Skip to main content
Workers prepare for the inauguration of U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S., January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTSWB74
FixGov

What’s on the line in Donald Trump’s inauguration address?

This week Americans will get to see how Donald Trump, who does not typically stand on ceremony, approaches an important political ritual: the inaugural address.

As William Galston explains in the video below, inaugural addresses can serve a number of different purposes. The president can use the address to comment on the state of the world, and begin to envision the future that could be achieved through policy change. It’s also an opportunity to heal the country’s wounds after a nasty election, like Thomas Jefferson did after intense conflict embroiled the young country during his contest against John Adams.

Watch the full video to hear how inaugural addresses differ, what they can accomplish, and which address Galston describes as the most important in American history.

Author

Get daily updates from Brookings