I listened to it live as I drove home from work yesterday. A few phrases stuck with me, but I got the impression that he was holding back, toning down the oratory. It was good, but not necessarily great.
Tonight I watched it and took notes (as a cloudscape) and the themes became clearer. He was holding back, there was a seriousness in his demeanour to match the mood of the times. But his speech was loaded with social justice and historical references; it was determined and forward-looking; positive and realistic. For me, the common refrains throughout the speech were ‘enduring’ and ‘extending’.
It may not be the greatest speech in history, or the greatest inauguration speech from a President, or even the greatest speech from Obama, but there was a forceful honesty about it that I admire greatly.
I need to read it now to get another view of it, but for now – it wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was a pleasant and challenging surprise.