The Inaugural Address of George W. Bush
The facts of George W. Bush's inaugural address are as follows:
- The ceremony began at At 12:01 p.m. Jan. 20, 2001
- Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist conducted the swearing-in ceremony
- George W. Bush the 43rd President of the United States.
- The ceremony was followed by Bush's first inaugural speech.
A Republican, Bush began by addressing and thanking President Bill Clinton, who served two terms as president beginning in 1993.
Bush then asked Americans to remember the Declaration of Independence, asking the people to work together for the common good. Bush also quoted John Page, who wrote to Thomas Jefferson, “We know the race is not of the swift, nor the battle to the strong., Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?”
With wife and first lady Laura Bush by his side, the president compared the country's courage and patriotism to that of the time when Jefferson took office by making his inaugural speech.
Approximately 300,000 people witnessed the event, many of whom were protesting Bush's victory in the 2000 presidential election. Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote by more than one percent and, after a recount, Bush would win electoral votes in Florida to become president.
On the day of his 2001 inaugural speech, Bush's limousine was pelted with debris by angry demonstrators.
George W. Bush’s first eight months in power remains a blur to most people due not to the stark comparison of his administration after the attacks of 9/11, but rather because until that fateful day Bush had no vision upon which to build a Presidential legacy. The day those hijacked planes hit their targets—or crashed for whatever reason into a field in Pennsylvania—Bush was finally presented with an opportunity to shape his Presidency. In essence, that legacy will be boiled down to four simple words: the war on terror. Every action, every decision, and every political policy since September 11, 2001 has been made in response to the terrorist attacks. From the very beginning it seems that Bush—or rather whoever that one person working in the Bush administration is that actually reads novels—tore a page right out of Orwell’s book. The country of Oceania in 1984 is involved in a perpetual war. The enemy isn’t important; what is important is the continued belief in the existence of a dangerous opponent who threatens their security and way of life. George W. Bush isn’t the first President to create a nebulous enemy designed to instill that fear in Americans. He is the first, however, to create an enemy without a country or even an army. The fight against “communism” really meant the Soviet Union; the war on terror is clearly meant to embrace Islamic terrorist specifically, but is just vague enough to have no real parameters. What the architects of this war that was declared against an abstract noun learned from the Cold War—apparently the only thing they learned from the Cold War—is that choosing an enemy with a solid, identifiable geographic home is too limiting. The war on terror is open-ended enough to never be won or lost; it is perpetual.