{{show_title_date || "Matthews: Obama's inaugural address was a 'statement of hope', 1/21/13, 7:00 PM ET"}}

Obama’s inaugural address was a ‘statement of hope’


Let me finish tonight with this.

President Obama paid tribute to the “brave men and women in uniform:”

“Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well…We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully—not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.”

I believe this is a clear signal that this second term is going to be devoted to trying to avoid war, to find ways to solve disputes, even the most egregious.

So here we are on inaugural day with a president who wants to avoid war, most immediately with Iran. President Obama could have said anything he wanted about the danger we see coming from Tehran. He chose to say that he hopes we can find a way to avoid war, and find common ground. He wants to find a way to the place where we made friends with Germany and Japan after World War II.

It was an astounding statement of hope and of purpose. I think we are into something in the months ahead—a real reaching out by this American president with the people of Iran in order to avoid acts of war.

This inaugural address contained a gem of illumination. This gem is a statement of hope that we can avoid what could be, may still be, a horrendous conflict with unknown, perhaps unlimited consequences.

Obama's inaugural address was a 'statement of hope'