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Stamford Dems React to President's 2nd Inauguration

The 57th inauguration brought with it many firsts and a great deal of historical significance.

With the second inauguration of the United States of America's first black President Barack Obama to a second term of office taking place on MLK Day 2013, Democrats from Fairfield County and beyond took the time to weigh in on the historic moment.

The day of the nation's 57th inauguration carried a different meaning for everyone, though there were underlying themes that moved individuals watching the ceremony on a universal level.

"It's a very historic moment," said state Sen. Carlo Leone. "I liked the focus of Obama's speech, that everything we have to do, we have to do together. That's what I was focusing on while listening to the president speak, the sense of cooperation and the spirit of working together."

State Sen. Bob Duff to watch a President takes office and takes the oath to protect and serve his nation is always an inspiring scene. He also touched on another historic first during Obama's speech.

"Generally, when watching the presidential inauguration, as an American, it sends a chill up your spine," Duff said. "It was the first time sexual orientation was made a part of the inaugural address. It's funny how long it can sometimes take policy to catch up with the thoughts and opinions of the rest of the public."

U.S. Congressman Jim Himes said the day served as a moment for all politicians, regardless of part affiliation, to put aside their difference and celebrate the American political system.

"I congratulate President Obama on his second term and feel particular pride in our country today as we set aside party and division to honor the rituals of the peaceful transfer of democratic power," Himes said. "As we contemplate the challenges of better educating our children, rebuilding our roads and bridges, and bringing our nation’s finances back onto solid ground, I hope this is also a moment to reflect on how we can work with the President to meet our commitment to our constituents and to the next generation."

State Rep. Gerald Fox III said the president was only continuing to support a position he's argued for many times throughout his tenure.

"I think it was, as all inaugurations are, an important day," Fox said. "[Same-sex marriage] is something the President certainly discussed during the election and he was just reiterating something that was important to him, that he's looking forward and I think he just wanted to make it clear to the country where he stands."

Fox added that many young children now only live in a world where Barack Obama has been President, and, on MLK Day 2013, it was an inspiring to know any child can believe now they can grow up to stand in that very spot themselves.

"For them, this progress is normal and I think it's great that's all they now," he said. "I think for young people going forward, they see possibilities for everybody. Any child can be president."

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy also mentioned the day's energy and said it was an energy that would help keep the nation moving in a positive direction.

"What an amazing day.  I had chills down my spine as I walked onto the stage to take part in this historic day, and I thought President Obama’s speech hit the mark.  The President’s message today was clear:  America cannot stand still," Murphy said. "In order to meet the challenges of today’s world, we need to move forward on clean energy policy, immigration reform, and civil rights.  The President gave a spirited address, and it will challenge the Congress to get beyond partisan divides and pass legislation that will make our nation more competitive in today’s global economy.

Duff agreed, though he said there's far more work to be done.

"I think we've come a long way as a nation," said Duff. "There are still a lot of things to accomplish, especially regarding immigration or sexual orientation. The arc of historic typically bends toward justice. That's the kind of progress [the inauguration] shows. He was our first African American President and he was reelected. And he was elected not because of or in spite of his color, but on the content of his character. However, we still have many steps to go. "

George Stadel January 23, 2013 at 02:55 PM
With the likely exception of Mr. Himes, these gentlemen think their opinions represent "the rest of the public." The natural consequence of that delusion is that anyone who doesn't agree with their perception of "the arc of history" must be ignorant, bigoted or backward. "Everything we have to do, we have to do together" does not mean the same to the President as it has traditionally meant to Americans. The President thinks that working together means working through the government. A barn raising, where neighbors worked together to replace a farmer's burned-down barn, could not happen today. With permits and studies and licences and regulations and fees and fines and lawyers, the farmer would be bankrupt long before construction of a barn could begin.
George Stadel January 23, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Take Mr. Leone as an example of how government works. The government funded a program that sent money to Connecticut to train veterans for "green energy" jobs, a twofer as far as the government goes. The money was funneled to a jobs training company that had previously been set up by the state. The company hired two State Representatives to run the program, one of whom was Mr. Leone. There aren't many "green jobs" in CT. Nationally, 10% of those trained with federal funds for green jobs actually had such a job after 1 year. Mr. Leone of course has a job; not only that, but he is Chair of the State Veterans Committee that proposes programs that could send money to Mr. Leone's employer. I guess you could say, "He built that."
carmine salvatore January 29, 2013 at 07:29 PM
What is a green job? For me it's another way of skimming greenbacks from the taxpayers and Mr. Leone has played the game very well. He has come a long way from being a fired mechanic at Xerox to present position, all of course via Governor Malloy.

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