tv PBS News Hour PBS January 21, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> my fellow americans, we are made for this moment and we will seize it so long as we seize it together. >> ifill: president obama called for unity and equality in his second inaugural address, delivered today on the west front of the capitol. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we devote tonight's newshour to the 57th inauguration. with full coverage of the pageantry, the ceremonial swearing-in, the speech, the parade, and more. >> ifill: ray suarez reports on
the sights and sounds from the nation's mall, where hundreds of thousands of people from around the country and the world gathered to witness today's events. >> we don't think we'll have one like this president in my lifetime. we're just delighted to be a part of this. >> brown: mark shields and david brooks offer analysis. >> ifill: on this day that coincides with the martin luther king, jr., holiday, we get perspective from presidential historians richard norton smith, annette gordon reed, and beverly gage. >> brown: and we close with the words of a student poet, inspired by the second inaugural to write and perform her work, "change." >> like martin luther king i still have a dream that this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed and bring the people a new breed change. the mounting death toll in algeria now includes three americans. that, and other important stories, will be at the end of the program tonight. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs
newshour has been provided by: moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
thank you. >> brown: washington and the nation were witness again today to the quadrennial pomp and color of a presidential inauguration. it marked the public start to the second obama administration, and it featured presidential appeals to extend prosperity and full freedoms to all americans. as the sun rose over the nation's capital on this monday hundreds of thousands of people began descending on the national mall to witness the occasion. officials estimated 500-700,000 attendees. that was far fewer than four years ago when nearly two million turned out. but today's crowd gave no hint of diminished enthusiasm for the 44th president after a first term that saw bruising battles over health care, financial reform, deficits and spending and more. the man they came to see began his day with a morning prayer service at st. john's episcopal,
near the white house and often called the church of the presidents. he was joined by first lady michelle obama and their daughters malia and sasha as well as vice president biden, his wife jill and members of their family. afterward at the white house, they hosted a bipartisan group of congressional leaders for coffee and then the president began the drive down pennsylvania avenue. all the while lawmakers, other dignitaries and celebrities filled the seats on the west front of the capital. they included former presidents jimmy carter and his wife rosalyn and bill clinton accompanied by his wife, outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton. and then the formal entrances. the obama daughters were introduced to the crowd along with their grandmother marion robinson, the first lady's mother. they were followed by jill biden and by mrs. obama. >> ladies and gentlemen, the first lady of the united states, mrs. michelle obama. >> brown: and the vice
president. ♪ hail to the chief and the president himself greeted by official music (hail to the chief). and by chants from the crowd. >> obama! brown: then the ceremonies got underway. the former chair of the naacp and widow of the slain civil rights leader delivered the invocation. >> we invoke the prayers of our grandmothers who taught us to pray, "god, make me a blessing." let their spirit guide us as we claim the spirit of old. there's something within me that holds the reins. there's something within me that banishes pain. there's something within me i
cannot explain, but all i know, america, there is something within. there is something within. >> brown: perhaps the most rousing moment of the day came from the brooklyn tabernacle choir singing "battle hymn of the republic." ♪ his truth is marching on ♪ marching on >> brown: and then the first oath taking as supreme court justice sonia sotomayor the first of the president's two appointments to the court swore in the vice president. the musical moment changed when james taylor performed america the beautiful alone on his
guitar. ♪ o, beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪ for amber waves of grain ♪ for purple mountains majesty ♪ ♪ above the fruited plains ♪ america, america >> brown: after that, chief justice john roberts administered the oath of office to the president. >> i barack hussein obama do solemnly swear. >> brown: president obama took the oath with two bibles, one that he had also used four years ago was used by abraham lincoln at his first inaugural in 1861 and with a view towards the king day holiday stacked atop lincoln's bible was the traveling bible of the rev.
