Talk:Barack Obama's First Inaugural Address

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Crystal kmdconfig2.png This page is part of a project to put the works of Barack Obama and his administration online. If you'd like to help out then please see the Project Page. Quality:

Information about this edition
Edition: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Barack Obama (2009, Book I)
Source: FDsys
Level of progress: Complete 100 percent.svg
Notes: The President spoke at approximately 12 p.m. on January 20 at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. Prior to the address, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administered the oath of office. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on January 21.

Someone needs to lock editing on this keeps getting vandalized (from the same IP) and the entire text is replaced with "I love John McCain," etc.

Done. Yann (talk) 21:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Note: President Obama is the 43rd American, not the 44th, to take the oath. Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th President. Someone on the Speechwriting Staff dropped the ball!

Less than this. Some vice-presidents became president and either did not run on their own or were not elected. The number would be a few less than that. John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, and Gerald R. Ford. So 38 technically. My bad - I jumped ahead. I thought it was saying the inaugural address, not the oath.

Error correction, please[edit]

defense, we accept as false He actually said ...(at least in the abc video of the speech he did) Liit-- 22:07, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


It's "Khe Sanh", not "Khe Sahn", but does the original text have the same mistake? Lexo (talk) 22:43, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

  • I checked. It does. I assume that that means that the typo stays in? Lexo (talk) 22:47, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Should precedence be given to the released text, or the speech as it was delivered? If the former, "Khe Sahn" should probably stand with the addition of a [sic]...if the latter then the error should be corrected, I think.

We keep the original (whichever version you decide is the original), and it would be worthwhile marking it {{sic}} so that when someone moves to correct it, they will hopefully leave it alone. -- billinghurst (talk) 07:12, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

The text is now "Khe Sahn" as in the original from the speechwriters and CQ Transcriptions published at first in The New York Times. The Times after a few days changed it to the correct "Khe Sanh." But the text at is still the incorrect "Khe Sahn." Half the newspapers who published transcripts (one assumes based on listening to the speech instead of the wrong spelling of the speechwriters, or Obama himself) used "Khe Sanh." As far as I know, Obama referred to and pronounced the words "Khe Sanh" and what he said should be used, not somebody's incorrect spelling of the word. There is no place "Khe Sahn," only "Khe Sanh," and we should use the correct word here (but don't yet).

There is another error that has been overlooked. The word "forbearers" should be spelled "forebears." The original text as handed out before the speech by the speechwriters gave it as "forbearers" and that is what CQ Transcriptions used in The New York Times. However, both The Times and have changed this to "forebears," which is the correct word just as Obama spoke it, and that is what should be used here and at the Wikipedia page (but isn't, I am not going to change it, you should check for yourself by listening to the speech and do that.) If you make these changes, please add an explanation of why, so that later readers won't be confused. You could look up Kennedy's Inaugural Address and a speech by Mitt Romney and see that some transcripts use the word "forbearers" instead of "forebears." Maybe some day we will find out the source of these fascinating errors--was it Google and the BlackBerry, did Ted Sorenson play a role in each speech, was President Obama aware of the difference between the words, should he be accountable for the mistake, should presidents be allowed to cut some slack in official texts' spelling, how should teachers interpret this for their students in coming years?

Yes, there should be some agreement on which version this represents. My sense is that it should be true to how it was spoken, to be consistent with the author credit listing Obama as the speaker. Apparently, the text (and thus the transcript) was written primarily by Jon Favreau. So if Barack's delivery corrected errors in Jon's text, we should make the text consistent with the author. -Steve Sanbeg (talk) 21:01, 17 February 2009 (UTC)


Please add Constitution_of_the_United_States_of_America#Preamble to the phrase "We the People" towards the beginning of the speech.--HereToHelp (talk)

Inspiring stuff, and the world will be a better place if he keeps his word, but here's another speechwriters' goof: It should be "for[e]bears" not "forebearers". The two words mean very different things.

Peter Munich.

Another Link[edit]

Please add a link to w:Racial_segregation_in_the_United_States to the phrase "might not have been served at a local restaurant" near the end of the speech. -- 08:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Please add Vietnamese interwikisource link[edit]

vi:Diễn văn nhậm chức của Barack Obama. Motthoangwehuong (talk) 20:43, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Done. Yann (talk) 20:55, 25 January 2009 (UTC)