The consistently informative Michael Barone has penned a well-timed and well-articulated editorial today on what to expect (and not expect) from President Bush’s Second Inaugural Address tomorrow. (Alas, it’s not available on-line unless you are already a Wall St. Journal subscriber.)
Entitled "The 16th Second Inaugural," the essay reviews the good, the bad, and the ugly from previous "second inaugural" speeches, and observes that second inaugurals mark a "hinge point" of what previous two-term presidents "expected to be an eight-year administration." Bush clearly approached his first term as if he were invested for the long haul.
At bottom, Barone expects a speech that is part Wilsonian and part Lincolnian--the former for its "vision" of America’s role in promoting peace and democracy in the world, the latter for its biblical allusions and cadences.