dr. martin luther king, jr. >> so help you god? me god. congratulations, mr. president. >> brown: this was the fourth time the chief justice and presidenhaddone this together. in 2009 they had to re-do the oath at the white house after roberts stumbled over some of the words in the public ceremony and president obama was officially sworn in for his second term yesterday in a private ceremony at the white house to meet the constitutional requirement that the oath be taken on january 20. today the president began his second inaugural address with a nod to the country's founding doctrines. >> each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our constitution. we affirm the promise of our democracy. we recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of
our names. what makes us exceptional, what makes us american is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. ( cheers and applause ) that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. today we continue a never-ending journey to bring the meaning of those words with the realities of our time.
history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they've never been self-executing. that while freedom is a gift from god, it must be secured by his people here on earth. >> brown: the president made few specific policy pronouncements. instead he used his address as a forceful call for all to work together to ensure fairness >> this generation of americans has been tested by crises that steel our resolve and prove our resilience. a decade of war is now ending. ( cheers and applause ) an economic recovery has begun. america's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands. youth and drive. diversity and openness.
endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. my fellow americans, we are made for this moment. and we will seize it so long as we seize it together. ( cheers and applause ) for we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. we believe that america's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. we know that america thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work, when the wages of honor labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. we are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows she has
the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an american. she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of god but also in our own. we understand that programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. we must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher. but while the means will change, our purpose endures. a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single american. that is what this moment requires. that is what will give real meaning to our creed. >> brown: with today's ceremony falling on martin luther king day the president reflected on civil rights battles passed and noted the country had still not achieved goals of equality,
opportunity and more. >> 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 forebearers through seneca falls and selma and stonewall, just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone, to hear a king proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on earth. it is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began. for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. 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. our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. 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 listed in our work force rather than expelled from our country. 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.
that is our generation's task: to make these works, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every american >> brown: the broad theme for this inaugural was faith in america's future. the president closed his remarks by looking forward to the expected political battles. he urged both parties to work together for the good of the country but also called for citizens to hold their leaders to account >> for now decisions are upon us. we cannot afford delay. we cannot mistake absolutism for principles or substitute spectacle for politics or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. we must act. we must act knowing that our work will be imperfect.
we must act knowing that today's victories will be only partial and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years and 40 years and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare philadelphia hall. my fellow americans, the oath i have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this capital, was an oath to god and country. not party or faction. and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. but the words i spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty or an immigrant realizes her dream.
my oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. they are the words of citizens and they represent our greatest hope. you and i as citizens have the power to set this country's course. you and i as citizens have the obligation to shape the debates of our time, not only when the votes we cast but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideas. let us each of us now embrace with solemn duty and awesome joy what is our lasting birth right, the common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. thank you, god bless you.
and may he forever bless these united states of america. ( cheers and applause ) >> ifill: following the president's remarks, pop star kelly clarkson, the first winner of "american idol," performed "my country 'tis of thee." ♪ with freedom's holy light protect us by thy might ♪ ♪ great god and king >> ifill: in another of the day's first cuban-american poet richard blanco became the youngest inaugural poet ever and the first hispanic or openly gay person to recite a poem at the ceremony. in one passage he paid tribute
