Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day HW

As you know, today is a historic day: the inauguration of our country's 44th President. In class, we analyzed past inaugural speeches for themes and made predictions about Obama's inaugural address. For HW, your task is to see if your predictions were accurate and RESPOND to his speech.

First, locate the inaugural address on video or audio. A good place to start is the official inaugural website
but you may have some luck on youtube or a basic google search. On msnbc.com, they also posted the video earlier in the day.

ASSIGNMENT: After you've watched the inaugural address, post your reaction to it as a comment to this post. Be sure that I can tell who are (use first name and last initial to identify yourself) in your post. Your reaction should center around whether President Obama's speech was similar or different to what you expected and what you liked or disliked about it. Also, identify one or two themes present in the speech. Post should be 3-5 sentences.

(photo credit: vanity fair magazine)


  1. Heather G
    I found that President Obama's speech was very much what I had expected; using his classic themes of the triumphs of our nations past and relating them to contemporary events. He used patriotism to encourage strength and faith in the nation, while not forgetting the immediate crisis' that are affecting it. I liked how he took cliche patriotism and made it relevant and interesting without sounding 'fluffy'. I am excited to see if all of these words become realities, and not just a good speech.

  2. Justin P
    I thought that the inauguration speech made by Obama was fitting to what I wanted, but I didn't know what to expect. I liked the part when he said that change would take time, and that it won't happen by tomorrow. I disliked the part where he said that christians, muslims, jews, hindews, and non-believers, because it is hard to talk of religeon without offending someone. In this case he forgot budaism and I happen to know sommone who was a bit insulted by that. I noticed one theme was the economy. He spent what seemed like five minuets. I think this is a speach that will go down in history with "I had a dream" given 45 years and one day ago.

  3. Jacob B.
    It was about what i thought it would be. Talking about change (and i too think that it will not happen overnight and Obama is smart to know this) and both religious and race progression. (no more racism and religious discrimination would be a good thing) The economy is a huge trouble that our nation, and the entire world is facing and he talked for quite a bit on this topic, and the economy, not change, will be the most remembered topic of Obama's presidency.

  4. Omar B.
    I feel that President Obama's speech was exactly what our nation needed. It allowed the people of America to see that his presidency will bring change to our country, and gave guidelines of what he intended to do. He brought up present issues such as economic crisis, war, and health care, which showed that he intends to deal with these durring his time in office. He also managed to inspire our nation and give us hope, by talking about how our nation started out in a worse position than now and yet we still managed to prevail. I think that if President Obama actually does what he says then this speech will be remembered, and this will be remembered as the election that "defines a generation".

  5. Erika L

    I feel that Obama is the perfect person to run our nation right now. I feel that his speech was well thought out and showed that he really does know what he is in for. I think that Obama's speech was exactly what I was expecting: a great speech that tells what we are to expect of him and ourselves. As i was watching the inauguration i was noticing a theme: Change! In his speech he was talking about how much our nation needs to change our ways in a few topics such as the economy, jobs, and the environment. Obama was not saying what we CAN do but instead what we WILL do.

  6. Josef B.
    just about what i thought it to be. All obama really did was talk about what he was going to do with the nation. Like how he plans to remove the troops from iraq wich is a good idea. He also covered stuff on the economy even though he did not say really how he was going to fix it. Then he went on about past inaugural speeches and how our soldiers shed thier blood to ensure a better future for the people of the United States of America.

  7. Rachael O.
    This speech brought tears to my eyes, it is wonderful to realize that Obama is going to help us bring our Country back on its feet and stabilize our economy. He graciously noted our faults and explained what we must do to make up for them while, at the same time, noting on some of our good judgment in the past. This speech proves that he is willing to do anything to fix this economy and this country, but it is not going to be easy. He can't do it alone and if he help anything is possible.

  8. Amelia B.
    I really liked Obama's speech. It was exactly what i was expecting. Hearing his speech encouraged young people, like me, i could do anything if i work hard. He assured everyone that fixing the economy wouldn't be easy or that he could do it alone. If we want to fix the economy we all need to participate in this revolution. I hope Obama can govern as well as he speaks.

