George Bush's "new breeze blowing" inaugural speech - and his words and gestures to the common man during festivities Friday - brought praise from his friends and opponents alike.
Bush jumped out of his limousine several times to walk along the inaugural parade route, and in his speech he used eloquent, inspiring phrases, calling for bipartisan work to help the needy, free the oppressed and make Americans more caring."I was sitting with the Senate majority leader, the minority leader, committee chairmen and ranking minority members and they all were impressed - Republicans and Democrats alike," said Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah. "President Bush - who hasn't always been known as a great speaker - gave a great one this time. Not only in its content, which was solid and set a good tone, but also in its delivery."
Memorable quotes from Bush's inaugural speech include:
- "We live in a peaceful, prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn; for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over . . . A new breeze is blowing - and a nation refreshed by freedom stands ready to push on. There is new ground to be broken, and new action to be taken.
- "America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral purpose. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world."
-On the war against drugs, homelessness and welfare, he said, "The old solution, the old way, was to think that public money alone could end these problems. But we have learned that is not so. And in any case our funds are low. We have a deficit to bring down. We have more will than wallet; but will iswhat we need.
- "We will turn to the only resource we have that in times of need always grows: The goodness and courage of the American people."
- "A new breeze is blowing - and the old bipartisanship must be made new again."
Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, was one of the many Democrats who praised the speech. "The truth is that I was pleased and surprised at the kind of bipartisan appeal that he made. I thought his campaign had a bitter tone. But his cabinet appointments and his inaugural speech showed that bitterness would not be the tone of his administration - and that he wants to work with us. This is also the first time in years that we have a president who hasn't campaigned against Washington. President Bush showed he feels, as I do, that the government can offer great service."
Another Democrat who agreed was Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis. "I was pleased with the bipartisan spirit. If that's truly the way his administration operates it will be a breath of fresh air."
DePaulis called the short speech "modest. There was nothing grandiose about it. He hit the right issues and themes. I was also pleasantly surprised that he hit specific issues of drugs and crime that affect the cities."
Naturally, Republicans chimed in with praise too.
"It set the right tone," Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, said. Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, the state's senior House member, said the speech "squared with my values."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said, "This was an exciting speech that set a tone for the coming four years. I was impressed by the president's recommendation to Congress that we work together for the future of the country, specifically his allusion to child care to help the nation's families . . . and I think we'll see some teeth put into our anti-drug laws. It's an excellent beginning of what should be four years of continued peace and prosperity."
A few University of Utah political science students, who came for a week of seminars offered by the Bush administration, also offered their reactions to the speech.
"I feel a lot better about Bush now than I did after hearing him and his administration's plans," said Stephen Justesen.
"Forgive the pun, but I like the way he did not beat around the bush and gave specifics about problems," said Carola Riddle.
Many events Friday were designed to appeal to the masses. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle and their wives left their limousines several times to walk during the inaugural parade.
That didn't surprise Steve Studdert. "No, it doesn't surprise me at all," said the Utahn who headed Bush's inaugural committee. "You know, he's full of surprises. That's the kind of thing you'd expect from George Bush, and he did it right on queue, evidently. He did not indicate beforehand that he would do that. But he saw those people out there and went after them."
Did Studdert plan the surprise? "Not guilty, at least not that I'll admit," he joked.> The president also stood, waived and applauded at many parade entries from his reviewing stand.
Utah's entry, chosen by the inaugural committee, was Cloggers USA, a group of young dancers from Spanish Fork. Unfortunately, national networks cut away from the parade before the cloggers arrived at the reviewing stand - and the sun was setting by the time the president saw the cloggers.
The parade was delayed because a congressional lunch honoring Bush started late. Also, a trailer selling hot dogs near the startling line of the parade caught on fire and threatened to explode nearby propane tanks - causing some delay also.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir - chosen as a "national entry" in the parade - was the last entry and rode in a float complete with a replica of the Tabernacle organ. The sun had set by the time it reached the president, but spotlights set up on the street allowed it to be seen as members sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
The choir also sang prelude music before Bush's swearing-in ceremony, and is scheduled to sing Saturday night at a "Salute to Democracy" featuring Vice President Dan Quayle.
LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson and his second counselor, President Thomas S. Monson, watched the parade from VIP seats in the grandstand, said area LDS communications director Beverly Campbell.
Many other Utahns would not or could not fight the crowds at the parade. Garn watched it from his office with his family before they caught a plane back to Utah. Hatch - who just had surgery on knee - re-injured it Friday and spent much of the afternoon in a doctor's office.