FRC Blog

Blogs for Life 2009

by Jared Bridges

January 22, 2009

The 2009 edition of Blogs for Life is nearly upon us, and the schedule begins tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. as follows:

8:30-8:35: Introduction - emcee Jill Stanek

8:35-8:50: Peter Shinn/Major Samuel Mosteller, Pro-Life Unity

8:50-9:05: Shaun Kenney, Executive Director, American Life League

9:05-9:20: Danny Glover, Blogger/Journalist

9:20-9:35: Michael New, Ph.D., University of Alabama

9:35-9:50: Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D., President, Americans United for Life

9:50-10:00: Break [22 Weeks film preview]

10:00-10:15: Chris Gacek, PhD., J.D.(FRC) /Martha ShupingM.D.

10:15-10:30: Michael Illions, Conservatives with Attitude!

10:30-10:50: Amanda Carpenter,

10:50-11:10: Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan)

11:10-11:30: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash)

if you’re unable to join us in person at 801 G St. NW, you can view the live webcast at this link.

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Change Watch Backgrounder: Timothy Geithner

by Family Research Council

January 21, 2009


NOMINEE: Timothy Geithner

Born: Brooklyn, New York, August 18, 1961.

Family: Wife, Carole M. Sonnenfeld, and two children.

Occupation: Partner 9th president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In that role he also serves as Vice Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee

Education: M.A. in international economics and East Asian studies from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in 1985

Clinton White House: Geithner joined the Department of Treasury in 1988 and worked in three administrations for five Secretaries of the Treasury in a variety of positions.  He was deputy assistant secretary for international monetary and financial policy (1995-1996), senior deputy assistant secretary for international affairs (1996-1997), assistant secretary for international affairs (1997-1998). He was Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (1998-2001) under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. In 2002 he left the Treasury to join the Council on Foreign Relations as a Senior Fellow in the International Economics department. At the International Monetary Fund he was director of the Policy Development and Review Department (2001-2003)

NOTE: “An examination of the record of IMF and World Bank performance in developing countries shows that, far from being the solution to global economic instability and poverty, these two international institutions are a major problem. For one thing, their lending practice deters growth because the money they loan removes incentives for governments to advance economic freedom, and breeds corruption. For these reasons, the vast majority of recipient countries have been unable to develop fully after depending on these institutions for over 40 years.”  Ana I. Eiras, “IMF and World Bank Intervention: A Problem, Not a Solution.” Heritage Foundation.  September 17, 2003.

On the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts

Nominee Geithner has little published on his view of how the tax cuts during President George W. Bush’s Administration helped the economy or if they should be repealed.  During the campaign, candidate Obama vowed to repeal the popular tax cuts - though it appears that might now be delayed:

Aides to President-elect Barack Obama suggested on Sunday that he wouldn’t immediately implement a pledged rollback of tax cuts for the top tier of American income earners, because of the worsening economic outlook… During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama economic adviser William Daley suggested that the incoming administration would reconsider whether to quickly increase taxes for Americans earning more than $250,000 per year… David Axelrod, an Obama political strategist who was recently named as one of the president-elect’s senior White House advisers, also suggested during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” that Obama was considering delaying the tax increase, but he did not elaborate.

In that appearance, and another on ABC’s “This Week,” Axelrod publicly confirmed that Geithner was slated to head the Treasury Department, pending formal nomination and approval by the Senate… Axelrod declined to answer questions about Geithner’s role in some recent policy decisions made during the financial crisis, including one not to provide federal aid to Lehman Brothers. He said Geithner has served as “an early warning system in terms of the need for greater regulation, and has been ahead of the curve on a lot of these issues.” Cam Simpson, “Obama Aides Suggest Rollback of Bush Tax Cuts Could Be Delayed,” Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2008.

On the Current Financial Crisis and Financial Bailouts

Timothy Geithner, 47, has had a seat at the table since the credit crisis erupted in August 2007 and eventually sparked the deep economic downturn the nation is facing now. As a result, at least until his confirmation hearing, he’ll be criticized for having a major role in a government response that hasn’t always instilled confidence in financial markets - even if it prevented a wider financial meltdown.  As the Fed’s man on Wall Street, Mr. Geithner was a key architect of the $30 billion bailout to prevent the bankruptcy of Bear Stearns Cos., leading to charges the government was stoking moral hazard. He shaped the Fed’s lifeline to investment banks that followed, and was among the officials involved in assessing the implications of the troubles around Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings, American International Group and numerous other firms (from Wachovia to Citigroup) that have come under market pressure.” WSJ Blog, Who is Timothy Geithner? November 21, 2008

