Obama silent on D.C. statehood in inaugural speech

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder,Inauguration

President Obama didn't mention the District's quest for statehood in an inaugural address on Monday that evoked themes of equality and fairness, prompting D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to again call on Obama to discuss the city in his State of the Union address next month.

Gray said it "would have been nice" for Obama to have mentioned his support for making the District a state, but he acknowledged that inaugural addresses tend to strike broad messages.

Instead, Gray would like for the president to raise the issue when he speaks to Congress and the nation on Feb. 12.

"I think it would be entirely appropriate for him to include us in the State of the Union message," said Gray, who first floated the idea last week.

Despite the oratorical snub, Obama is not letting Inauguration Day slide without some mention of his support for the District: Last week, he directed the Secret Service to change the license plates on the presidential limousine to a design featuring the D.C. slogan "Taxation Without Representation."

The tags appeared in the motorcade for the first time on Saturday. The license plates were last attached to the presidential limo when Bill Clinton was president.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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