A campaign defined by "hope" has become a presidency that will be built on "work."
In his inaugural address, Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, told the American people they have work to do.
President Obama noted that many of his predecessors had taken their oaths of office in times of prosperity and national strength. But today, the nation faces many challenges.
The country remains locked in a war on terrorism. The economy is struggling not only because of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also because of "our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."
As a result, people have lost their homes and jobs, businesses have closed. Health care is too expensive and schools are failing. As a nation, we are losing our confidence, the president said.
"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many," Obama said. "They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met."
And the way Americans will meet these challenges is through work.
"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America," the president said.
Obama's inaugural address was a good speech, not quite a strong one. The president is an eloquent and effective speaker. His words inspire. That is the purpose of an inaugural address.
But as with many of Obama's earlier speeches, the address lacked details. We're certain that Obama is right when he says there is much work to be done. But we're unclear on just how he plans to "remake" America.
A good many of our fellow citizens think America is just fine as it is. Sure it's been battered and banged up a bit. But there's life in the old thing yet.