"Our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it."
-- President Barack Obama, during his second inaugural address.
"It's going to take some give-and-take. I hope they're not too proud to do so."
-- Army Maj. Phillip Santoni of Fort Carson, Colo., just returned from Afghanistan, said about Obama and Congress as he waited to enter the parade route through a gate at 17th and H streets NW, near the White House.
"The president's second term represents a fresh start when it comes to dealing with the great challenges of our day; particularly, the transcendent challenge of unsustainable federal spending and debt...Together, there is much we can achieve."
-- Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"There were more people last time, but everybody has the same feeling." -- Michael Kimbro of Atlanta, Ga., who traveled to Obama's first inauguration in 2009.
"It's great to see the young ladies they are becoming and how well they
handle themselves. They seem to be great role models for our youngsters." -- Meteza Owens, 40, of Charlotte, N.C., said about Malia and Sasha Obama while waiting with her husband, Andre, and two young sons, 10 and 7.
"I come down just to soak up what I consider to be very positive national pride. It feeds me. It energizes me."
-- Paul Sutterlin, a sixth-grade social studies teacher from Middlefield, Conn., attending his third inauguration.
"In his first term, Obama was left to take care of everything that Bush left unfinished. Now in his second term, maybe there'll be more progress visible to the public so they'll see that he is a good president for our country... I hope he does more for the job market, the economy and helping the homeless."
-- Richmond Tolbert, 19, a homeless man from Olympia, Wash.
"He made the same promises as last time. It's worse than four years ago... My grandkids will be in debt and their kids will be in debt."
-- Frank Pinto, 62, of Wethersfield, Conn., watching the inauguration at a bar in Hartford, Conn.
"We ask that you grant our president the will to act courageously, but
cautiously when confronted with danger, and to act prudently, but deliberately
when challenged by adversity. Please continue to bless his efforts to lead by
example in consideration and favor of the diversity of our people." -- Myrlie Evers-Williams, activist and widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers.
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"There was such a split between the two candidates that if it had gone against Obama there was going to be such a huge change to the country. I thought the election really made a difference this year... I'm not a rich person. I'm a person who wants everybody to have the right way of living in their country. You shouldn't have to have money in order to have medical care."
-- Anne Fenno, 62, retiree from Tumwater, Wash.
"This is the dream that Dr. King talked about in his speech. We see history in the making. ... This is something he spoke about, that all races come together as one."
-- Joyce Oliver, visiting the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.
"I think the country's less enthused this time around; we've been there done
that in terms of electing the first African-American president. ... I think
everybody's tuned in, in terms of other things. They want to make sure the
government gets done what we elected them for." -- Beniam Fantu, 34, of Dallas, Texas.
"I think he's been doing an OK job, if he just takes that and continues it should be OK... Just a better economy, maybe a winding down of the wars, more general peace, less fighting with everyone, maybe better relations, that's about it."
-- Joel Bates, 32, of Grand Prairie, Texas, on what he's looking forward to in Obama's second administration.
"I have my political feeling, but I also feel President Obama is the president of the United States. We respect the Constitution and democracy and we have to respect the position."
-- Kendall Gregory, a Millsaps College senior from Biloxi, Miss., who voted for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection. This is a moment when millions stop and watch."
-- Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., co-chair of the inaugural committee.
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