Personal Tax Negligence

Obama said Wednesday that the disclosures that Geithner had failed to pay $34,000 in taxes between 2001 and 2004 were embarrassing, but added that Geithner’s “innocent mistake” shouldn’t keep him from taking the helm of the new administration’s urgent efforts to revive the economy. Several Republicans agreed that Geithner would get Senate approval and said their party had little appetite for a partisan fight at a precarious time for the economy.” Associated Press, “Geithner slowed, not stopped by tax problems,” January 15, 2009

I have a new story on what is, for some senators at least, the most frustrating thing about Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner’s tax problem: Geithner can’t explain why he did it. Members of the Senate Finance Committee know Geithner failed to pay self-employment taxes during his time at the International Monetary Fund. They know the IMF had repeatedly informed Geithner, as it had all its employees, of his obligation to pay that tax. They know Geithner signed documents saying he would pay the tax. And they know Geithner accepted IMF reimbursement for Social Security and Medicare taxes that he had not, in fact, paid. Geithner paid part of his obligation after a 2006 Internal Revenue Service audit, and the rest of it after he was nominated to become treasury secretary. In all, he paid $42,702 in back taxes and interest.  But why did Geithner, who had been a high-ranking official at the Treasury Department before joining IMF and would go on to head the New York Fed, make those mistakes?  Senators got a chance to ask him in person last Tuesday after committee leadership broke the news to them in a hastily-called meeting …”Since their meeting with Geithner was the first time that most senators had heard of the problem, their questions were not terribly detailed; several of the queries were along the lines of “What were you thinking?” And Geithner’s answers were not terribly satisfying. “He can’t offer a specific reason,” says another source familiar with what went on at the meeting. “He doesn’t really have an answer. He just didn’t know.”  Byron York, Geithner Can’t Explain His Failure to Pay Taxes, NRO The Corner, January 19, 2009.


If successfully confirmed by the U.S. Senate and if Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Charlie Rangel (D-NY) refuses to step aside, that would mean the two people most responsible for crafting U.S. tax policy will both be admitted tax cheats, both claiming “lack of knowledge of the law” as an excuse.  [source]

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Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

January 21, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

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Barack Obama: “I’m a lefty. Get used to it”

by Family Research Council

January 21, 2009

As a fellow lefty it is easy to see how this comment could be taken out of context - though in truth with the current President could it be a sign of things to come?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — As his first official action after being sworn in, President Barack Obama signed three documents Tuesday, including a proclamation declaring a day of national renewal and reconciliation.

I’m a lefty. Get used to it,” Obama quipped as he signed his name. “I was told not to swipe the pen.”

The past three presidents signed similar reconciliation proclamations upon being sworn in.

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America’s Inauguration: A Retrospective—Ronald Reagan: “Nothing Less than a Miracle”

by Robert Morrison

January 20, 2009


January 20, 1981

Surveying a world that had grown increasingly violent and arbitrary, in which freedom everywhere was in retreat, in which America itself seemed to be held hostage, Ronald Reagan reaffirmed our commitment to constitutional government. The peaceful, orderly transition of that day, he said, was normal for Americans, but for others it was “nothing less than a miracle.” Under Jimmy Carter, Americans were told they had to prepare for a future that would be colder, darker, and poorer, an America in which their children would lead lesser lives. A malaise stalked the land. Media chin pullers and professional deep thinkers lectured the people that the Presidency was too big for any one man. Well, it was too big for their one man, but not for Ronald Reagan.

Perhaps Reagan remembered Churchill’s poem, broadcast to America when Britain braved the Nazi blitz: “Westward look, the land is bright!” For the first time in our history, the Inauguration was taking place on the West Front. Reagan the Californian wanted us to look out from the West Front of the Capitol to the history represented on the Nation’s Mall. As he looked over that scene, he paid tribute to the giants of our past—Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.” Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.”

Reagan spoke unabashedly about his faith in God. He expressed his gratitude for all the prayer meetings that were taking place throughout America to consecrate the day. Every Inauguration Day, he said, ought to be a day of prayer.

Within weeks, Reagan would need the prayers of all Americans in an urgent way. At age seventy, he nearly fell victim to an assassin’s bullet. “Honey,” he told his wife in a widely quoted quip, “I forgot to duck.” Few then knew how close Reagan came to dying just sixty days into his Presidency. After he recovered, he joined with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had narrowly escaped an IRA terrorist bomb, and with Pope John Paul II, who had himself been shot by a Soviet-backed assassin. Together these three outstanding leaders worked to lift the Iron Curtain and bring down the Berlin Wall. With faith and courage, they changed the world.

