Barack Obama has a reputation as a great orator, so most are expecting a soaring and eloquent inaugural address today. But Obama’s speech can’t just be pretty, writes Tom Brune in Newsday. “He has work to do.” Obama must:
- Define the moment: Specifically, define it as the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
- Give hope (but not too much): Obama must restore confidence in the economy, but without raising unrealistic expectations.
- Reassure the world: The speech should send a message to an already excited world that US foreign policy is changing, but that Obama still stands for America’s interests.
- Reach out to the right: Every inaugural address aims to mend fences with the election’s losers. Obama’s already made gestures on this front, but he’s got to say the words.
- Offer a memorable phrase: Inaugurals endure on the strength of their sound bites. Think, “ask not what your country can do for you.”