But in a possible preview of the State of the Union address that the reelected and thus emboldened president will deliver on Feb. 12, Obama made pointed references to a second-term policy agenda that is sure to raise hackles among his political opponents. He issued a call to action on climate change, women’s rights, immigration, voting rights, gay rights, and gun control.
And he couched it all in the first three words of the US Constitution’s preamble, using “We the People” as a refrain.
“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth,” Obama said.
In referring to Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall, the president was referring to seminal places in the fight for women’s rights, civil rights, and gay rights. And he finished with a paean to a forebear of special significance to America’s first black president, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader for whom Jan. 21, 2013, is a federal holiday in honor of his birthday.