"The love we commit to one another must be equal, as well." This was preceded by a graceful reference to Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall, in which Americans protested government deprivations of different rights.
But the next day the Obama White House admitted that same-sex marriage is an issue for the states, where it's been making progress. It's not clear the federal government can do much to help.
The courts may overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (signed by Bill Clinton), which allows the federal and state governments not to recognize some states' same-sex marriages. But Congress is unlikely to give same-sex marriages equal status in tax or other laws.
"A better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants." Here, Obama did suggest one measure that could get bipartisan support, calling for "bright young students and engineers (to be) enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country."
There's a powerful argument that we should tilt our system, as Canada and Australia tilt theirs, toward high-skill immigrants.
"We cannot," Obama said, "treat name-calling as reasoned debate." Yet Obama does this constantly.
Perhaps he just feels that, since Republicans are slime who want old people and children to starve, saying so is just stating an obvious fact. It may not occur to him that not everyone feels that way.
"An economic recovery has begun." That was all Obama had to say about the macro economy. Ways to increase sluggish economic growth? Nada.
Obama did increase the size and scope of government in his first term, through stepped-up spending and Obamacare.
Now, beginning his second term, he is freer to enunciate liberal principles, but seems content with stasis going forward. No entitlement reform, soothing words for greens and gays, disdain for Republicans, leading from behind abroad, maybe immigration reform.
Lots of audacity, not much hope.