to the victims of last month's elementary school shooting in newtown, connecticut. >> all of us, as vital as the one light we move through, the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day, equations to solve, history to question or atoms imagined, the "i have a dream" we dreaming or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won't explain the ety desk of 20 children marked absent today and forever. >> ifill: a rev. of st. john's episcopal church where the first family worshipped this morning gave the been diction >> we pray for your blessing because without it, we will see only what the eye can see. but with the blessing of your blessing, we will see that we
are created in your image, whether brown, black or white, male or female, first generation immigrant american or daughter of the american revolution, gay or straight, rich or poor. we pray for your blessing because without it, we will only see scarcity in the midst of abundance. but with your blessing, we will recognize the abundance of the gifts of this good land with which you have endowed this nation. >> ifill: and pop super star beyonce closed the ceremony with a national anthem accompanied by the president's own united states marine band. ♪ o, say does that star spangled banner yet wave ♪ over the land of the free and
the home of the brave? ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> ifill: and a poignant moment as the president paused while leaving the inaugural platform to gaze upon the hundreds of thousands of people still gathered behind him on the national mall. the pomp answer moany continued indoors as the president and vice president headed inside the capital to sign the first official paperwork of the new administration. a proclamation for a national day of hope and resolve. and to send on four of president obama's cabinet nominations
>> i am sending a few nominations up which i know will be dealt with with great dispatch. >> ifill: from there some of the inaugural attendees including members of the cabinet and congress attended a traditional luncheon in the capital hall. former presidents jimmy carter and bill clinton were among the attendees. but neither president george w. bush nor george h.w. bush were in washington today. the president's arrival was greeted with applause and the lawmakers praised one another in bipartisan toasts and gift exchanges. speaker of the house john boehner presented flags to the first family and appealed for renewed political cooperation. >> we gather in the old hall to better hear one another >> ifill: moments later president obama echoed that appeal for cooperation >> i recognize that democracy is not always easy. and i recognize there are profound differences in this room. but i just want to say thank you for your service and i want to thank your families for their
service because regardless of our political persuasions and perspectives i know that all of us serve because we believe that we can make america for future generations. and i'm confident that we can act at this moment in a way that makes a difference. >> ifill: and before they left the building, the group paused to look at the bus bust of dr. martin luther king, jr. that sits under the capital rotunda. then back into the cold for a military review on the steps of the capitol. and the slow drive down pennsylvania avenue to the white house. the one-mile parade route was packed with waving and cheering onlookers, some of them peering down from roof tops. the first couple opted out of their armored car twice to walk part of the route once halfway down pennsylvania avenue-and the second time as the motorcade approached the white house reviewing stand.
at each stop the obamas and then the bidens were greeted by screaming and waving crowds. the first family then took their places in a specially constructed viewing box to watch the parade of bands and dancers stream past. as in 2009, the marching band from hawaii was there. president obama attended the school from 1971-1979. displays from the president's home state of hawaii and from illinois the state he represented in the u.s. senate. and for the first family after a long day of pomp and circumstance, a night of inaugural balls lay ahead.
>> brown: from large families trekking miles to witness history to spirited entrepreneurs selling inaugural wares, people braved the cold this morning to attend the president's second inauguration in person. late today an official said that the turnout was higher than estimated earlier, more than 800,000 and possibly as many as one million people. ray suarez was there, and has our story. >> suarez: the crowd was eventually enormous. but there was no pushing, no shouting. people had the rest of a long morning to take their places on the national mall. >> programs! suarez: haechers were selling, well, a little bit of everything. there were crowd control barriers and plenty of security but more last-minute directions. please and thank you than cross words. the mood overall was friendly, relaxed, happy. and prepared for a long day out
in 35-degree weather. >> i got several long-sleeved ts under here, about two, the sweat shirt and a good amount of hand warmers in the pockets >> suarez: this time around the temperatures are a lot milder. the transportation challenges a lot easier to bear because, after all, crowds at second inaugurals are usually much smaller. it's the old president who is becoming the new president. but for people who put in long hours on the road to be here from all over the country, there's no place else they would rather be >> i'm from michigan. we took a bus down here from toledo, ohio. took us nine hours >> katie. i'm from huntsville alabama. >> suarez: it took you how long to get here? >> 12 hours suarez: you come all the way from >> alexandria, virginia suarez: and how was that trip? >> it was super easy. we just took metro >> we've from cincinatti ohio. it took us about 13 hours to get here.
