The Inaugural Address
Ted Widmer, a former Clinton administration speechwriter, read all of the presidential inaugural addresses. "It's not a task for the fainthearted," he says in an essay in American Scholar.
But he noticed that "the typical inaugural can be broken down into specific set pieces; the thoughts arranged in a comforting sequence." That sequence:
- "I am not worthy of this great honor."
- "But I congratulate the people that they elected me."
- "Now we must all come together, even those of us who really hate each other."
- "I love the Constitution, the Union, and George Washington."
- "I will work against bad threats."
- "I will work for good things."
- "We must avoid entangling alliances."
- "America's strength = democracy."
- "Democracy's strength = America."
- "Thanks, God."
You may want to have this list handy to check off each step when you watch the next one.
Posted January 20, 2005