America's most memorable inauguration speeches
Presidential historian weighs in
- Duration 5:04
- Date Jan 20, 2013
Presidential historian weighs in
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In just a little over 24 hours from right now President Obama will.
Become only the seventh president since the dawn of the twentieth century to deliver a second inaugural address -- to take you through some of the most memorable.
Speeches is presidential historian nick were -- nick -- case.
Good morning Steve OK so what technically as by statute the president's going to be sworn in today in the blue room before noon but the ceremonial.
There on the front face of the capital that's what everybody that's what people go to CN and that's what really makes history right.
It does I mean the inaugural such a rare opportunity for the president to actually.
Put aside partnership and make a speech for the ages and we seen over the years there's been a couple of great speeches we can only probably most Americans can only probably remember a few.
But there's four or five that really stand out -- history all right let's start with the first one that you have noted forests and that involves Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
There yeah I mean rose wrote -- -- one of the let's listen.
-- -- That's the only thing we have -- -- itself.
Nameless -- -- may not just the pride -- Which Farrah live needed.
Don't convert -- great -- man.
And that's -- -- because there was 1933.
And that you know the depression.
Was on everybody's mind and everybody was afraid so what does he talk about.
-- Yeah it's a great speech in the sense that he didn't get into policy professor -- wasn't -- to do this from -- if you batter had a twenty point plan.
Rather he spend his whole speech talking about the fact that we need to get a steely resolve and see this through when he talked about -- he said.
That's the only thing we have to fear it's not about the future we're gonna be fine it was one of the classics meanwhile let's take a look at John F Kennedy's inaugural back in the sixties.
We know I don't country although there that.
And the globe come back I have it can't truly like the world.
End all my fellow Americans.
What your country -- -- And what you can't build way up country.
And that was fantastic.
It was it's probably the single most memorable and quotable lines in -- in American presidential history.
And again what's interesting like FDR the backdrop for that speech was the Cold War and we were actually losing it we had lost in the space race early on to the Soviets.
We are feeling a bit demoralized and he was saying it's about service to the country.
Sure do -- -- know who writes these speeches is it is it generally the White House.
Shop that does that or did the president write that himself.
Well that and that Ted Kennedy speech is a famous like Ted Sorensen his longtime speechwriter was often asked that his line was when it's a did you write that speech -- -- -- not -- -- -- at a self.
Typically for our inaugural speech throughout the presidents do like to put their own hurts the paper Ronald Reagan did that and I I suspect the President Obama to will have a a big hand in crafting it too he just mentioned Reagan.
-- -- Here's the -- We as Americans.
Have the capacity now as we've had in the past.
To do whatever needs to be done.
To preserve this the last and greatest bastion of freedom.
In this present crisis.
Government is not the solution to our problem.
Government is the problem.
Very famous as well.
It -- that that line was so -- because it's such a departure from the Carter years and even.
Ford Nixon before it it was the culmination of really twenty years a conservative philosophy starting with Barry Goldwater and it really set the tone for the Reagan president.
Presidency that it wasn't about government it was about people in -- -- winning the Cold War sure in the speech that the president the United States is gonna give tomorrow we understand he's been walking around with yellow legal pad he's been making some notes.
And the only thing I've heard her say and I I wanna hear what you've heard is it it's going to be shorter than the last one what have you heard about what the president's and a intend to say tomorrow.
Yeah it's going to be shorter most second inaugural speeches are shorter out Lincoln's second was short from Washington was the shortest ever so I think going to be shorter more concise.
I think the president if he wants -- create a memorable inaugural needs to focus on one or two themes the inaugural not a state of the union it's not a laundry list.
It's one or two -- have he talked about maybe.
Fixed in the broken politics in Washington which we -- -- you know I was kinda hackneyed but really doesn't care.
Or maybe dealing what long term entitlement reform if he picked one or two big themes.
And just stuck with that I think you'd be better off than creating a laundry list the stuff sure the laundry list comes with the state -- union.
The ceremonial oath and speech tomorrow at -- right here on fox nick thank you very much for jurors earlier this.
Thanks -- that are.