  9. Kali P.
    Although I was undecided during the presidential election about who should be president, Barack Obama's speech made me realize that he was definitely the right choice. He cares about our education, economy, and what we're doing to our environment. Obama has the motivation to put our country in its place, and throughout his speech he gave examples of how he planned on doing that. I feel that Obama is what our nation needs, and that he can help to turn things around.

  10. Brendon K
    President Obama said everything that needed to be said in his speech. If you agree with his politics or not it does not matter anymore, he is America's president, and he sucessfuly brought the nation together after a tireless election. He acknolwedged the fact that America is faceing problems but revieled his promise to fix these problems.

  11. Jean-Marie S.
    I am truely impressed with Barack Obama's speach I must say. From I would say maybe 'Mid Election' I felt as though Obama didnt exactly click with me, and so it seemed as though I didnt have much hope for Election's '08. However without doubt Obama was elected as our new president... I wasnt happy... YET, my views have undoubtibly changed. After viewing today's inauguration and reading the speach given, I strongly feel as though President Elect Obama is the right man for the job. His presentation shows us that regardless the situations that our country may be going through at this time, he, Barack Obama, will do his very best to change it. Afterall.. it's TIME FOR A CHANGE. He states how he plans to help our economy which in all cases is sevirely needed. Overall, I believe that Obama is EXACTLY what we need now and for the next four years, and so I am very pleased in his appiontment as our new president. :)

  12. Jean-Marie S. P.S! (last minute addition)
    his speach was touching on many levels in that he truely brought to the table the issues that he planed to confront... those of which i believe he can overcome and accomplish.

  13. M.Travis Gr.9 D-Block
    I believe that this speech was remarkable.Hopefully, Obama will follow through on his policies and beliefs, and if he does, then hopefully it will be a step forward into a better overall country. I have heard many remarks about Obama, mostly about assasination, and it is not right. Did you see all the glass windows around him? He would not have had a scratch if someone were to try to kill him.
    (The cello man was good, and the lady with the big hat was a good singer!!)

    Hopefully he was the right selection.We NEED a great leader to get us through these troubled times. Only time will tell.........

  14. Hannah B.
    I believe that Obama's speech was very much to what i excepted. The fact that Obama brought up the crises in the worl and promised change to them and how we could produce that change, which i think is exactly what this nation needed. He not only did this but he keept the many spirits up of our nation by bringing in patriotism to the speech, looking back at acheivments and how they came to be and refering to the country only as a whole. I wouldnt doubt that President Obama cant bring the change hes promising to our nation, because in his speach he told us how to get that change, and what will come of it. I deem that Obama will make a great leader for the U.S.

  15. Katie C.
    I truly was impressed with President Barack Obama's speech and I also thought it was excellent.It was exactally what I thought it would be. He said everything that I thought that he would say about how he is going to run our nation. I liked how he thanked former President Bush. I thought that was nice of him too do. I was impressed that he used examples from the past and what some blacks were not able to do back then but are able to do now. I do personally think that President Obama is the right person to run this country. I also think that he will bring and keep his promises about changing America. I am very pleased that he is our NEW President. I am big supporter of President Obama. :)

  16. Max R.
    Barack Obama's speech was very much what I had expected of him, but I was still impressed by the very important topics he highlited, and think that his speech was excellent. I also believe that his address was and likely will be for a long time coming a great inspiration for working class citizens in a very tough economic crises. Myself being a moderate, I was having some doubts about Obama before I heard his speech, but after I had listened to it, I realized that this former senator is not just an all-talk leader; he really knows what this country needs in this economic recession.

  17. Jake S
    President Obama's speach was excellent. It was mostly what I expected from Obama. He addressed the issues of the country and how they would be dealt with. He spoke a great deal about the economy and his plans to correct it to the best of his ability. I agree with President Obama and I am glad he is the President of this... weakening country.

  18. Alia S (the one and only)

    I hate to sound bland in my interpretation of this speach but it was exactly what i expected. He touched upon the points most important;economy, patriotism, and an end to the war. I personally was very happy he incorperated God into his entire speach thanking and praising. I also liked how he recognized the challenge ahead; it shows he's not over confident. Obama is quite carasmatic and that is the one thing that sat in the back of my head while i listened. I fear i have to agree with Heather in saying that I hope he can acctually act upon these words..*crosses fingers* :P

    We celebrate now, and as I said with Bush, give me four years and I'll tell you my feelings toward him. ^^

    Comgradulations Obama! :]

  19. Vicky M.

    "Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many."

