How not to do it

January 20, 2009

A sample of some of the worst lines in previous inaugural addresses, thanks to the New Yorker.

Jimmy Carter, rambling on without sense: “It is that unique self-definition which has given us an exceptional appeal, but it also imposes on us a special obligation to take on those moral duties which, when assumed, seem invariably to be in our own best interests.”

Warren G. Harding, being boring and pedantic: ““I speak for administrative efficiency, for lightened tax burdens, for sound commercial practices, for adequate credit facilities, for sympathetic concern for all agricultural problems, for the omission of unnecessary interference of . . .”

James Buchanan, dismissing the importance of slavery as a national issue: “Most happy will it be for the country when the public mind shall be diverted from this question to others of more pressing and practical importance.”

George Bush I with a thousand metaphors, and a thousand points of light: ““Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that. But I see history as a book with many pages.”

Here’s to hoping that Obama is as transcendental as ever later…


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