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Interview with Representative Keith Ellison

By The Ed Show, The Ed Show - January 21, 2013

THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZJanuary 21, 2013

Guests: Keith Ellison, John Nichols, Terry O`Neill

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW, live from Washington, D.C.

President Obama starts his second term in a big way.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ROBERTS, U.S. SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE: So help you God?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So help me God.

ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): President Barack Obama begins four more years with a progressive barnburner.

OBAMA: You and I as citizens have the power to set this country`s course. You and I as citizens have the obligation to shape the debates of our time.

SCHULTZ: It was the 57th presidential inauguration for the 44th commander in chief, or as FOX News calls it --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most depressing day of the year.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Congressman Keith Ellison of the House Progressive Caucus on the president`s call to arms. John Nichols of "The Nation" magazine on his defense of the big three. Terry O`Neill on a historic speech for women. Jonathan Alter and James Peterson on the cultural impact of a president linking Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall.

And my thoughts on a new hope for the American class.

OBAMA: Progress does not compel us to settle centuries long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.

This was a big deal. In the 57th formal inauguration of an American president, Barack Obama delivered one of the most progressive speeches ever given by a commander-in-chief. With more than a million people in attendance, the president took the ceremonial oath of office on the steps of the United States Capitol.

President Obama did not set out to lower expectations of his second term. Instead, he established the goals of a progressive agenda.

(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)

OBAMA: My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together. For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.

We believe that America`s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Themes of unity, togetherness, and helping our fellow man rang throughout the president`s second inaugural address. He did not shy away from our moral obligation to each other either.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of God, but also in our own.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That is an American value.

The speech focused on a range of American experiences with particular attention to the peoples whose really lives are so very different from those in the top 2 percent of this country. This is a president who understands clearly that he represents all Americans. The connection that he has made with the American people was obvious by the way the president was received by this massive crowd here in Washington today.

You did not need to look very hard to find enthusiasm in the streets of D.C. These masses, these wage earners, these Americans are the people the president of the United States represents.

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