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|Illinois' Obama Nation's 44th President
|Barack Obama, the former Illinois senator, grasped the reins of power as America's 44th president Tuesday, saying the nation must choose "hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" to overcome the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
In frigid temperatures, an exuberant crowd of more than 1 million packed the National Mall and parade route to celebrate Obama's inauguration in a noon (Eastern Time) ceremony. They filled the National Mall, stretching from the inaugural platform at the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial two miles west.
With 11 million Americans out of work and trillions of dollars lost in the stock market's tumble, Obama emphasized that his biggest challenge is to repair the tattered economy left behind by Ex-president George W. Bush.
"Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed," Obama said in an undisguised shot at Bush administration policies. "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America."
Two years after beginning his improbable quest as a little-known, first-term Illinois senator with a peculiar name, Obama moved into the Oval Office as the nation's fourth youngest president, at 47, and the first African-American, a barrier-breaking achievement believed impossible by generations of minorities.
He said it was a moment to recall "that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."
Obama called for a political truce in Washington to end "the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."
(Illinois Radio Network)
|01 20 09 by Newsroom
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