Reaction From The Floor

WASHINGTON – People from around the nation traveled to Washington, D.C., to see President Barack Obama deliver his second inaugural address. City Council president Greg Rabb made the trip to the nation’s capital to attend the public ceremony.

“I didn’t have a chance to go to the private swearing-in ceremony on Sunday, but I was there on the Capitol grounds for the ceremony on Monday, so it was pretty exciting,” said Rabb. “I think the crowd was bigger than they thought it was going to be, and obviously these were all people that were excited to see this happen.”

According to Rabb, there was a strong connection between what Obama spoke about at the Democratic National Convention and what he included in his inaugural address. He felt that the fact that the same themes have carried over through multiple speeches was a very positive sign for the next four years.

“He spoke a lot about the idea that unless we all do well, none of us will do well,” said Rabb. “Everyone’s individual success and freedom depends on the collective action of the nation. The speech was short, but it was a very positive statement. Having been at the Democratic National Convention and the inauguration both, there was a consistency that I saw that makes me think he’ll continue to push for these ideas when he delivers the State of the Union address.”

The entire experience was very exciting, according to Rabb. When the president was speaking, the roar of the crowd was almost deafening.

“It was even more exciting than the Democratic National Convention,” said Rabb. “The speech was to the point and the crowd loved it. They were obviously all supporters – you could tell that they were paying attention to everything that was being said. The loudest cheers were for the president, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and former President Clinton.”

While Obama tackled many different issues in the address, he focused on the idea of making the unalienable rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – a reality for every American.

“He paid particular attention to the notion of diversity,” said Rabb. “We have to stop treating people differently. He made a point that women should be paid the same as men. He also brought up same sex marriage, saying that until everyone’s love is treated equally, we won’t be where we need to be as a nation. It was the same thing that I heard at the convention. He was very secure in the idea that just because you can’t do it all, you should still do something, still work towards a goal.”

Rabb believes that as a nation, we’re moving in the right direction and we just need to keep on going.

“This event was a real treat for me,” said Rabb. “After being a delegate at the Democratic National Convention and following up the phone conversation with Vice President Joe Biden, it’s been an exciting few months for me.”