Presidential Elections

Inaugurations and the First One Hundred Days

Why is President George W. Bush’s inaugural address notable?

President George W. Bush delivered his inaugural address among a sea of supporters and detractors, some of who protested the November 2000 election outcome with signs that read, “Not My President.” The ceremony took place at the Capitol’s West Front in Washington, D.C., where Bush delivered a speech laden with acknowledgment of the days behind and promises of the days ahead: “While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the promise—even the justice—of our own country,” Bush said. “The ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing schools, and hidden prejudice, and the circumstances of their birth. And sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a continent, but not a country. We do not accept this, and will not allow it…. Everyone belongs, everyone deserves a chance.” Despite an optimistic and timely message, shouts of protesters intermittently drowned out the marching bands and cheers, reflecting Americans’ divisiveness over the election results and their hesitancy toward the new president.


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