US President Barack Obama takes the oath of office during the 57th Presidential inauguration ceremonial swearing-in at the US Capitol in Washington. (AFP Photo)
President Barack Obama on Monday appealed for unity in the country to deal with the many challenges facing it at home, and said he would seek to peacefully resolve differences with other nations.
“Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people,” the president said in his inaugural address following the ceremonial swearing in. He official took the oath of office on Sunday.
On Monday, he detailed the policy framework of his second term during which, according officials, he is keen to focus “not on what’s possible or doable but on what our goals should be”.
Climate change, an personal priority for the president didn’t much attention in his first term. But will now. “We must lead it,” he said, for the fight against climate change.
He appeared ready for a fight even when appealing for unity. In a thinly veiled message to the Republicans he defended Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, which they have targeted to bring down spending. “These things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.”
He listed out other priorities: equal wages for women, right to vote to everyone, equal treatment of gays and lesbians, immigration reforms and gun control. “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 always safe.”
He also indicated the US will “remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe” and it will continue to invest in “institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad”.
Full text of Obama's inaugural speech