>> suarez: ralph meadows organized an inaugural package. hotel and bus ride. and started selling tickets before election day >> there's nothing like being here. i mean i could watch it on television or i could sit in one of the buildings around here and probably look out at it. it's nothing like being in there. kind of like swimming. you can think about the swimming but if you're not in the pool you really can't feel it. >> suarez: for many we spoke to, it wasn't just history but this president that brought them to washington >> we don't think we've had a president like him before or will have one in my lifetime. so it's worth it to be here to pay homage to him and to his beautiful family and to the country that elected him and to the people who elected him. we're just delighted to be a part of this. >> this is history in the making. first of all from an historical perspective who wouldn't want to be here? but more importantly for me, the whole of the obama administration is everything that i hold dear >> suarez: margaret came up with her family from north carolina. for her a second inauguration
for the first black president was no less exciting, no less worthy of celebration than the first one. >> i'm 69 years old. i never thought i would live to see a black president. a black family. i really didn't. i think it's beautiful. it is really history. it's martin luther king's birthday. things that he even talked about and dreamed of, it is happening. people of all races are coming together, praying together, worshipping together, going to school and work together. there's a problem but if we all work together, we can, you know,... it will be beautiful >> suarez: it's very hard to be a short person in a very large crowd. you guys know that already, right? this family drove all day yesterday from chattanooga, tennessee, to reach the mall early. charles bass told meal he could not afford to miss another obama swearing-in >> again. we actually missed the first time. we did not want to miss an
important moment in history. >> suarez: what's different about being here? >> just the feeling of everyone together. all people of different nationalities, different places. just coming together for a common cause. >> suarez: this person looks to the problems establishing stable democracies in many countries and wanted to see a freely elected president sworn in for herself. >> i'm originally from the middle east. this gives me a chance to really be part of something much bigger than myself which is kind of a democratic process, inaugurating a president into office. given what's happening in the region right now and people fighting for the democracy, i think this was a great chance to come out here and show i'm part of the process in the u.s >> suarez: now let's be honest. most of the millions of americans who wanted somebody else to take the oath today didn't make an effort to get here. so you couldn't really find people unhappy about the outcome of the election on the mall. it was a celebration, joyful and
looking forward to more productive politics in the next four years. >> i would hope that the people are able to make some rational decisions and really think about the future, about what's going to happen, you know, instead of just kind of like hunkering down in their beliefs that they really kind of realize that the country is a little bit beyond what, you know, petty squabbles and stuff like that. i would hope that they can compromise >> suarez: what are you hoping for in the next four years? >> better peace. better economic recovery. with more equality and more fairness >> suarez: once the ceremonial business of the day was accomplished to the delight of the vast crowd, the president spoke to his washington audience and to the world about the job ahead. it had been a 12-hour trip from reno, nevada, to stand in the january cold. matt irwin and john were glad they did it. any particular part of the speech stick out for you?
>> i think kind of just his message of inclusiveness. i think it was just fantastic. >> i would agree. not excluding anybody based on, you know, race, orientation. all the above i would say. it was great to be a part of actually history. not just watching it on tv. but being there in person. a lot stronger emotions behind it, i guess >> suarez: even though it's a lot easier and you could have had a nice, warm drink and you wouldn't have had to travel 12 hours, just standing on the mall with all these people, that made it... made the experience for you? >> definitely. you can't compare it to sitting at home on the couch. i mean, you might be more comfortable but at the same time you're not there to experience it. it's all about the experience >> suarez: getting a huge crowd here is only half the job. minutes after the president and vice president left the west front of the capitol, half a million of their friends and fellow citizens did too. again without incident.
