- The Washington Times - Monday, January 21, 2013

It did not take long for agenda to muscle in on a historical moment. “I just renewed my oath of office to serve as your president for four more years. Thank you for making this possible. It’s an honor to be your president. Now it’s time to finish what we started — let’s get going,” said President Obama in an email message blasted out just an hour after that oath, promoting Organizing for Action, the newly reinvented grass-roots movement fueled by the vast databanks and formidable social media outreach of Mr. Obama’s 2012 campaign.

He had some help. First lady Michelle Obama also speaks out in a new video supporting the group, telling viewers it will lay out the “world as it should be.” Organizing for Action executive director Jon Carson, meanwhile, reinforces the message with even more video footage, saying he’s moving operations to Chicago, “and the way we’ll get it done can be summed up in one word: local.”

An impression of the day’s totality? Mr. Obama issued a “declaration of continued war on the conservative movement and a rallying cry for liberals. Does the president not realize that he won the 2012 election and doesn’t have to carry on campaigning?” asks Timothy Stanley, a University of Oxford historian, and a contributor to The Daily Telegraph.

Then there are citizen perceptions: A Gallup poll released Monday reveals that 55 percent of Americans say the U.S. was in a “positive state” five years ago. Yes, when George W. Bush “was still president,” the poll says. Another 39 percent rate the present as positive, while 48 percent say things will be positive five years from now.

There’s the inevitable partisan gap: 74 percent of Republicans say the U.S. was in a good way five years ago, 20 percent cite the present and 15 percent cite 2018. Among Democrats: 39 percent say the nation was positive five years ago, 56 percent cite the present and 75 percent expect a positive nation five years down the road.

PRAYER ON DAY TWO

President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden and their spouses will attend the National Prayer Service at the National Cathedral at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Watch it live, see the 2013 Inauguration Service program here: nationalcathedral.org.

RYAN’S CIVILITY

“The president and I were political opponents. We had strong disagreements over the direction of the country, as we still do now. But today, we put those disagreements aside. Today, we remember what we share in common. We serve the same country, one that is still in need of repair — and is still the freest on earth. We serve alongside men and women from both parties, who govern in good faith and good will. Finally, we serve the same people, who have honored us with their charge. We may disagree on matters of policy. But today we remember why we take those matters so seriously — because we seek the public good.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, in a congratulatory statement to President Obama on Inauguration Day.

VIGILANT CUCCINELLI

From Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a new book: “The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty” chronicles “how the Obama administration and its allies in Congress have been repeatedly ignoring federal laws, disregarding federal courts, and violating the Constitution to achieve their goal of concentrating power in Washington at the expense of American citizens and their liberty.”

So says publisher Crown Forum, which calls the book “plainspoken.” Mr. Cuccinelli details his own legal battles, and those of other state officials, waged against a variety of federal agencies.

“Without enough lawmakers in Washington devoted to protecting the rule of law to stop this liberty-stealing power grab, the battles had to be waged in an unprecedented way. From the states, just as our Founding Fathers intended,” says Mr. Cuccinelli.

The book will be published Feb. 12.

ON TARGET

So what were the final numbers for Gun Appreciation Day on Saturday? “More than a million American citizens attended rallies at their state capitols and other places, visited gun shows or gun shops, or went hunting or shooting at a local range,” says Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the 650,000-member Second Amendment Foundation. “These were patriotic, law-abiding people exercising their First Amendment rights to protect their Second Amendment rights.”

“The actions by lawmakers in New York and the threats from Capitol Hill and the White House have clearly rekindled gun rights activism in the United States. Gun owners who showed up Saturday are prepared to show up at public hearings and at the polls,” Mr. Gottlieb adds. “They are out there in every neighborhood and every political precinct, and they will not go quietly into the night.”

MR. BIDEN EXPLAINS

“He says, Joe — no, he says, ‘Joe, look, I, you know, I I don’t agree with the way you did that. You, you know, why did you do A, B, C or D?’ Or he will say, or I will say, ‘Hey, look, man, I don’t like the way this is going, this is what we, you know, that’ — so there — there’s complete openness. But now, you know, we haven’t disagreed on — we sometimes disagreed on tactic as to how to proceed to try to get what he wanted done, which I’ve agreed with. Um, but we’ve never disagreed on policy.”

— Vice President Joseph R. Biden, explaining how he knows when President Obama is angry with him, in a conversation with CNN’s Gloria Borger.

POLL DU JOUR

• 49 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling gun policy.

• 76 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of conservatives, 23 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of liberals agree.

• 55 percent of men, 42 percent of women, 52 percent of independents also agree.

• 46 percent overall approve of the way Mr. Obama is handling gun policy.

• 22 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of conservatives, 68 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of liberals agree.

• 40 percent of men, 52 percent of women and 43 percent of independents also agree.

Source: A CNN/ORC poll of 814 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 14 to 15.

Understandable whimpering, delayed reactions to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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