These videos show the Presidential Inauguration ceremony in chronological order.
A Christmas story from former President Bill Clinton in 1997.
This video was taken on December 18, 1997 at a children’s event at the White House.
And the First Lady, fifteen years later:
Former President Bill Clinton has received a rapturous reception from delegates to the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Clinton gave the keynote speech in support of the nomination of President Barack Obama. At the end of the speech, Obama joined Clinton on stage.
As a CNN commentator put it, the speech, like all Clinton speeches, needed an editor, but it was like a hammer hitting a nail on the head.
- Listen to Clinton’s speech (53m)
Transcript of former President Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic convention, as transcribed by the New York Times.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Now, Mr. Mayor, fellow Democrats, we are here to nominate a president. (Cheers, applause.) And I’ve got one in mind. (Cheers, applause.)
I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before his election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression; a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs that he saved or created, there’d still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive.
I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside — (cheers, applause) — but who burns for America on the inside. (Cheers, applause.)
I want — I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American Dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, but education and — yes — by cooperation. (Cheers.)
And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama. (Cheers, applause.)
You know — (cheers, applause). I — (cheers, applause).
I want — I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.) And I proudly nominate him to be the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party. [Read more...]
In light of the Arizona shootings, there is considerable discussion in the media about the influence of violent and aggressive speech in political debate.
This is an extract from a speech given by former President Bill Clinton to the Center for American Progress Action Fund in April 2010:
Clinton talked of the role of right-wing media and radio talkback hosts in the 1990s. He said participants in the political debate need to be responsible in their use of rhetoric because it falls on the “serious and the delirious alike”:
We can’t let the debate veer so far into hatred that we lose focus of our common humanity. It’s really important. We can’t ever fudge the fact that there’s a basic line dividing criticism from violence or its advocacy, and that the closer you get to the line and the more responsibility you have, you have to think about the echo chamber in which your words resonate. [...]
But what we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or we should reduce our passion for the positions that we hold, but the words we use really do matter because there are — there’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space, and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike. And I am not trying to muzzle anybody, but one of the things that the conservatives have always brought to the table in America is that no law can replace personal responsibility. And the more power you have, and the more influence you have, the more responsibility you have.
Clinton spoke of how he had changed his own tendency to refer to “federal bureaucrats” in a disparaging way when he disagreed with some aspect of government policy:
Oklahoma City proved that beyond the law, there is no freedom, and there is a difference between criticizing a policy or a politician, and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who implement them. And the more prominence you have in politics or media or some other pillar of public life, the more you have to keep that in mind. I acknowledged that in my political career, I had more on than one occasion, in the face of a government policy I disagreed with or a practice that I thought was insensitive, referred in a disparaging way generally to “federal bureaucrats,” as if all of them were arrogant or insensitive or unresponsive, and I have never done it again. You could not read the stories of the lives of the people who perished in Oklahoma City and not respond in that way.
Former President Bill Clinton returned to the White House yesterday to support President Obama in his campaign to pass tax legislation.
Obama took Clinton to the White House Briefing Room and then left him there to address journalists.
This is the text of The Dimbleby Lecture 2001, given by the former United States President, Bill Clinton.
Text of The Dimbleby Lecture by former President Bill Clinton.
I’m delighted to be here, delighted to be part of this distinguished lecture series at a time when every American is especially grateful for our long friendship with the United Kingdom; one that we see manifest now in the partnership that President Bush and Tony Blair have demonstrated in the fight against Afghanistan; one that touched every American heart when the Queen instructed her band to play the American national anthem in the grounds of Buckingham Palace the day after September 11th. One that I came to appreciate deeply when we worked together for peace for Northern Ireland and the Balkans.
Lord Keynes once said how difficult it is for nations to understand one another, even when they had the advantage of a common language; “everyone talks about international co-operation, but how little of pride, of temper, or of habit.” [Read more...]
This is the inaugural address given by George W. Bush, following his swearing in as the 43rd President in Washington at noon today.
Text of President George W. Bush’s first inaugural address.
This peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions, and make new beginnings. As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his service to our nation. And I thank Vice President Gore for a contest conducted with spirit, and ended with grace.
I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many of America’s leaders have come before me, and so many will follow. [Read more...]