>> brown: hari sreenivasan hassles been out on the streets of washington >> brown: hari sreenivasan has also been out on the streets of washington today. you can watch his dispatches on our web site. also there, you'll find interviews with inaugural newsmakers, and, of course, the president's full address and viheo 'sofay t d musical performances. and you can track tonight's events on our live blog. all of that's at newshour.pbs.org. >> ifill: joining us now are newshour regulars, syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. we all watched this together today. now that you had some time to digest it all, mark, the president said we are made for this moment. who is we? >> we americans. my fellow americans, we are made for this moment. i think that's how he put it. we can seize it if we do it together. i think that was the theme of today. i mean, it was a strongly commune tearian, more than i had heard the president use in the past. it was a sense of rather than asking the question that has been asked by presidents and
candidates of the last generation, are you better off? am i better off than i was a year? he was asking are we better off? will we be better off? will the strongest among us be more just? will the weak be more secure? at least in my paraphrase. that's what came through to me >> ifill: did you get the sense he was speaking to everybody including the people who didn't vote for him >> making an argument. it wasn't about collectivity. for years ago it was about healing divides. keeping above the fray. now he's in the fray. he's picked a team. his team is his party, his belief system. i thought he made the case for a very pragmatic incremental but progress i have beenism, a more forthright case for progress i have beenism than we've heard in some time even more than bill clinton ever made. he raised the debate. it's good to have this debate. i really thought it was one of the best inaugural speeches in the past half century because the speeches that work are making an argument for something. he made an argument for
something. then, you know, i'm not as liberal as he. i thought here's where i differ. here's where i don't. i thought it was really educational and very provocative. >> ifill: did this president come across a chastened second-termer or an ambitious one in >> he came across different to me. missing from the president was what i had seen several times during the campaign and in the presidency in recent years there was sort of a pet lance. there was a pursed lips look. that was missing. this is a happy warrior. i thought a far more appealing figure in that sense. there seems since the 6th of november to be a sense of resolution about him. he seems more certain or sure-footed than he had been in the past. i can't imagine the president i heard today doing what he did on health care, turning it over to the congress for a year to work its will in the committees and back and forth. i mean this is somebody who is a lot more forceful executive i'd say
>> ifill: maybe that's what informed... when he was quoting jefferson and saying that our truths are self-evident but not self-executing >> which is one of the best lines. he was constrained for the past couple of year. republicans have the house. he was trying to get a grand bargain, had to negotiate and watch that he said to work with them. now they've given up on a grand bargain. now he's making the long... he's thinking about the long game. i believe in a more liberal version of america, more progressive version. i'm going to make the case. we're going to have a long term. in the long term i will try to undermine their belief system and then in the long run my vision will win. that's a much more liberating thing to do. i disagree with a lot of it but it's a much more liberating, much more free and much more direct thing for a president to do >> it was... one leading democrat left a message for me to say there was no great uncritical admirer of president obama, but he said today he thought the president said not only what he believed but why he believed it. more than he had in the past.
i think that came through >> ifill: let's take some of that apart. one of the things he focused on, at reasonable length for an inaugural address, are things like climate change. he's got to say a state of the union speech coming in a couple weeks where he could talk about those things. he identified specific policy objectives >> it was about collect action. it was about collective action. where do we have to work collectively to preserve the welfare state, medicare social security to work on climate change, to do gay rights, equal pay for equal work for women. these were a series of causes, generally progressive causes. one of my problems with it is the new deal was passed at a time when we were a young boisterous law nation. we're now a mature aging nation. i think as well as investing in human capital we've got to cut back programs to reduce the debt. we've got to streamline some of the complex tax codes. to me it's much more of a
balancing than what he portrayed. nonetheless he portrayed and continuing progress of taking collective action to do things together. >> ifill: when he talked about that we could not... we cannot mistake absolutism for principle. it sounded to me like he was speaking to the tea party >> he was. that's one of the criticisms of the speech was he did not speak adequately to the 48% of the people who didn't support him. some of the remarks he made didn't set their... did set their teeth on edge. i didn't feel... i thought that the president, i thought his tone was not hectoring or lecturing or sermonizing. >> ifill: maybe tone matters more >> i think tone does matter. i really do. i thought it was done with a smile. i think that's so important. and i was just struck just that, a little history, i mean, we're told that we're more a secular nation, fewer and fewer people, you know, go to church or belong to a church or whatever. but this is an openly religious
event. it begins with an invocation and ends with a benediction. the brooklyn tabernacle choir singing the battle hymn of the republic. it was a high moment. it's a great ritual. it's a great ceremony. irrespective of party. whether it's first or second or whatever. i mean, it is just is. it changes. i mean, the president went to st. john's church this morning. franklin roosevelt did that because george washington had done it. i mean there's just something wonderful about that. he got out of the car and walked and so did mrs. obama. why? because jimmy carter did it in 1977. every president since has done it. i mean, >> a great strength to him. he might be more liberal than most people politically. in his personal demeanor, in his family life and in his style he's a very traditional person. that came across. that helps people relate to him. >> ifill: mark said he talked to a democrat who said he thought
he did pretty well. did you talk to any republicans? >> i think they thought it was a good speech. people said this was one of his best speeches. some of them thought it was defensive, about defending the welfare state more than being offensive. i think the sentence that really got some republicans more upset was where he said we don't have to choose between protecting the programs for the elderly and securing programs for the young. i would say most republicans say, well, actually we do have a choose. if you keep the current benefit levels for the seniors there is no money for the young. that line acrowsed a lot of ire, not ire, but objection. >> ifill: if you watched a low of the parade today and we showed some of it, one of the people who seemed to have having the best day of his life is the vice president, joe biden. he was dashing across the street zig-zag, hugging children on the side lines and seemed to be having a good time. what do you read into all of that? >> i think the camera followed joe biden all day. he would seem to be having the time of his life.
