POLITICS

Pundits 'Surprised' By Obama's Second Inaugural; Charles Krauthammer Calls It 'Amazing' (VIDEO)

01/21/2013 01:40 pm ET | Updated Mar 23, 2013

Cable news pundits mostly fell along predictable lines when assessing President Obama's second inaugural address on Monday.

What everyone seemed to agree on was that Obama had given an unexpectedly forceful speech.

On MSNBC, the praise was overflowing. Chris Hayes called it "surprisingly liberal," and Chris Matthews, in typically unrestrained form, said it was "Lincolnesque." Amidst the love, Ed Schultz said Obama's unmentioned drone policy could cause him trouble.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer said Obama had "surprised him" with his mentions of climate change and gay rights. "He went way beyond what I thought he was going to do," he said, a feeling echoed by his colleagues.

On Fox News, there was less of a charitable feeling. Brit Hume said that the "lame" economic recovery undercut Obama's message.

"I don’t think he reached out to the other side at all,” "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace added.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer gave Obama something of a backhanded compliment, calling the speech "amazing" and "very important historically," but adding that it was not "memorable" and that it signalled an ominous shift to the left.

Obama, he said, had declared the "end of Reaganism," adding that the speech was a "hymn to big government."

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