(AP)

Did anyone doubt Donald Trump would have a hand in writing his inauguration speech?

Trump says he's taking cues from Ronald Reagan and JFK for his inauguration speech. Will he pull it off?


Jeremy Binckes
December 29, 2016 10:12PM (UTC)

The first words that we'll hear from President Donald Trump on Jan. 20 could be uplifting and motivating words that inspire America to get over its decades-long partisan divide. They could unite us to live in a post-partisan era.

Or they could be remarks on how much of a winner Donald Trump is, and how much of a loser everyone else is.

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Trump, according to reports, is taking an active role in crafting his inauguration speech for when he assumes office on Jan. 20. The speech was originally intended to be written by Stephen Miller, a close aide and speechwriter (for when Trump actually gives speeches). But this is Donald Trump stepping onto what will certainly be the largest stage he's ever been on, so it shouldn't be a shock that he wants to take an active role. Give Trump credit for one thing at least: he's "no puppet" to someone else's voice.

But Trump isn't going to go into this endeavor — likely punctuated by some "very," "terrible," "great" and other adjectives — blind. He's taking cues from some of America's great orators, including former Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. The Washington Post reports:

President-elect Donald Trump privately told several visitors to his winter retreat in Florida on Wednesday that he is writing the first draft of his inaugural speech and is looking to presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy for inspiration, according to three people familiar with the conversation.

Trump told them that Reagan’s “style” and Kennedy’s articulation of grand national ambitions are central to how he thinks through his own speech, which will be given Jan. 20, the people said.

In another Trumpian twist, he's going to keep the speech short — at least on paper. Skeptics would say that Trump isn't that fond of reading or writing, and would rather ad-lib the speech (which, let's face it, he's likely going to do anyway), but according to the Trump camp, it's because he cares about the common man.

"He doesn't want it to be long," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told CNN. "He would like it to be a shorter one. He doesn't want people standing out in the cold."

That might not be a terrible idea. After all, it would allow more time for all the celebrities that won't be there.


Jeremy Binckes

Jeremy Binckes is the senior news editor at Salon.com.

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