Each week, the “Can He Do That?” podcast explores the powers and limitations of the American presidency, answering the critical questions about what today’s news means for our nation and its highest office. Explore past episodes here.
On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States and delivered his inauguration address at the Capitol, laying out his vision for the country and the next four years.
The speech Trump gave was not the off-the-cuff, sometimes rambling speeches we’d been hearing from the campaign trail. It was concise — less than 20 minutes long — and obviously read from a teleprompter. But in many ways it still broke from tradition of what we’re used to in inauguration speeches. It presented a bleak picture of where the country stood, and a fiery, nationalistic vision of America’s role in the world.
Senior editor Marc Fisher wrote at the time:
Donald Trump began his presidency with blunt, searing talk about a crippled nation in dire need of bold, immediate action. Breaking with more than two centuries of inaugural address history, the new president made clear, in case anyone had not yet gotten it, that his will be a very different presidency.
Trump spurned the poetry and grandeur of most inaugural speeches and instead delivered a rallying cry, reminiscent of his stream-of-consciousness campaign talks, brimming with brash bravado about his intention to bring massive change: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
In this episode of the “Can He Do That?” podcast, Washington Post White House reporters Jenna Johnson and Josh Dawsey look back at that speech and discuss where we stand a year later.
What has come of the promises laid out in the speech?
How much insight did it give us into what to expect from President Trump?
What’s changed in the past year?
Listen to Trump’s speech with Johnson and Dawsey’s commentary on what he said, what it meant and what’s happened since, in this special inauguration anniversary episode of “Can He Do That?”