It was a one-of-a-kind speech for a one-of-a-kind president.
The road to President Donald Trump’s inauguration has been anything but ordinary, and thus his inaugural address was unique – not just in delivery, but also substance.
“As a speech without context, it was wonderful,” said Hal Wicke, deputy chair of speech and communication at Touro College’s New York School of Career and Applied Studies. “I didn’t expect it to be so simple.”
Often it seems Trump has two modes of speaking: solemn and monotone or passionate and colorful. On Friday, America — which has seen plenty of the latter — got a taste of the former from its new president.
“My sense is that it was appropriate for the occasion,” considering he was speaking to several audiences simultaneously, Wicke said.
Often we see the fired up version of Trump — with animated body language and an aggressive tone — when he feels he needs to fight for attention. But on Inauguration Day, he had the world tuning in.
While touching on overarching themes one would expect from an inaugural address, Trump once again broke the mold by bringing some familiar rhetoric into the mix, like his “America first” messaging.
“He says, ‘You and I are the only ones who count.’ Does it create an impact on everyone? Yes, his simplicity works,” Wicke said. “I would think other nations would be concerned.”
Wicke added, “I think it’s an agenda. You make your message simple and repeat it over and over and over again.”
Yet while speaking to the masses about giving the country back to its people, there was a noticeable lack of references to women, the LGBTQ community and other minority groups.
“This is not surprising. This is monochromatic America,” said Wicke.
And while Trump vowed to fight for all Americans and promised they had nothing to fear, ultimately, it’s not as much as what is said on Inauguration Day that defines a president, but what is accomplished in the years that follow.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind speech,” said Wicke. “It’s different from everybody else” because at the end of the day, Trump is a salesman and a closer and he will always be closing.