July 28, 2014

Iowa delegation witnesses Obama’s second inauguration

Iowa’s two senators and four congressmen witnessed today’s inaugural ceremony at the nation’s capitol. Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, says Obama delivered a “wonderful” speech.

“I thought it struck a right balance between themes and what a great democracy we have,” Loebsack says, “and, at the same time, talking about how we’re all in this together.”

Loebsack was a political science professor at Cornell College in Mount Vernon before he was elected to congress in 2006. Loebsack says Obama did a “remarkable job” of basing his speech on both the country’s founding principles and its potential.

“I think he struck the right tone in terms of looking at our history, but applying that to what we’re going through today as well and I am hopeful,” Loebsack says. “I do really, truly believe that our best days are in front of us and I do believe with a lot of hard work and Iowa common sense we are going to get this country back and track and continue to move it forward.”

Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, issued a written statement saying: “In Iowa we understand that each new harvest season brings new crops and….with the Presidential campaign behind us, a new season begins today.” King encouraged Obama “to look at this second term for new opportunities to uphold the rights enshrined in the Constitution.”

Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Clive, issued a statement saying the inauguration is an “uplifting celebration of the strength of our democracy.”

Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, tweeted there were “thousands…a far as u can see” gathered on the mall in Washington, D.C. to witness Obama’s second inauguration. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, sent an email just after President Obama finished delivering his second inaugural address. Harkin asked people to sign an on-line petition supporting his effort to change filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate. A vote on Harkin’s proposal is scheduled for tomorrow.

Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, issued a statement at one o’clock Iowa time, about two hours after Obama’s speech started. “As President Barack Obama begins his second term, the only way for our nation to meet the many challenges that lie before us is to come together as Americans, not continue to be divided by partisan labels,” Braley said. “I am hopeful that the next four years will see more bipartisan cooperation.”

(This story was updated at 1:15 p.m. with additional information.)