We can still do this. “Why shouldn’t we believe this? After all, we are Americans,” Reagan said that memorable day.

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Change Watch Backgrounder: Barack Obama

by Family Research Council

January 19, 2009

POSTION: 44th President of the United States of America

NOMINEE: Barack Obama

Born: Honolulu, Hawaii (yes that IS part of the United States), August 4, 1961

Family: Wife, Michelle, and two children.

Occupation: 44th President of the United States, January 20, 2009; U.S. Senator for the state of Illinois, January, 2005 - November, 2008; Illinois State Senator, January, 1997 - November, 2004

Education: Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School magna cum laude 1991


On Roe v. Wade and promoting abortion

Throughout my career, I’ve been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.” Obama Statement on 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Decision, January 22, 2008.

Supports forcing private insurers and using federal taxpayer money to pay for abortion“Senator Obama believes that reproductive health care is basic health care. His health care plan will create a new public plan, which will provide coverage of all essential medical services. Reproductive health care is an essential service - just like mental health care and disease management and other preventive services under his plan. And private insurers that want to participate will have to treat reproductive care in the same way.” Sen. Barack Obama’s RH Issues Questionnaire, December, 2007.

Parental Consent on issues of abortion

Opposes , also supports giving the sometime abortifacient, Plan B, to young girls. SOURCE Sen. Barack Obama’s RH Issues Questionnaire, December, 2007.

Voted against stopping ne’er-do-well adults taking minors across state lines for an abortion:

S.Amdt 4335 to S.Con.Res. 70, Roll Call 08-S71, March 13, 2008.

Voted against parental notification of minors who get out-of-state abortions:

S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006.

On taxpayer funding

Voted for increasing taxpayer funding for destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation: S.5/H.R. 3, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Roll Call 07-127, April 11, 2007.

Voted for increasing funding to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics by $100 million: S.Amdt. 244 to S.Con.Res 18, Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services, Roll Call 05-75, March 17, 2005.

Opposes Hyde Amendment

(a provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortions)

Obama does not support the Hyde amendment. He believes that the federal government should not use its dollars to intrude on a poor woman’s decision whether to carry to term or to terminate her pregnancy and selectively withhold benefits because she seeks to exercise her right of reproductive choice in a manner the government disfavors.” Sen. Barack Obama’s RH Issues Questionnaire, December, 2007.

Opposes federal support for pregnancy care centers

Sen. Barack Obama’s RH Issues Questionnaire, December, 2007.

Supports full funding for the United Nations Family Planning Fund (UNFPA)

(Evidence shows UNFPA subsidizes coercive abortions)

S. Amdt. 2708 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-320, September 6, 2007

Supports subsidizing international abortion agencies

S.Amdt. 2719 to H.R. 2764, Roll Call 07-319, September 6, 2007

NOTE: Senator Obama co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) in the 109th and 110th Congresses and vowed to an audience at a Planned Parenthood rally that passing FOCA would be the first thing he would do as President (SOURCE.) FOCA would overturn hundreds of state laws on the books that limit abortion. (SOURCE.)


Voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment: S.J.Res. 1, Roll Call 06-163, June 7, 2006.

Opposes the Defense of Marriage Act:

Well, it is my strong belief that the government has to treat all citizens equally. I come from that, in part, out of personal experience. When you’re a black guy named Barack Obama, you know what it’s like to be on the outside. And so my concern is continually to make sure that the rights that are conferred by the state are equal for all people. That’s why I opposed DOMA in 2006 when I ran for the United States Senate.” Transcript of LOGO debate on August 9, 2007.

Voted in favor of the Federal Hate Crimes Act: Thought crimes amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization that would establish federal “hate crimes” for certain violent acts based on the actual or perceived race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation of any person. S. Amdt. 3035, Roll Call No. 07-350, September 27, 2007.

For allowing gays in the military:

Senator Barack Obama pledges to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell - and to help reinstate gays and lesbians kicked out of the military due to this policy” HRC Backstory

Supports special rights for homosexuals

Obama believes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Obama sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Obama ‘08 Campaign Flyer.


(J)udicial philosophy should be weighted more seriously than such evaluations. We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” Obama on Judges, Supreme Court, MSNBC, July 17, 2007.

Voted against confirming Samuel Alito (January, 2006) and John Roberts (September, 2005) for the Supreme Court.


Pro-Abortion payback?

Dawn Johnsen, former NARAL legal director, nominee for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Legal Counsel.

Ellen Moran, named White House communications director. Emily’s List is a national political action committee that only supports female candidates who favor taxpayer funded abortions and oppose a partial-birth abortion ban.

