Mary Dejevsky, writing in the Independent, noted that Obama’s speech entailed a rebuke for everything that George Bush represented from his ideological absolutism to his dependence on military force to his inept handling of the Katrina hurricane. “In a way, the whole Inauguration Day, with its measured choreography, was a cleansing.. Mr. Obama’s unity is not just about national solidarity but about equality and harmony between races. ” Obama spoke to a nation that was moving away from traditional views about race, and his election sent a message to the world of hope and a desire to move forward from the disastrous years of George Bush.
Ironically, cites Ms. Dejevsky, the incompetence and arrogance of George Bush whose politics have lowered America’s reputation in the world, were the stepping stones that enabled a black man to become president of the United States. The spirit of the new president could be summed up in two words– unity and freedom. The malign shadow of the Bush administration with its disdain for other views and disrespect for the Constitution and world opinion, still lingered but Barack Obama was promising not just America, but the world, a new birth of freedom.