As English weekly magazine The Economist points out, every inauguration has its quirks and Barack Obama’s investiture “was marked by global jubilation and stratospheric expectations”.
His beautiful inaugural address was a motivational speech to a people who go through an economic crisis and two wars and to a country whose previous government failed in financial and economic regulation and in providing a good health care and an effective educational system.
Although Obama has prominent powers as an a orator, he doesn’t work alone in the art of speech-making. The man who collaborates with Obama in this task is called John Favreau and is only 27 years old. Obama discovered Favreau almost by chance four years ago and this man is now considered by Obama himself as the president’s mind reader.
To write the first draft of the memorable inaugural address, Fraveau’s team studied periods of crisis and war, interviewed historians and speech writers, and listened to past inaugural orations.
As a result, apart from showing Obama’s great admiration for Abraham Lincoln, this young speechwriter made it full of allusions to historical passages, in order to deliver trust and faith to people who have seen confidence across the land be destroyed and who are suffering from “a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.”
Nevertheless, it was rather a sombre speech compared to previous ones like the well-known “Yes, We Can Change”, after he won the Democratic presidential primary in South Carolina. The historical inaugural speech was a warning of tougher times in the immediate future of American people.
By referring to “this winter of our hardship”, he evoked Shakespeare, who opened Richard III with a “Now is the winter of our discontent”.
Saying that “the time has come to set aside childish things” he quoted Corinthians 13:11.
Inviting Americans to make history – with “Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]” –, Obama borrowed a theme from Thomas Paine’s The Crisis, which George Washington ordered to be read to his soldiers during the American War of Independence.
Saying that “We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents”, he suggested the preamble of the United States Constitution, one of the documents in which draft participated political leaders known as the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.
A beautiful, memorable and historical speech that rocks the dreams not only of American people, but also of people all over the world, who deposit, in this first Afro-American president of United States, the hopes of their future. Time will say if he will be able to satisfy such high expectations.