Politics & Government
4:34 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Stateside: Second inaugural addresses throughout history

Gleaves Whitney discusses the history of second inaugural addresses.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Today, President Barack Obama delivered his second inaugural address.

According to Gleaves Whitney, many second addresses are somber and straightforward.

Whitney directs the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University, and he spoke with Cyndy about the history of inaugural addresses.

“I think that Eisenhower was the first and only president to write his  prayer into the inaugural address,” said Whitney.

George Washington’s second inaugural speech was the shortest in history, said Whitney.

“Second inaugural addresses usually occur after the president has been chastened by experience. The lofty optimism that often characterizes first inaugural addresses is missing," he continued.

For the entire interview, listen to the above audio.

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