Baylor > Lariat Archives > News


President addresses nation

Jan. 21, 1997

Inaugural speech sets goals

By Sharon Mariotti

Lariat Staff Writer

President William Jefferson Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore Jr. were sworn in for their second terms Monday at the 1997 inauguration.

Clinton began his inaugural address by both looking to the past and also looking ahead to the future. He said he had set his sights on 'the land of new promise.'

Clinton said Americans have a choice 'to shape the forces of the information age and global society, to unleash the limitless potential of all our people and, yes, to form a more perfect union.'

Corey Westerfeld, a Kingwood sophomore, said he hopes Clinton does well.

'I hope he leads our country in the right direction,' Westerfeld said.

Clinton said the American people are the solution and the government is not, and he challenged all Americans by saying that our future is up to us.

Clinton focused on making America a more perfect union throughout his address.

He discussed several things he hopes to accomplish in his second term as president including meeting our nation's obligations, balancing the budget, securing both retirement and health care, never losing 'the balance of our nation's values,' securing a more productive economy and protecting 'our country's natural bounty.'

Jennifer Calhoon, a Woodville junior, said she thinks we need to respect him as our president because he was elected by the people.

'I do not agree with his morals and some of his decisions, but he was a pretty good president the last four years and he will probably be a pretty good president the next four years,' Calhoon said.

Clinton also made a call for unity among all Americans.

'Our rich texture of racial, religious and political diversity will be a godsend in the 21st century,' Clinton said.

Clinton said he has a dream for peace, prosperity, freedom, progress and democracy, and he hopes for America to surpass the achievements and avoid the bloodshed of the 20th century.

The Children of the Gospel Choir sang a song called Let Us Build a Bridge Across America.

Clinton made reference to the song in his inaugural address when he said, he wants to build a bridge wide enough for all Americans to reach into the land of new promise.

CBS News anchor Dan Rather, said the 1997 presidential inauguration had the same national pomp and ceremony as every other inauguration in the past.

The welcoming remarks were given by Sen. John Warner, a Virginia republican.

'Across our nation and around the world, Americans join William Jefferson Clinton as he reconfirms his oath of office as 42nd president of the United States and Albert Gore Jr. as he reconfirms his oath of office as the 45th vice president of the United States,' he said in his introductory remarks.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth B. Ginsburg swore in Gore, in which he promised to 'support and defend the Constitution of the Unites States against all enemies foreign and domestic.'

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Hobbs Rehnquist, administered the oath to Clinton.

Clinton promised to serve the office of the president to the best of his ability and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Court Wellington, a Kingwood sophomore, said he thinks it is cool that someone got elected for a second term.

'He got elected, so good luck, but I guess he [Clinton] has done some good things,' Wellington said.

Clinton, at age 50, is the third youngest president in the history of the United States.

Copyright © 1997 The Lariat

Comments or Questions can be sent to The Lariat