CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- President Obama launched his second four-year term Monday with a call to boost America's middle class, end "perpetual war," reduce inequality, curb gun murders, welcome immigrants, address global warming and curtail political "absolutism" that regards "name-calling as reasoned debate."
"We the people understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it," he declared. "We believe that America's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class."
As for "the threat of climate change," Obama may have meant West Virginia coal advocates when he said: "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."
Without specifically citing gun massacres, the president said America must guarantee safety of "all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown."
We assume these and other goals for his second term will be outlined in his State of the Union address to Congress on Feb. 12.
Actually, America has made significant progress since Obama took office in early 2009. Some advances:
* He made a strong stride toward universal health care, a goal sought by Democrats since Harry Truman.
* He ended the needless Iraq war and is phasing out a second Bush-Cheney war in Afghanistan.