On the night in November when Barack Obama's victory was confirmed, he quoted Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, and most would see a clear line of descent from those great orators. But there was little of the soaring exultation of "Yes We Can" in Obama's first presidential speech on Tuesday. Instead, delightfully, he went back to the true founding fathers of his great nation.
In fact CNN reports that: if the speech could be said to have an animating spirit, it was that of Thomas Paine.
Ben McIntyre in the Times conveys the same message, albeit with a more informal tone: The words of a drunken, dishevelled Norfolk pamphleteer lay at the heart of the new President's message
That pamphleteer provided the title and inspiration for everything I write here.
He also provided the title and inspiration for the United States of America.
Common Sense is the way out of Crisis.