Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

January 21, 2013

Term II: U.S. must help poor, elderly, Obama says

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

 
The president did not offer any specific prescriptions for addressing the challenges ahead, though he is expected to offer more detail in his Feb. 12 State of the Union address.
 
Asserting "America's possibilities are limitless," he declared at the Capitol: "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together."
 
"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit," he said. "But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."
 
Obama's second inaugural lacked the electric enthusiasm of his first, when 1.8 million people crammed onto the National Mall to witness the swearing-in of the nation's first black president. Far fewer people attended this year's inauguration — officials estimated up to 700,000 people — but the crowd still stretched from the Capitol to the Washington Monument. And shortly before the president spoke, U.S. Park Police announced that the public viewing areas on the Mall were full.
 
Security was tight across Washington, with streets closed off for blocks around the White House and Capitol Hill. Military Humvees and city buses were being used to block intersections. Volunteers fanned out near the Mall to help direct the crowds.
 
David Richardson of Atlanta and his two young children were among the earlygoers who headed to the Mall before sunrise.
 
"We wanted to see history, I think, and also for the children to witness that anything is possible through hard work," Richardson said.
 
Wendy Davis of Rome, Ga., was one of thousands of inaugural attendees who packed Metro trains. Davis came four years ago as well but was among the many ticketholders who couldn't get in then because of the massive crowds.

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