    This excerpt from the 2009 inaugural address sums up the amount of effort Barrack Obama is putting into reaching out to his fellow Americans to grasp their attention and assert the importance of each of these topics. The American government has encountered a recession which has effected all citizens of all walks of life. The importance of a sturdy and well-minded leader is a necessity now to guide and enrich these united peoples. President Obama will attempt to be that leader, but like the 44 presidents before him he has the knowledge that this union will be broken without the support of the people. Barrack Obama is not alone in this he has his nation and he has his history, for without the teaching of the past triumphs and losses he(like any person is his position) would be lost.

    On a more personal note when I first heard the reactions to this address I did not feel moved , but when I read and listened to the powerful emphasis of the words, they rang. I did not cry, but felt the action lingering in my system. "For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life." To just imagine that my recently deceased great grandmother, Hildagard, had done what many Americans of her time did hit home. I brought back to mind the hundred and five years of memories that she shared with me, and how she treasured the heritage of her homeland Germany, but greatly respected her new life and her new country. To leave her family behind to die in the at the time distant and future war, to let go of friends and trees, and smells and her birth place must have been a remarkable and solemn experience. Barrack Obama's message was received. Our heritage created this world from bits and pieces and with the melting pot of these United States our future and past will be preserved.

  20. i though that his speach was alot more talking about the past and how in the past we got though things like this he brought up things like how the economy was week becasue of "greed and ower contributed failier to make hard decision" and how there was a "sapping of confidence across the land and the fear that american's decline is enabible" after he said that he didnt realy say how he was going to fix it he started to say that he was things were going to be fixed than he talked for 10 min's hoping from one thing to another he said near the end that "if we can fix it we'll fix it and if we cant programs will be droped.

  21. I thought that barack obama's speach was very emotional because i actually cried when i saw it. Barack makes decent points when he is giving his speach to over a million american citizens. one of his points was that hes was going to end the iraq war and he was making points about our terrible economy at the moment and patriotism. I think that barack obama will make a great president for our country

  22. Jake H

    Obama's speech was exactly what I had expected. I agree with so called "Justin P" on his view of Obama's quote, "Change would take time, and that it won't happen by tomorrow", that it was my favorite quote, too. I think that Obama is the perfect person for president at the time and I think he will make a huge difference for our country.

  23. Nate T

    Obama gave one of the greatest speeches i have ever heard. If he follows through with what he has set fourth to do this cournty could change for the better witch it despretly needs in this tough econmic times


  24. Bailey S

    I thought Obama's speech was powerful and motivating. I liked how Barack does not deny our country's problems but is determined to overcome them. He mentions every way that he plans to make a difference. My favorite quote was "Not judge you on what you destroy but what you bulid." I felt more positive about our country's future after hearing Obama's speech.

  25. I felt as if Barack Obama's inauguration speech was a phenomanal way of stating his gratitude for being elected as well as his respect for the wonderful country of the United States of America. With the use of powerful words mixed with a deep overpowering voice the speech becomes alive, thriving in every shape and form, echoing throughout the minds of every citizen that heard this speech. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect, this man is an amazing public speaker and I couldnt even imagine what his address would be like this time. I felt as if the strongest point in his speech, was when he referred to his father, being denied a position because of his race and now an Afrucan American is president. Hearing that line is simply heart-warming, brings a tear to the common eye if you ask me. The main theme was appreciation as well as change. This man has potential to be the best president in history, and by jove, I think he will do it.
    By: Zachary A. F.

  26. Fallin Dennen

    I thought President Barack Obama's speech at his inauguration was very appropriate. I must say that it was exactly what I expected. It was not only encouraging but straight forward. He was able to realize that our country is in bad shape when it comes to our economy and he realizes things need to be fixed. Now just because we have a new president doesn't mean problems will just magically disappear, it takes time and he knows that and acknowledges it. He also spoke about promised hope for change and remaking America. I liked his speech for the very fact that it was not fluffy, he said what he meant and did't surgar coat anything. I think that is good. However some of the things he wants to change and create are not what I believe in. But that is just my opinion. His sppech was a very appropriate for the time and I think he did a great job.

