Obama's speech was very left leaning, as many of his speeches are - I don't know why this is considered a surprise though, as he is a left-wing politician. The thread of inequality and attempts to pit the poor against the rich is a classic left talking point, and is pure pandering.
Obama's inauguration speech could not have been too far left for the simple fact that you don't win Presidential elections unless your position puts you firmly in the middle of the road, politically speaking. His inauguration speech paid lip service to many of the same things George W. Bush's paid lip service to, and the same with Clinton before that.
During his inauguration speech, new President Obama delivered a speech that set him in the middle of the political spectrum. He didn't lean too far to the left and he definitely shied away from the right. Still, he managed to stay around the middle, which made him seem like an honest president.
President Obama has nothing to lose by giving an inauguration speech that purports leftist ideals because he can't be re-elected president for a third term. Obama can push whatever agenda he feels like now that his second term has started. With three years left in office, it will be interesting to see how the president and Congress work together to get stuff done. Midterm elections in November 2014 will shape the rest of the Obama's legacy in the White House.
Obama's inauguration speech was not too far left. I think that he said what was on his agenda at the time and did not lean too far one way or the other. I think that what he said was appropriate and that he tried to refliect on all the issues.
No, Obama's speech was not left at all. In fact, I have not heard anything come out of Obama that would make me shout "left". It seems that whenever anyone speaks for the disadvantaged in this country, or even simply the middle class, people jump and call it "left". That is not what "left" is. It has always been "America" to care about those who are not doing as well.
As much as I understand statements such as "gays are human beings" and "climate change is a thing" give the GOP nightmares, at this point Obama is fully justified in telling them to shove it and being very upfront with his agenda. Good on him for having a mindset that reflects that of the other people that understand what century we're in.
Ideas in a society tend to go back and forth in discussion. Social change occurs over a long progression of back and forth positions being addressed. We seem to be immersed in a time when all sorts of issues that have been simmering are coming to a head, and if Obama is considered to be too far to the left it is possibly the direction we need to go in our public discussions to move us forward. Just because Obama discussed issues that are considered leftist does not mean that is where we will end up in the public discourse. He merely put them on the table for discussion, which is much better than keeping them submerged out of a fear of making a personal stand.
America is growing increasingly conservative and right wing and I think that Obama's speech was a necessary measure to show America how far it has come from being a nurturing and fair environment. A president elected on the ticket of the left wing party is supposed to be left wing, making his speech appropriate.