William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SWEARING IN – AT 10:32 A.M. ET:  President Obama and Vice President Biden will be sworn in today in private ceremonies because it's January 20th, the legal day when their new terms begin.  The public swearings-in will occur tomorrow in the public celebrations.

As he is sworn today, though, Obama and Biden have got to be concerned about the Gallup tracking poll that continues to show a sharp drop in the president's approval, which today stands at 48%, with disapproval at 45%.  Exactly a month ago the figures were 58-36.  We have to believe that Obama's push for more gun control has something to do with the dramatic ten-point drop in approval.  Also, people may suddenly be waking up to the reality of who they re-elected.  Not exactly Mr. Successful.

There is much anticipation as to what Mr. Obama's second inaugural address will contain.  We brace ourselves for Chris Matthews to compare it to the gold standard of second inaugurals, that of Abraham Lincoln in 1865.  If there's one thing we've learned about Obama, it's that he's not much of a phrase maker.  (One of his journalistic toadies explained this by saying that his mind was too nuanced and complex for simplistic phrases.  I guess Lincoln was just a dummy.)  I'm not expecting much.

I see that Lady Gaga will be performing at one of the official inaugural celebrations.  Gee, it used to be Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Marian Anderson.  My, have we slipped. 

Four more years, my friends.  Four more years.  We have work to do.

January 20,  2013