  27. Jacob K.

    I thought President Obama speecb was very appropriate. I thought it basically described what he plans to do during his presidency which is very good. I thought he did a good job but that is probobly to much to do in 4 years like Fallin said. However I think all of those things could be a reality if everybody pitches in to help on the issues.

  28. Kaitlin D

    Obama's speech was sterling and superfluous. I didn't really have any expectations, but he certainly exceeded anyways. There wasn't anything that I disliked. What really caught my attention was when he made the metaphor between when all we had was hope and virtue during the Revolutionary War, but we still rose up and won. The comparison was basically how our economy and etcetera were falling and that we will still be able to rise and fulfill what we need to do for the country. Over all Obama's speech will be a momentous chapter in history and will never be forgotten.

  29. Maya B

    I thought Barack Obama's speech was great. He stated his points in a way that everyone can understand. I like that he adressed a lot of issues that need a lot of help. He didnt deny that the country was in a hard time and he said that it would take some time to fix it, but we shouldnt give up hope. An issue that i feel is really important is the war. He said that he was going to bring the troops home and try to restore peace in Afganistan. He also brought up the economy and what he would like to do to try and fix it. He talked about how the Earth is changing and that we need to change with it. I think Obama is a very good speaker and his words are very motivating. They give you hope for the future.

  30. Kyra D

    I believe Obama's speech was inspiring and that he couldn't have done anything more to amaze his country with his trust in us. What American's listened to yesterday was the true meaning of unity through hope, courage, and setting all differences aside to accept the challenges in the future; and with this the way we as a union will meet that future while Barack Obama is the President of the United States. His speech filled me with great admiration of his hope in the country, and the future he believes we can make. Before, the fixing of our economy seemed like an impossible task but the reminder of the challenges we have met in the past gives us faith that we can truly excel all the problems that country is now facing. As our country changes, our government must change with it to uphold the freedom and allow those who are deserving to succeed in their lives. Barack Obama will allow this to happen while he is in office. "The world has changes, and we must change with it."

  31. Rachel J

    I was so pleased with the Inauguration Speech yesterday. I had no idea what to expect and Obama filled every single one of my expectations. And the way the crown was shouting "Obama, Obama!" set the speech off to a great start.

    At the beginning, he thanks George Bush for his "service to our nation" even though they have differences in their views. I loved Barrack's kindness. The way he talked of the problems we are facing while not putting anyone down, the American people or other, was admirable and hard to do. He talked about the fear we have for our nation and he was completely right. Jobs are lost and health care neglected.

    We have to do something. We have to do it soon.

    The challenges we're facing have to be confronted and Obama is willing to step up to the plate and swing. He has our trust. I don't think he's going to let us down.

    The truth is that hope is what we need! Hope is the best possible thing for a failing economy and war and hunger and everything wrong with our country. If we don't have hope, then how can we continue to strive for excellence and a better future?

    Obama is giving us hope.

  32. Sebastian R

    Obama's speech was simply amazing, if not, most flambouyant(Sorry if I mis-spelled) with his wording! His speech was like watching one of those police chases on television that end in a massive crash, it was catchy, interesting, fun to watch, and yet right to the point. He made it quite clear to America that he will need our help as citizens to righten America and that we are all going to do this together. I also appreciated Obama's praise to Bush thanking him for his service, because, although I didn't agree with every issue he righted (Or Attempted), Bush did do his job in protecting our country. This is 2009 and we have not had a terrorist attack in the US after 2001 because of Bush's efforts of counter-terrorism and, in some ways, he IS a role model in that aspect, therefore I think Obama's adress to Bush was most fair. A 22% approvement rating means nothing as long as your do your job the best your can, and Bush's issues he had,are now Obama's issues, and I wish him the best of luck with them because he will need it. I'm sure he will do great in office and I'm glad to have him as our leader to help our , "sobering," nation! His speech was very appropriate in his sense to show what he will fix in our country, and I wouldn't put anyone else in charge of it all because this is change we will need. Like Obama's slogan, "Yes We Can!" it is fair to say ,"Yes We Did!" Thank you!