Melody Barnes, former Emily’s List board member, named director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Thomas Perrelli, the lawyer who represented Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael in his efforts to starve his wife to death, as associate attorney general.

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Change Watch Backgrounder: Joe Biden

by Family Research Council

January 18, 2009

POSTION: Vice President of the United States of America

NOMINEE: Joseph Biden

Born: Scranton, PA, November 20, 1942

Family: Wife, Jill Tract Jacobs, and four children.

Occupation: Vice President of the United States January 20, 2009; U.S. Senator for the state of Delaware, January 3, 1973 - January 15, 2009

Education: Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law in 1968

Chairmanships in Congress: Foreign Relations: January 2007-2009/June, 2001 - January, 2003/January 3, 2001 - January 20, 2001. Judiciary: January, 1987 - January, 1995.


On Roe v. Wade

I strongly support Roe v. Wade… That’s why I led the fight to defeat Bork, Roberts Alito, and Thomas.” 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, MSNBC April 26, 2007.

On protecting the unborn child or minors in cases of abortion

Voted against defining the unborn child as eligible for SCHIP: Amends the definition of the term “targeted low-income child” to provide that such term includes the period from conception to birth, for eligibility for child health assistance. S.Amdt. to S.ConRes.70, Senator Allard Amendment, Roll Call 08-S81, March 14, 2008.

Voted against stopping ne’er-do-well adults taking minors across state lines for an abortion: S.Amdt 4335 to S.Con.Res. 70, Roll Call 08-S71, March 13, 2008.

Voted against parental notification of minors who get out-of-state abortions: S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006.

Voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act: Bill makes it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. S.1019/H.R. 1997, Unborn Victims of Violence Act, Roll Call 04-63, March 25, 2004.

Voted for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban: S. 1692, Partial Birth Abortion Ban, Roll Call 99-340, October 21, 1999 (He did not vote on the one that became law in the 108th Congress.)

On taxpayer funding

Voted for increasing taxpayer funding for destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation: S.5/H.R. 3, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Roll Call 07-127, April 11, 2007.

Voted for increasing funding to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics by $100 million: S.Amdt. 244 to S.Con.Res 18, Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services, Roll Call 05-75, March 17, 2005.

Voted for taxpayer funding of abortions on military bases: S. 2549, Roll Call 00-134, June 20, 2000.

Voted against banning human cloning: Motion to proceed for S. 1601, Roll Call 98-10, February 11, 1998.

NOTE: Senator Biden co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) in the 102nd and 103rd Congresses but has not since. FOCA would overturn hundreds of state laws on the books that limit abortion.


Voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment: S.J.Res. 1, Roll Call 06-163, June 7, 2006.

Vote for the Defense of Marriage Act: H.R. 3396, Roll Call 96-280, September 10, 1996.

Voted in favor of the Federal Hate Crimes Act: Thought crimes amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization that would establish federal “hate crimes” for certain violent acts based on the actual or perceived race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation of any person. S. Amdt. 3035, Roll Call No. 07-350, September 27, 2007.

For allowing gays in the military: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College June 3, 2007.


When I got to the United States Senate and went on the Judiciary Committee as a young lawyer, I was of the view … that the only thing that mattered was whether or not a nominee appointed, suggested by the president had a judicial temperament, had not committed a crime of moral turpitude, and was - had been a good student. … [I]t took about five years for me to realize that the ideology of that judge makes a big difference. That’s why I led the fight against Judge Bork.” Vice presidential debate between Democratic Senator Joe Biden and Republican Governor Sarah Palin. The debate was moderated by Gwen Ifill of PBS at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Voted against confirming Samuel Alito (January, 2006), John Roberts (September, 2005) and Clarence Thomas (October, 1991) for the Supreme Court.


Voted against confirming Samuel Alito (January, 2006), John Roberts (September, 2005) and Clarence Thomas (October, 1991) for the Supreme Court.

100% in the Planned Parenthood Scorecard for the 109th Congress.

78% in the Human Rights Campaign Scorecard for the 109th Congress.

0% in the FRCAction Scorecard for the 110th Congress.

Was named a Face for the Future by Time magazine in his freshman senatorial year - in 1974

Joe Biden’s Greatest Hits

The vice president-elect has a reputation for being a lightning rod for controversy due to his penchant of speaking before thinking

His campaign imploded when he was caught plagiarizing from British Labour Party head Neil Kinnock. Rhetorical Question by Michael Crowley, New Republic, October 22, 2001

I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” Senator Joe Biden on Senator Barack Obama

In a June 2006 appearance in New Hampshire, the senator commented on the growth of the Indian-American population in Delaware by saying, “You cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. Oh, I’m not joking.” SOURCE

Better than everybody else. You don’t know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state is the eighth largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a northeast liberal state,” Biden describing how a Northern liberal could compete in the South.

