I am a woman wooed by words. I don’t understand people who say “actions speak louder than words.” For me, the only thing that speaks louder than words, is more words. Give me well formulated sentences, figures of speech and sincere delivery and I am sold, body and soul.
Listening to President Obama’s 2009 Inauguration speech reminded me of my first date with my husband. We sat on the warm concrete at a drive-in theater eating pizza and candy and he won me over within the first 30 minutes. I was so captivated by what he was saying to me that I couldn’t even turn my head to the movie screen. I was crushed.
Today I was crushed again. Has anyone ever felt that way about a President’s speech before? I remember President Clinton’s speeches. They reminded me of cotton candy. Lots of flavor at first, but after you finish you always feel like you would have been better off with something more substantial. Like a hot dog. Or a pretzel.
And then there was President Bush. Every time he spoke I felt convinced we’d all have been better off if he left the White House to go cattle ranching in Texas than trying his hand at rhetoric.
The words of Obama’s Inauguration speech were beautifully woven and sincerely expressed. I have not felt awed and inspired by a President for . . . well I’ve never felt that.
Here are some of his words that I loved: “Greatness is never a given – it must be earned….it has been the risk takers, the doers the makers of things…who have carried us up the long rugged path to prosperity and freedom. This is the journey we contine today.
“Spend wisely, reform bad habits and do our business in the light of day. Because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and our government.”
“This crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product but on the reach of our prosperity. On our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart. Not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”
“We will not give up our forefather’s ideals for expedience sake.”
“Our power alone does not protect us. Nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, our power grows through prudent use. Our security emanates through the justness of our cause. The force of our example. The tempering qualities of humility and restraint.”
Sigh. For me, this is love at first speech.