WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama launched his second term as U.S. president by confronting conservative opponents in Congress, declaring in an inaugural address before nearly a million spectators that he will tackle climate change, protect America’s social safety net and pursue other decidedly liberal goals.
The president—often criticized by supporters for being too quick to compromise in his first term only to get little in return from Republicans—spoke with fire for the center-left political agenda that first carried him into the White House four years ago.
He defended spending on social programs for the poor, the ailing and the elderly. He promoted immigration reform and gay marriage. And he unexpectedly gave one of his most impassioned calls for action on climate change, an issue that has not been at the forefront of the political debate.
The first African-American president starts his second term emboldened by a decisive re-election victory, an…
View original post 1,109 more words