Chief Justice John Roberts swore Barack Obama into his second term yesterday in a private ceremony. Today is the pageant and spectacle of the public anointing.
Despite the fawning of the media and the ball-spiking of his fervent supporters, Project 21 member Derryck Green points out there’s a lot to be done after the bands leave the stage as tonight’s balls end and the crowds are headed home, and Obama’s quest to enure his legacy won’t be easy.
Yesterday, Barack Obama once again took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution of the United States.
It was the constitutionally-mandated swearing-in for his second term as president. Today, he will repeat the same pledge — this time, largely for show (after all, he officially began his second term 24 hours previous) — during a public inaugural ceremony on the steps of the Capitol. Immediately thereafter, he will give a celebratory speech laying out his vision for his second term.
I am not privileged enough to have seen the speech in advance. I assume it will still be in the process of being fine-tuned even as Obama travels from the White House to the Hill. But I do figure he will lean heavily on the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to burnish his own image and hope to ease Americans into the inevitably of his proposed future legislative agenda (or solitary executive actions, if necessary) which more appropriately reflects the heritage of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Americans of all political persuasions want the President to succeed. It’s not because they support Obama, but out of a respect for the office and a desire for our nation to rise from its current doldrums.
In return, Obama has a responsibility to maintain and advance our nation — doing his best to advance our cultural and economic health domestically while preserving our military strength for our homeland security and deeds of goodness internationally.
That said, the President has his work cut out for him. It’s a certain bet he will make no attempt to conquer his combative arrogance. Combine that with the reality that the legislative action he will likely pursue in his second term will be divisive and done in an attempt to cement a presidential legacy rooted firmly in the leftist teachings of his allies, benefactors and mentors.
Nevertheless, the President will have to take all Americans into consideration as he deals with the need to:
- Provide newfound leadership in restoring a depressed economy, which his policies absolutely contributed to and probably made worse;
- Confront the continued terrorist threat which he has been reluctant to admit still exists, as evidenced by his administration’s attitude regarding Benghazi, Mali and Algeria;
- Reduce the federal debt and deficits, which exploded under his first-term leadership and continue unabated at the peril of our current economic situation and the well-being of future generations;
- Promote serious and thoughtful immigration reform with bipartisan input and approval rather than playing politics as reflected in his 2012 executive order seeking to defer deportation of illegal immigrants who came to America as children;
- Be serious about gun violence rather than making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from criminals who purposely infringe upon the safety and security of others, (regardless of how many gun control laws that are passed — and particularly because of them) and
- Unite Americans rather than pitting citizens against one another through class warfare based on envy and entitlement.
As his second term begins, the novelty of the President’s race has thankfully worn off. In this new term, Obama must be held to the same standards of his predecessors. He must take up the mantle of responsible leadership and do what’s best for all Americans — not just those who share his ideological vision of liberty-stifling, government expansion.
History will determine how Obama’s legacy is accepted, and it will be directly tied to the level of executive leadership he provides. This means that his record during this second term is more important than during his first.
Knowing this, the President very much has an uphill battle ahead of him.