The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday praised US President Barack Obama for displaying compassion and integrity in his inauguration speech and said that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) could learn from his US counterpart.
In the speech delivered on Monday, Obama highlighted solidarity and bipartisan collaboration, acknowledging the challenges and difficulties ahead, in addition to talking about human rights and the spirit in which the US was founded, said Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), director of the DPP’s Department of International Affairs.
“The speech showed that Obama sensed people’s high expectations for his second term in office and was ready to tackle fiscal problems, the wealth gap, climate change and healthcare. He told it like it was and did not shy away from the challenges,” Liu said.
On foreign affairs, Obama said the US “could not do it alone,” despite it being the most powerful nation in the world, he said.
Liu also observed that Obama focused on values, beliefs and encouragement in his speech, adding that he would need to achieve most of his pledges before next year’s midterm elections so that he would not end up as a lame-duck president in the second half of his second term.
In contrast to Obama’s pragmatism, Ma spent most of his inauguration speech last year talking up the accomplishments of his first term, domestic development policies and foreign policy without addressing the dire situation the country faces, Liu said.
“Looking back, Ma has not achieved any of the things he said he would. While he mentioned his intention to reconcile and work with the opposition, he has failed to do so,” Liu added.
If Ma had accomplished what he promised, Liu said, he would not have approval ratings as low as 13 percent, making him a lame-duck president less than a year into his second term in office.
Hung Chi-kune (洪智坤), a member of the DPP’s Central Executive Committee, voiced similar views.
Obama repeatedly mentioned the US’ founding spirit, the values the country upholds and the importance of solidarity and “doing it together” in his 20-minute speech, Hung said.
“It seemed to me that Obama tried to extend an olive branch to the Republican Party and explained that challenges would not be overcome without cooperation,” Hung said.
Neither in his inauguration speech nor over the past year had Ma shown that he was willing to hold the country together and avoid political division, he said.