Just about everyone I have talked to since the inauguration of Barack Obama has offered their opinion on the quality of the speech, the enthusiasm of the crowd and the meaning the day. I for one saw a new Barack Obama, gushing with support for the military and the military way of life and showing clearly that he would not shirk his responsibilities as Commander in Chief.
Without getting into word and textual analysis, it is safe to say that Obama’s inauguration speech was heavy on military themes and military values. Although many saw the speech as a repudiation of the Bush Doctrine of preventive war and cowboy foreign policy, the words of the new president were tough, forceful and supportive of the military and its way of life. The new president said that he is willing to hold out his hand in friendship and cooperation, but he also let it be known, especially to terrorists, that he will respond with the full weight of our military power should an attack on this country or our interests occur under his watch.
Even during the evening inaugural festivities Obama went out of his way to say that the Commander in Chiefs Ball was the most important event of the ten celebratory gatherings. Once among the military he wasted no time in heaping praise on those who serve around the world and their families here in the United States. He emphasized the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform and those who waited for their return.
The Barack Obama of January 20th was not the Barack Obama of the campaign trail. Now that he is Commander in Chief he has chosen to show the American people, his political and military detractors and the world in general that his liberal persuasion does not mean he has gone soft or that he will vacillate in the face of a national security threat. He even looks like he practiced the military salute as he smartly raised his hand to his forehead, unlike Bill Clinton who never really got the salute down correctly.
Barack Obama has shown that he is one smart politician who is convinced that he has to play to the middle and make his presidency inclusive. Unlike George W. Bush, it appears that Obama is intent on being a real uniter, not a partisan divider. But for those who wanted a speech about domestic or cultural issues, President Obama chose to accent the importance of our military, the high priority that must be given to national security and the traditional values that are the core of military life. This is probably disappointing to the hard nosed left in this country, but President Obama has apparently taken his responsibilities as Commander in Chief seriously.