President Obama's inauguration begins a new four-year term, or for the "glass-is-half-empty" crowd, the President is now a lame-duck.

Already we've been hearing and reading about people on both sides of the political aisle being mentioned as possible candidates for 2016, but that's jumping the gun, in my view.

Looking at photos from past inaugurations, one that sticks out in my mind is John Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.

There's a picture of him at some point during the day, wearing a top hat. Now, I was just short of 10 years old at the time, and that is probably the first one where I was really aware of what was going on. It could be the reason the day sticks out.

But all that aside, with inauguration comes a new term, which can be the start of something monumental in the history of the United States or nothing more than a brief interruption in the continued gridlock in Washington.

Maybe monumental is too much to hope for, but I'm really hoping Congress can stop the name-calling and finger-pointing and finally find common ground so they can get something done.

Too much to hope for? It could be.

But there has to be room for a little optimism.