he is. he's just somebody who brings great joy to his position. i mean he doesn't talk about the burdens of office or the agony of loneliness of decision-making or anything of the sort. he really does enjoy the people and enjoys the people he talks to. he enjoys the people in politics. there's nothing condescending, patronizing about him. and i just think today he was having the time of his life. he has a wonderful family that obviously cares deeply about him. >> ifill: aside from the president who turned around and took that last long look and said this is the last time i'll be able to do this, you don't get a sense from joe biden that he thinks this is his last rodeo >> i think he's thinking about having a future >> ifill: he's 70 years old very healthy. he would be up there hugging 800,000 if he could. i've never heard him say anything about anybody. he loves everybody. so he's vigorous and so maybe he does have a future. certainly there's no evidence of him slowing down
>> ifill: you guys have acquired a few looked at a few of these events for us. it's inauguration's big day and then what? nothing changes the next day. is there anything in the rollout today that made you come away thinking, i don't know, maybe there's been even an incremental change? >> i think the happiness of him, the president. he seemed to be, as i put it, a happy warrior. and there's a certain resoluteness he's shown since the post election period. we'll find out. i mean whether in fact it can limit it to whatever the three items he wants to do. we'll find out instead in the state of the union a laundry list with 412 including the metric system for the 11 rocky mountain states. you know, whatever else. >> ifill: certainly it does speak to that kind of resolution. the question whether it alienates the other side >> it does. he's a warrior. he's not a happy negotiator.
he may not be doing that much negotiating. so i think the opportunity for democrats is, has there ever been a party as weak as the republican party is right now? they have an opportunity really to divide the party on immigration, on guns and on a bunch of other issues. that's not internal negotiations. that's going after the country and trying to peel away moderate or corporate republicans. that might be the game. it may not yield immediate legislation in the short term. >> ifill: we'll be watching every single friday with both of you. mark shields and david brooks, thank you. >> brown: and now, for some historical perspective on this 57th inaugural, we're joined by three presidential historians: annette gordon-reed of harvard university, richard norton smith of george mason university, and beverly gage of yale university. and let me start with you. all kinds of history was out there today. right? >> absolutely brown: what echos did you hear in the president's speech? >> i was very, very much struck by his use of the declaration of independence, the words about all men are created equal to
make the case for a comor collective vision of what we're supposed to do so in america. his linking with the pursuit of happiness and liberty which is typically thought of as something that is individualistic. the echos of a community, ideas of people working together were very, very strong. i thought it was surprising in a way because he's not a president who often invokes the founders. certainly not by name. this was very, very much on his mind. >> brown: beverly, what jumped out at you? >> i think we a lot of historic occasions being marked here so we had the 50th anniversary of martin luther king's speech in washington. we have the 150th anniversary of the civil war, but actually what really resonated for me were the ways in which he seemed to be adopting some of the kind of tactics and styles that franklin roosvelt once used in the sense that i felt like this speech was in the end really an invitation and was a kind of invitation to the public to say these are the issues that i care about. these are the things that i want to do.
