Directory

dschilleDaniel
Schiller
mkovenMichéle
Koven
pjmPeggy
Miller
rwmcchesRobert
McChesney
piasengPia
Sengsavanh
cjones1Charisse
Coleman
patgillPat
Gill
salthausScott
Althaus
keandersKenneth
Andersen
mjbishopMardia
Bishop
caughlinJohn
Caughlin
racspcomRuth
Clark
sgdavisSusan
Davis
j-deliaJesse
Delia
carafCara
Finnegan
giorgioGrace
Giorgio
b-hallBarbara
Hall
mhuhmanMarian
Huhman
sallyjSally
Jackson
csjacobsC. Scott
Jacobs
knoblLeanne
Knobloch
nogormanNed
O'Gorman
bquickBrian
Quick
istoleInger
Stole
tewksburDavid
Tewksbury
lgrillLauren
Weiner
jwenzelJoseph
Wenzel
rkimnac2Rachel
(Kimnach) Xiao
epopp2Elizabeth
Popp
strumMary
Strum
aehollanAmy
Holland
tokarz2David
Tokarz
bjwilsonBarbara
Wilson
tcostellThomas
Costello
jclammerJohn
Lammers
jmmurphyJohn
Murphy
mspooleMarshall Scott
Poole
t-conleyThomas
Conley
ewehrma2Erin
Wehrman
proulx2Jeffrey
Proulx
pitchfo2Matthew
Pitchford
mhebert2Mary Grace
Hebert
moga2Jillian
Moga
ditewig2Kate
Ditewig-Morris
bisbee2Donovan
Bisbee
mrameyMary
Ramey
lhjumpLauren
VanNatta
abendsc2Bryan
Abendschein
kbruner2Katie
Bruner
albryan2Ann
Bryan
rynldst2Tobias
Reynolds-Tylus
ebigsbyElisabeth
Bigsby
weickum2Nikki
Weickum
jdcisnrsJosue
Cisneros
cbigmanCabral
Bigman-Galimore
nbaer2Neil
Baer
bellwoo2Alia
Bellwood
izaguir2José
Izaguirre
amrtnzg2Andrea
Martinez Gonzalez
krweeks2Kris
Weeks
lwllmsn2Lillie
Williamson
barleyWilliam
Barley
tldixonTravis
Dixon
gailey1Benjamin
Gailey
mmcgrth2Mary
Fijalkovich
aobradAlyssa
Obradovich
rnicolRebecca
Nicol
masmit11Marisa
Smith
srwilsn3Samuel
Wilson
guntzvi1Lisa
Guntzviller
bunch2Caroline
Bunch
mmichaMelanie
Michael
twdixonTrina
Wright-Dixon
hworkma2Hallie
Workman
reckard2Bryan
Reckard
er2Emily
Rodriguez
abt2Ashley
Trudeau
cpb4Chelsea
Butkowski
djd3Daniel
DeVinney
tdsilva2Tanya
D'Silva
cfang10Chengyu
Fang
coreyjh2Corey
Huber
nead2Kaitlyn
Nead
reon2Rachel
Reon
luisar2Luisa
Ruge-Jones
saldiva2Laura
Saldivar
salahha2Salah
Al-Ghaithi
etb2Eli
Bacon
dannil3Danni
Liao
moist2John
Moist
manuelp2Manny
Pulido
aarondc2Aaron
Campbell
natalia6Natalia
Roman Alicea
yuliyas2Yuliya
Simakovich
budeuly2Bu Deul
Yang
junghwanJungHwan
Yang

What should we expect from Trump's inaugural address?

Communication professor discusses inaugurals, past and present

Date

01/18/17
Communication professor John Murphy studies presidential rhetoric.

Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural gave us “nothing to fear but fear itself.” John F. Kennedy’s gave us “ask not what your country can do for you …” But those are among the few inaugurals long-remembered in history. So how important are these speeches in setting a tone or direction that carries through? Communication professor John Murphy has spent his career studying the rhetoric of presidents and is finishing a book on Kennedy’s speeches. He spoke with News Bureau social sciences editor Craig Chamberlain about inaugurals, past and present.

 

So what has made some inaugurals into historical markers, while others are quickly forgotten?

The memorable inaugural addresses generally provide eloquent responses to difficult situations. Franklin Roosevelt, for example, banished fear itself at a most fearful time in 1933, and Abraham Lincoln sought to bind up the wounds of the Civil War in 1865.

What do presidents and their speechwriters generally seek to accomplish with this speech?

Presidents try to accomplish two goals. First, they seek to put the election behind them and unify the country around their leadership. Second, they seek to put those good feelings to work in support of a legislative agenda. The inaugural is not the time for specifics on legislation, but presidents generally foreshadow their program as an extension of the national values they invoke to unify the country. Ronald Reagan praised individual Americans as heroes, while seeking to cut government to free those individual Americans.

Barack Obama has a reputation as a gifted speaker and yet it’s difficult to recall signature lines from his two inaugurals. Should we chalk that up to his style? Or the times?

President Obama’s second inaugural praised the fundamental value of equality that “guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall,” a bit of alliteration that has lived on in many ways. And he has had other memorable lines. I suspect that the longer we live past the polarization of these times, the more people will remember and think highly of this president and what he had to say.

What should Donald Trump seek to accomplish in his inaugural?

Donald Trump very much needs to create unity. That is always a demand facing presidents on this occasion, but the division of the election and the transition has made that ever more pressing. He is the second Republican in a row to win the White House and lose the popular vote. He has questioned the competence, patriotism, and standing of many Americans and of the government he is about to lead. Trump must show that he can be the president of all the people, even those with whom he disagrees.

Related People