I have a record. The good news and the bad news is that I have a record. I have a bad reputation of saying what I think, but I’m going to continue to do that.” Sept. 24, 2007, appearing on The View.

On Rudy Giuliani: “Probably the most underqualified man since George Bush to seek the presidency… There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, and a verb and 9/11.” Oct. 30, 2007, at a Democratic debate.

Senator Biden on Senator Obama’s foreign policy experience:

If the Democrats think we’re going to be able to nominate someone who can win without that person being able to table unimpeachable credentials on national security and foreign policy, I think we’re making a tragic mistake.”

It’s a well-intentioned notion he has, but it’s a very naive way of thinking (sending troops into Pakistan) how you’re going to conduct foreign policy. Having talking points on foreign policy doesn’t get you there.”

I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.” SOURCE

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America’s Inauguration: A Retrospective—John F. Kennedy: “Ask not…”

by Robert Morrison

January 18, 2009


January 20, 1961

Washington is a city of northern charm and southern efficiency,” said John F. Kennedy about the nation’s capital. The city’s southern efficiency had never been so much needed as the night before the charming northerner took the oath as President. The city had been blanketed with eight inches of snow the night before the Inauguration. The army, city employees and 1,700 Boy Scout volunteers moved stranded cars, shoveled paths, and swept snow off the Inaugural stands.

At noon on that frigid Friday, the temperatures stood at just twenty-two degrees. The brilliant mid-winter sun glinted off the snow, almost blinding the frail poet Robert Frost as he tried to read his tribute to America. Boston’s Cardinal Cushing offered a lengthy invocation—the first time a Roman Catholic prelate could pray for a new President of his own faith. During the Cardinal’s prayer, the lectern actually caught fire.

When John F. Kennedy rose to take the oath from Chief Justice Earl Warren, the white-haired jurist was administering the historic words to the youngest man ever elected the nation’s Chief Executive. Watching the vigorous Kennedy that day, hatless, coatless in the cold, his forefinger jabbing the air as clouds of breath steamed forward, few would dream that Warren would write the multi-volume report that tried to quell public doubts about Kennedy’s death by assassination in less than three years time.

This day, though, was all ruffles and flourishes. Kennedy the liberal Democrat was determined to show that he could be as strong in standing up to communist tyranny as the old warrior, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had been. To a listening world, he vowed: “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Summoning Americans to a long twilight struggle, he challenged his people: “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

Americans were stirred and thrilled by his words. They nodded in agreement when he said: “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” No one complained about Kennedy’s violating the separation of church and state. No one called him divisive. All Americans believed his words then. Have we stopped believing them?

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America’s Inauguration: A Retrospective—Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The Only Thing We Have to Fear…”

by Robert Morrison

January 17, 2009


March 4, 1933

Not since Abraham Lincoln’s first Inauguration in the secession winter of 1860-61 had a President come to power in such a crisis atmosphere. President Herbert Hoover was thoroughly thrashed in the 1932 election. He won just six states (out of forty-eight) and a mere 59 Electoral Votes. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Governor of New York, had racked up an invincible 472 Electoral Votes. Roosevelt’s mandate was deep and broad. His fellow Democrats had rolled over their opponents in elections for Congress, Governorships, state legislatures. There were even candidates for Recorder of Wills in Sleepy Eye County, Minnesota who were eager to grasp FDR’s coattails.

As the winter deepened, so did the economic crisis. President Hoover was increasingly desperate. Banks were failing daily. The government had to put armed guards on U.S. Mail Trucks. Then, just days before the Inauguration, the President-elect faced an assassination attempt while riding in an open car in Miami. FDR was unhurt, but he calmly ordered the Secret Service to take the mortally wounded Mayor of Chicago to a hospital.

When Roosevelt finally took the oath in Washington, all eyes in the nation were on him.

His rich baritone rang out: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” His words were like an electric charge running through the country.

Many of his policies were wrong. Many failed. Still, Roosevelt’s indomitable confidence, his commanding presence, his unquestionable courage are what made millions of Americans love and support him. They honor his memory to this day.

FDR’s confidence was not in himself alone. He concluded his inspiring address with these words: “We humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.”

Thus did the nation’s most liberal President conclude this First Inaugural Address. He alone would deliver three more Inaugurals.

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