A conservative political scientist and election analyst contends there were several reasons why President Obama's second inauguration was nowhere near as big an event as his first.
The crowd in the nation's capital was significantly smaller than for Obama's first inauguration in January 2009. He began his second term with a call for Washington to find common ground over the next four years -- and he said the public has an obligation to "shape the debates of our time" by speaking out.
In his second inaugural address, Obama urged the nation to set a course toward prosperity and freedom for all its citizens and to protect the social safety net that has sheltered the poor, elderly, and needy.
Dr. Charles W. Dunn is distinguished professor of government at Regent University's Robertson School of Government. He says the president has blown the opportunity to lead the country in a united way.
"This inauguration lacked the fanfare [of the first inauguration]; it lacked the creation of unity of the people that he could have accomplished," he notes. "But he conducted a negative campaign to win the White House. And it was a campaign without any serious agenda other than running against tax the rich and vilifying Mitt Romney."
Dunn also says Obama lost the opportunity for a honeymoon period after his second inauguration.