Maybe It Was Just a Bad Speech

Charles Krauthamer was certainly underwhelmed by the Inaugural Speech:

Fascinating speech. It was so rhetorically flat, so lacking in rhythm and cadence, one almost has to believe he did it on purpose. Best not to dazzle on Opening Day. Otherwise, they’ll expect magic all the time.
.   .    .
The language lacked lyricism. The content had neither arc nor theme: no narrative trajectory like Lincoln’s second inaugural; no central idea, as was (to take a lesser example) universal freedom in Bush’s second inaugural.

Krauthammer is mesmerized by the mediocrity, convinced there is a brilliant scheme or some emotional “withholding” going on. Because a speech so disappointing could have been crafted as such only deliberately, right?