The Corner

White House

A Forgettable Speech

President Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Biden’s speech wasn’t memorable, but it was true to Biden. He didn’t reach for any unnatural grandiloquence. Its relatively informal delivery and rhetoric suited him. His emphasis on unity was also sincere and deeply felt, if cliched and impossible to achieve.

What Biden can do is bring a new tone to the White House and lower the temperature, both of which will be easy after Trump stirred the pot every day, sometimes merely out of boredom.

Biden’s implicit promise was that, after Trump made it impossible to turn away from the screen for four years, he’ll make it entirely possible to turn away from the screen.

Today’s shockingly boring and astonishingly conventional proceedings (given their interest only in contrast to the riot) show he’s well on the way to delivering.


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