Dear friends and beloved Atlantic Review readership:
Due to a change in profession and the subsequent time-consuming training involved in my new position I will be taking a hiatus from Atlantic Review for the next several months.
I enjoy the privelege of writing and engaging with you on important transatlantic issues, and look forward to the day when I can return as a full editor. In the meantime, Atlantic Review is always accepting guest articles and applications for new editors.
If you would like to get ahold of me while away, please feel free to shoot me an email at kyle.atwell [at] atlanticreview.org.
Obama took the oath of office yesterday to become the 44th President of the United States. The swearing-in was followed by his inaugural address, historically an opportunity for incoming presidents to be visionary and inspirational. Some of the most famous quotes in US political history are from inaugural addresses, such as JFK's "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" (1961) and FDR's "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" (1933).
So how did Obama do? Was it a new landmark in the US rhetorical hall-of-fame? If you were looking to be inspired, this speech probably fell short. He covered all the key issues and took a "it's busines time" tone, but it did not quite carry the poetic and inspiring overtures that an inaugural address could. Or perhaps like many Americans and citizens of the world I have come to expect miracles from Obama at every turn, and have thereby set myself up for disappointment. The full text of the speech can be found here.
Obama did have powerful words for non-Americans around the globe:
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.
Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expediences sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Continue reading "Torch passed to Obama, 44th President; top 8 transatlantic relations issues for 2009"