James Fallows on Trump’s Inaugural Address

Raw meat for his political base. That’s what Trump’s speech today was all about. Here, from James Fallows, an eminent political analyst and former presidential speech writer, is the best analysis I’ve seen of today’s inaugural speech.

“Most modern presidents at least strive for some degree of eloquence. It’s like getting dressed nicely for a religious service or graduation. Every president has made points in his inaugural address like those in the campaign speeches that won him the office; but all of them have aspired to something loftier the standard stump speech, something special, something appropriate to their historic new role.
. . .
The content was virtually identical to Trump’s long series of rally speeches: just as long on anger and dystopia, just as short on specifics of policy. When the language differed from that of the campaign speeches, it was generally by being blunter and even more negative. Most presidents view inaugural addresses as a rare opportunity to appeal beyond “the base.” This speech was base-only. If you were already for him, you may feel all the better. But if you weren’t, he gave you nothing new to work with.”

(Read it here.)

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