  33. Alec D

    I thought Obama's speech was great. I loved how he started with all the problems and issues we're having and got it out of the way, and then talked about hope and motivation. I'm glad Obama is now president, I believe he can fix our country.

  34. Lizabeth L

    I think that Barack is a good choice for the United States, and like he said, "for the world must change and we must change with is." He is 100% right and basically sums it all up in that one sentence. He used a direct quote from the scriptures and brings forth the preamble and the constitution as well. He talks about things in the past that our founding fathers did to shape out nation, the people fighting for our country and the deceased who already served, and the changes that are to be made for our future. He announces the challenges America faces today, and he talks about carrying forth the freedom to future generations. He says that they are going to get through the storms up ahead and doing it with honesty, loyalty, hardwork, and selflessness. I believe that Barack Obama will bring change to this country and get control of this out of control economy we are leving in today.

  35. *sigh*(it is very hard to say this)
    After listening to President Obama's speech I was in amazement. He spoke of how this country is in need of economic help; that the money crisis is out of control and he spoke of the needs help those impoverished countries in need.
    Mr. President also quoted "the father of our Nation" explaining how in the coldest of times there is still hope.
    Before his speech, i had no faith in him. But after hearing Obama's inauguration speech i have realized that he is the very thing that this country needs at a time such as this, with the money and all, he is the person who will help this country. I now have more respect for him.

  36. Sarah J.

    I found President Barack Obama's speech to be very moving and powerful. I really liked when he said that change isn't going to be easy and it won't be sudden but it will happen. He mentioned a lot of the problems our country is facing and he is confident that we will overcome them. Another part i liked was when he brought up how diverse our country is and how far we have come from segregation and prejudice. He also recognized that people in our past are the reason we have come so far. People have made great sacrifices to get us to where we are now. He has a lot of faith in the country and i believe he will get us on the right track.

  37. Being a strong Obama supporter, I had high expectations. But this speech, this truly moving speech even exceeded those. He spoke with ingenuity, eloquence and he told us the truth. He said everything he needed to say. He said every thing he needed to say to bring hope for the nation and to unite the nation, no matter what race or faith.

    He touched on serious issues such as the war in Iraq, the economic crisis and job creation. But what was the most inspiring for me was what he said about our past. He re-awakened the good things we have done. We have already overcome so much in a country that is in such a bad shape currently. We have opened our doors to all people. We have fought for peace and liberty. But there are still many things that need to be done and corrected. He has set the precedence for a new generation. He has brought hope and I think he will bring change to a country losing its dignity, but gaining its confidence, trust and spirit in a new way of running things. But as he said, we will keep the old passion that this country has always had and we will use it to do good things. Whether you agree with him or not, he is going to run this nation for at least the next four years. And I personally think that he is the perfect man for the job.

    He will get us out of this mess that has been placed by "consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some." I have the utmost confidence and trust in Barack Obama. This speech might not be as profound or as moving to others, but I think that if he truly does what he sets out to do, then this speech will be looked upon as something that our country can be proud in. It can be something I can tell my future kids about when I am older because he did what he said he was going to do. He took action. And he was true about it. That is the best thing any president can do.

  38. Bryan s.

    (in reference to the oath of office)
    When Obama made the slight mistake in the beginning, it was sort of unsettling. Considering the amount of pressure that was placed on him I wondered if due to his nervousness these mistakes would appear throughout the speech. However, after watching the whole speech I looked back at that moment and the only thing that came to mind was "he made a mistake?...how human".

    Regarding the actual speech it was everything it should be. It had its timeless moments, and its moments that addressed the problems of today that hopefully will be gone if Obama fulfills his word of "change". This need of change has already been addressed by the other people on here, so i will not go into that. But, it does not take much to know that what Obama said in his speech sounds great. But make that greatness a reality is something that's in the hands of our new president.

  39. There's nothing I could say that can really express my feelings about President Obama's speech right now. It touched my thoughts and concerns so well it was amazing and unbelievable! President Obama is definitely the right one for the job. He is really going to change this country not only because he's African-American but because his ways seen the best for the country right now.

  40. Sam Lawrence said the comment above

  41. Fantastic job, guys. I really enjoyed reading these comments and I'm so impressed by the quality and depth of your responses. Every post prior to this has been given the full 10/10 points- a great way to start the semester!