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Barone on GWB’s Second Inaugural

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.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Actually, the link is available on

Whereas Lincoln’s speech was a masterpiece of a clear moral vision and reconciliation in Union, I hope that Bush’s speech presents a clear moral vision of defeating the forces of terror and tyranny in all of their various guises in the name of freedom and self-government by consent respective of natural rights. Whether it can approach Lincoln’s simple, profound eloquence is another question - and quite a tall order for anyone!

Maybe you should just cross your fingers and pray that GWB doesn’t mispronounce most of the polysyllabic words, make up any nonsensical words of his own, or have some coke-related zone-out in the middle of the speech with him just staring into space for an uncomfortable stretch of time (see his debate performance). "Lincolnian" ?? That’s a rather struthious delusion.

Yes, and we should all hope that he doesn’t refer to Barack Obama as "Obama bin Laden." Oh, wait, that was Ted Kennedy. But that can’t be! Liberals never mispronounce things!

Hahaha! I don’t think there’s ANY risk that Bush would mention ANYONE by the name "bin Laden," (hey, whaddyaknow, I just checked the transcript, and indeed he did not!!!) since that would only remind everyone of his failure to bring Osama bin Laden - someone ACTUALLY CONNECTED TO 9/11 - to justice.

From the website:
Press conference, March 13, 2002 - Q: But don’t you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won’t truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

A: "Well, as I say, we haven’t heard much from him. And I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don’t know where he is. I -- I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

Oh, and thanks for pointing out Kennedy’s amusing error. I don’t recall claiming that "liberals never mispronounce things," (nice attempt with the straw man!!) but since I’m NOT a liberal, I’m not bothered in the least by your sharp slam against pathetic Ted.

Dr. Moser -

Where did you see Ted Kennedy say that? I believe that, yes, that is something he would certainly say, I just can’t find it anywhere.

It’s mentioned in the last line of this story.

Thanks, Dr. Moser. For some reason I couldn’t find anything about on CNN’s website . . .

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