now we've got to do this together. so all of you standing out the there, make me do these things which was kind of classic franklin roosevelt. i want to do it. go make me do it. >> brown: richard, it's interesting. these are the things i want to do. it's a second inauguration. we know him in a sense. is he reintroducing himself? is he redefining himself? >> that's part of what made today so unusual. in hollywood sequels are inferior. usually inaugural addresses follow that rule. this didn't. this was a very different speech. the president talked about the american gift for reinvention. looking at it now in retrospect, stop and think. i think he's been practicing a little bit himself. a year ago, exactly a year ago he went out to kansas, an unusual place for a president to go. because that's where theodore roosevelt went. and in a high-water mark in the progressive era, you know, foreshadowing the bull moose party and his break with the republican party. the radicalization of t.r. i wouldn't say we saw the
radicalization of barack obama. but we saw... i think this was the most ideologically assertive inaugural address since ronald reagan's first speech, this being the unreagan. >> brown: was it in overt language or symbols or we were talking earlier today as we were talking about the code... >> there was a coded language. talking about takers, we're not a nation of takers and so forth making reference to the sword and those kinds of things. he knows references that he knows people will understand and that codes people will get. so it was really about ideas. one of the things that i mentioned before about him not mentioning names, it was about ideals and ideas. so he was there, i think, summoning the will that beverly talked about. saying we are here together. this is your country. we are citizens. let's make it happen. it is very ideolodge igal. this is barack obama saying who he actually is >> brown: and what is that? i mean, what came through that connects, you're talking about
the connection to roosevelt and other presidents in the past. what's the vision that you felt came through? >> i think often in inaugural addresses a president is going to tell his own story of american history. it was very clear that barack obama was telling a story that was about the expansion of rights. he hit upon some sort of odd moments that you don't always see put together. i mean a lot of people have been commenting on the mention of stonewall in particular and his coming out and really folding gay rights into this story of expansion. one of the things that i didn't see so much and sort of in contrast to f.d.r. or in contrast to t.r., too, is that you didn't see a lot of economic populism here, right? on the one hand he's telling this big story of expanded rights and social movements. on the other hand you didn't hear a lot about labor unions or wall street. you didn't hear a lot about the financial crisis. when franklin roosevelt came out in 1937 he said they have forced the money changers from the temple. you didn't get that kind of sort
of populist liberalism here from obama. >> not really his style. i would be surprised if he had done that one. >> i mean, what is really fascinating is the untold story, the story yet to unfold in this term is the hope that many people had for this president that he would be the individual uniquely qualified to redefine liberalism, to reboot liberalism from the 21st century, post new deal, post great society. perhaps with some greater or lesser element of economic populism. but to reimagine liberalism. the seeds of that were contained in this speech. it will be fascinating to see what comes >> brown: because history must tell us about the permanence or fleetingness, if that's a word, of these kinds of moments. >> it will tell when he begins to initiate policy and to see if people come along with him. >> brown: we heard gwen talking
about the coming state of the union. we'll learn where he goes with his policy. >> one nice thing about inaugurations is that it's a day when you're not only talking about unity but i think when a lot of people actually feel that. i think you could see that in the crowds. you can actually even see that at the luncheon. in which you have people from vir yaws parties together. so i think people carried the memory of that moment even if, you know, tomorrow we start back with bickering about where we're all going next >> brown: the last word richard on the spectacle of the day. we watched this together >> this is the holy day of our civic religion. radical still in much of the world but seemingly ordinary people can govern themselves. if we can't all agree on that and celebrate that, at least once every four years then there's something wrong with our culture >> brown: we have music. we have poetry. we got everything. >> everything, everything, wonderful >> and inclusiveness. that was the theme from
beginning to end. people who often had been left out. were included. >> brown: all right. richard north and smith, annette gordon reed and beverly gauge, thank you all three >> thank you. >> ifill: and for the other news of this day, we turn to hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: there was word today that three americans died in the hostage stand-off in algeria that finally ended over the weekend. a u.s. official told the associated press that seven other americans escaped. itrt wededitnesday when islamist militants linked to al- qaeda attacked a natural gas complex near the libyan border. algerian special forces then launched a series of operations to retake the site. today the prime minister gave his first official death toll. 37 victims, foreign hostages, may god rest their souls. these 37 victims are from eight countries, eight nationalities. of these 37 victims seven until now have not been identified.
