject the idea that this was an 'ism' speech," Obama spokesman Jay Carney said, responding to questions about the speech and raised expectations for a new strategy toward progressive policy priorities.

"This was in fact the opposite of that, and that's why it is tied, I think, very clearly to the speech that the president, then a Senate candidate, gave in 2004 in Boston, and is linked to so many other major addresses that he's given, which is that he focuses on the fact that we are Americans first," Carney said.

"I hardly think that pursuit of equal rights, pursuit of comprehensive immigration reform, pursuit of sensible policies that deal with climate change and enhance our energy independence, are, you know, ideological," he added. "The only 'ism' that was a part of that speech was his rejection of absolutism."

Administration officials have declined to say specifically how much effort Obama plans to give to pushing climate change legislation, a speedier drawdown in Afghanistan, or advocate for a universal right to same-sex marriage.

He is expected to detail his 2013 agenda in the State of the Union address Feb. 12.

As Obama noted Monday, one of the keys to success on any part of his agenda will be the broad engagement of his supporters in lobbying Congress for action.

Read Some of the Highlights for ABC's Inauguration Live Blog Here

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Gisele Bundchen walks the runway during Sao Paulo Fashion Week Winter 2015 on Nov. 4, 2014 in Sao Paulo.
Studio Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images
PHOTO: Seattle Seahawks fans cheer before Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots on Feb. 1, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady attend the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City.
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
PHOTO: From left, Tom Brady in Foxborough, Mass., Jan. 18, 2015 and Russell Wilson in Seattle, Wash., Jan. 18, 2015.
Matt Slocum/AP Photo | Ted S. Warren/AP Photo