Regarding next Tuesday


NPR's copyandpasted a pretty darn good inaugural speech for Obama's consideration, and it's got me to thinking what I would like him to say.

It's his inaugural, so I don't need thoughts on, say, why his "brilliant" choice for Treasury Sec can't figure out his own taxes (why is no one else distressed by this? either a. he is sloppy [bad], b. he doesn't pay close attention to things [bad], or c. he was purposefully dishonest and is now trying to clean it up before the GOP noticed [bad]; anyway, no matter how brilliant he is, I would be more comfortable with someone who has his own house in order); instead I would rather here some lofty sentiments grounded in reality. I don't need promises (he's already made plenty of those) and I don't need empty rhetoric (rhetoric itself is fine so long as it's not empty).

Really, I'm not sure what I want. We reread Lincoln's Inaugurals for great reasons: after all, he is one of our nations greatest writers of any stripe, and he new enough to keep it short and sweet. (Longest inaugural: William Henry Harrison, 1841, 8,445 words --- it killed him. Let that be a lesson to all presidents.)

We reread Washington's because they are some of the best and most succinct definitions of America we have.

I don't feel America needs to be redefined or even redirected much. But America does need a renewed sense of self (who doesn't) and to project A*M*E*R*I*C*A to the world. These are things Obama seems adept at.

But I don't know why I'm talking. I may not even watch it. Next Tuesday is going to be craaaaazeee for me. I may just have to wait for it to be anthologized.....

Barack Obama in South Carolina

1 comment:

  1. The world sits, anxiously awaiting what President-elect Barack Obama has to say as he addresses the nation. The news casts want me to believe the viewership of the inauguration is going to exceed that of the all-too-sacrosanct Super Bowl. I'd have to agree that nothing on Super Bowl Sunday could possibly compare to the historical potential of this presidency.

    Can Mr. Obama's presidency surpass the historic nature of his race? This will not be part of next Tuesday's festivities. Yep, we'll have to wait a while to determine this.