Entering a new phrase: Barack Obama's inaugural address
Eire on the side of the new president: There's no one as Irish as Bearach O'Bama.
Too short to be an oratorio, Barack Obama's inaugural speech (video) proved nevertheless that as an orator he's got handle.
That guy can speak. Notwithstanding our gratitude to George W. Bush for the past eight years of malaprops, listening to the new president yesterday was like going to the dentist for a deep cleaning followed by a thorough rinse.
Can barely even taste George now, can you?
Yes, the nation will have to endure several root canals, but for now, the public seems numb with delight about having a president who can speak our language and sounds like a grownup.
Considering that Obama will have to deliver more bad news to Americans than any other president in memory, we're fortunate that he's such a skilled and inspiring speaker.
It was already gratifying that we'll have a president who loves to play basketball. (As a former ballboy for the Phillips 66ers, I feel a special tug in the new president's direction.) But it's clear that no matter how much Obama likes to dribble, as a speaker he never drools.
One of the better analyses — up to a point — of Obama's inaugural address was Thomas DeFrank's piece in the Daily News:
Yes, Obama's speech was so stirring and well-delivered that it made even the most hardened cynics' knees buckle.
And DeFrank's analysis is smoothly written. But let's not get carried away about what DeFrank says about our having to "grow up."
We will not grow up — and by "we" I mean politicians and their "same old partisan, gridlocked, dog-eat-dog baloney." That will always be around, and every incoming president has to give us the same encouragement to pull together and forget the partisanship.
Yes, Obama had to say that, but partisanship is what democracies are made of, and other parts of Obama's speech were more memorable — like when he said:
You heard him. He actually included "non-believers" in there. What a refreshing change from the Bush regime, which tried to ram its evangelical nonsense down our throats.
Obama gave the obligatory shout-out to God, and I'm sure She's happy about that, but he actually directed a conciliatory phrase right at the Muslim world. Astonishing.
The new president, you might notice, pointedly did not portray the planet as the battleground of a comic-book-style "clash of civilizations." Instead, he actually tried to promote the idea that no matter what, we're all human.
Leave aside the lingering doubts that Dick Cheney is one of us. You have to hope that those words of Obama's will get under our skin and stay there.
Now, Obama, get to work on that New Great Depression.
And you out there: Start clicking on these items...unless you have to get back to work...if you still have a job...
NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
N.Y. Daily News: 'BAM'S MESSAGE: TOUGH LOVE FOR TOUGH TIMES'
Wall Street Journal: 'President Obama Urges Unity Amid "Raging Storms" of War and Recession'
N.Y. Times: 'Rejecting Bush Era, Reclaiming Values'
N.Y. Post: 'DAY OF DESTINY FOR ALL AMERICA'
N.Y. Post: 'Fatal Kitty Toss'
N.Y. Times: 'Hope Mixes with Doubt as World Reacts'
Crain's New York Business: 'Queens housing market hit hard'
Wall Street Journal: 'Bush: '"We Led With Conviction"'
Crain's New York Business: 'Market tumbles 330 points on bank jitters'
Crain's New York Business: 'Report: Thousands of BofA layoffs coming this week'
Crain's New York Business: 'Is Cablevision meddling in Newsday's coverage?'
N.Y. Post: 'NEWSDAY EDITORS "MISSING"' (Keith Kelly)
N.Y. Times: 'In Albany, Higher Taxes for the Rich Expected'
Wall Street Journal: 'Kennedy Has Seizure at Inaugural'
Wall Street Journal: 'Senate Confirms Raft of Cabinet Picks'
Wall Street Journal: 'Chrysler-Fiat Deal Needs U.S. Loans'
From the Wall Street Journal:
Crain's New York Business: 'Madoff victims likely to get little money back'
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.