There were many themes in President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address that conservatives could sign-off on. They included a tough message to terrorists that "you will not defeat us" and a pledge to eliminate government programs that do not work. The problem with the latter is that virtually all of these programs have constituencies and it will be Congress, not the president, that has the power to continue or end them. I liked the line about "worn out dogmas," but wonder what he means, in practice, by that.

[caption id="attachment_5871" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="President Bush, center right, and first lady Laura Bush, center left, welcome President-elect Barack Obama, far left, and his wife Michelle Obama, right, on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)"][/caption]

When a liberal dogma comes up against a conservative dogma, which dogma will bite and which will roll over? When liberals talk about conciliation, they mean that conservatives have to compromise their principles and move in the direction of the liberal. Obama has few examples of doing that during his brief period in elective office. But I am willing to take him at his word and see if action follows eloquence.

Today is the fun part. Now comes the hard part.
Bill Clinton

Part of this is due to the fact that we put too much faith in politicians who cannot deliver all we want. Let's see how long the public continues to be enamored with him. And let's see how serious he is about finding common ground with conservatives.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.