The Bush inauguration eight years ago

January 20, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

What was on the mind of George W. Bush eight years ago?   This NYT article describes the 2001 inauguration:

George Walker Bush was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States today and, in an Inaugural Address that sought to unify the nation after one of the most disputed elections in its history, asked Americans to match “a commitment to principle with a concern for civility.”

Mr. Bush used that last word again and again as he sounded a call for a common national purpose that transcended political divisions and partisan tempers.

“Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment,” Mr. Bush said in relatively brief inaugural remarks, which he delivered from a platform outside the United States Capitol under a thick cover of clouds. As hundreds of thousands of spectators huddled against chill winds, he said: “It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.”

Mr. Bush pledged to dedicate himself to that ideal and, his voice and words as muted in their way as the gray scene around him, spoke of unity and duty and responsibility.

“I ask you to be citizens,” Mr. Bush said. “Citizens, not spectators. Citizens, not subjects. Responsible citizens, building communities of service and a nation of character.”

Here’s a bit more from a separate NYT article:

In January 2001, when the country was divided over a disputed presidential election, the newest development was security checkpoints along the parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Capitol to the White House, to minimize the ability of protesters to disrupt the procession. None did, although several people threw eggs and debris at Mr. Bush’s limousine as it left the Capitol grounds.


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Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    And it actually came to an end, as described by Garrison Keillor:

    But the great moment came later, as the mob flowed slowly across the grounds. I heard loud cheers behind me and there on the giant screen was the Former Occupant and Mrs. Bush saying goodbye to the Obamas in the parking lot behind the Capitol, the Marine helicopter behind them.

    The crowd stopped and stared, a little stunned at the reality of it.

    They saw it on a screen in front of the Capitol and it was actually happening on the other side. The Bushes went up the stairs, turned, waved and disappeared into the cabin, and people started to cheer in earnest. When the blades started turning, the cheering got louder, and when the chopper lifted up above the Capitol and we saw it in the sky heading for the airport, a million jubilant people waved and hollered for all they were worth. It was the most genuine, spontaneous, universal moment of the day. It was like watching the ice go out on the river.

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