>> sreenivasan: the prime minister confirmed two canadians were among the 32 attackers. french and mallian forces took back control of a key town from islamist rebels linked to al qaeda. a ground force recaptured diably after the french military released a barrage of air strikes. the rebels fled from the town farther north. france intervened to halt the advance. west african nations have begun sending troops as wlt. this was election eve in israel, and prime minister benjamin netanyahu appeared likely to keep power-- but not by much. today he urged voters to "come home" to his conservative coalition. polls suggested he could lose seats to an even more conservative challenger. millionaire naftali bennett and his far-right jewish home party have gained momentum. he opposes new peace initiatives with the palestinians. the u.s. house will vote wednesday on raising the national debt ceiling. republican leaders announced today the extension lets the government continue borrowing money until may 19. the current debt ceiling-- $16.4
trillion-- could be reached as early as mid-february. the house bill does not specify a new dollar amount. it does mandate that congress approve budgets, or lawmakers won't be paid. major league baseball lost two hall of famers over the weekend. st. louis cardinals great stan musial-- "stan the man"--iedne saturday at his home just outside the city. he played 22 years, helping the cards win three world series titles in the 1940's. he was widely regarded as one of game's greatest hitters ever. stan musial was 92 years old. also saturday, former baltimore orioles manager earl weaver passed away, during a caribbean cruise. weaver won the world series in 1970, and took his teams to three others. along the way, he gained fame for his fiery, in-your-face confrontations with umpires. he was ejected from games 91 times over 17 seasons. earl weaver was 82 years old.
>> brown: finally tonight, a closing reflection on the inauguration. the coming ceremony inspired spoken word artist leah green of oakland, california, to write and perform her work, called "change." our video is part of the newshour's "student reporting labs project," which builds high school video journalism programs. it was produced by media enterprise alliance, one of our partner sites in california. >> mmm, mmm, a change is going to come. two scores and ten years ago, our nation segregation swept aside like dirt. simply down a one way street. economic injustice persisted itself. days of peace have been last to ignorance, racism and guilt but america has been built as the
dream. attracting different cultures to the scene as a theme for wealth reaching out from the pits of the ghetto. children attending school to be a lawyer some day. only to find out that they're being suppressed by the cost of a higher education that rules our nation. i'm screaming for a change finally. america needed a healthy heart for this drastic transplant to patch up the bumps and bruises and neglect and cruises of infinite failure. because down on my block, it's easier to bite into a bullet than a burger. because ammunition runs stray by your heads and pray, my brother and my sister. waiting like a wave in the water, the people vote to receive results. like martin luther king i still have a dream that this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed and feed the people a new breed of change. mmm, mmmm. a change is going to come.
mmm, mmm, a change is going to come. >> brown: and you can view more work from our student contributors. the newshour's college reporting team has been covering inaugural events in washington all weekend long. find their stories, photos, and videos on our web site or inaugblog.com. also online, a very personal story from newshour economics correspondent paul solman, whose email account was recently hacked. he shares the ordeal on his "making sense" page. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. you'll really want to check out that blog. and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, margaret warner reports from tel aviv on the outcome of israel's elections, plus we look back at the supreme court decision on abortion known m "roe v. wade," 40 yeari' gwlaeren. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> bnsf railway. >> macarthur foundation. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org