You Won't Remember Today's Speech
Inaugural speeches nearly always forgettable: David Frum
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2013 9:33 AM CST
Spectators wave American flags on the National Mall in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – Planning to watch President Obama's speech today? Don't get your hopes up. After all, how many inaugural speeches can we remember from the entirety of American history? Just a handful of lines from a few addresses, writes David Frum at CNN. That's in part because presidents use "overblown rhetoric" to mark the moment—but it's impolitic for them to make concrete pledges. "Grand language wrapped around a thin message produces only vapid blather."

Then there's the fact that it's often impossible for them to keep any promises they might make. "However beautifully written, a speech can only be made great by the presidency that follows," Frum notes. So what should Obama say? At the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky calls for fighting words. He needs to tell Washington "that the second-term Obama is going to be a much tougher customer than the first." Forget about inaugural high-mindedness: "These are low-minded times, and he’s got some extremely low-minded opposition." Click for Frum's full column, or Tomasky's.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
bubbahotep
Jan 21, 2013 6:01 PM CST
So we shouldn't watch the inaugural speech because we won't remember it? We might say the same thing about Frum's articles.Talk about vapid blather. His diatribes are getting increasingly irrelevant and idiotic. For a prime example, look up his Daily Beast pieces on the evils of marihuana and why it should not be legalized. You'll think you woke up in a time warp and start playing your old Cream albums.
right2dave
Jan 21, 2013 11:28 AM CST
Obama is destroying what was once proud great country. I don't know if we will ever recover.
Fascist_Jack
Jan 21, 2013 10:43 AM CST
National debt when Obama took office: $10.6 trillion National debt today: More than $16.4 trillion