05:36:03 am on
Friday 05 Mar 2021

The First Draft
David Simmonds

As the General Services Administrator certified the Joe Biden win over Donald Trump, the transition of the presidency finally began to roll.  That meant planning for inauguration day on 20 January was top priority. Planning for the next fours years was also important.

Drafting the speech.

With that in mind, the Biden team started to work on his inauguration speech. The Wellington Times has been fortunate to obtain a copy of the first draft of the speech from sources within the team. The theme of the speech is inclusiveness.

Inclusiveness was represented in the speech, itself, through use of a phrase or phrases uttered by every US president, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Donald J T****.

Why not have some fun, with this practice. Let’s try to match the words to the presidents who spoke them.  

A few examples from the Biden speech.

One, “My fellow Americans. Let me say straight away, I am not a crook. Rather Ich bin din Ukrainer, a citizen of the free western world.”

Two, “In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand greatness is never a given: it must be earned.  Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America. As my dad used to say to me, the only thing we must fear is fear itself.

 Three, “To those of you who received honours, awards or distinctions, I say well done. To the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States. Let me add this. I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.”

Four, “Too many of us now tend to worship self indulgence and consumption. I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times.  And yet you can put wings on a pig, but you don't make it an eagle; but then again, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.

Five, “The buck stops here, as my high school principal used to say. Our long national nightmare is over because the future doesn't belong to the fainthearted. It belongs to the brave.”

Six, “I say to Americans that the freedom of the individual and his [or her] willingness to follow real leadership are at the core of the strength of America.  My Sunday school teacher always encouraged me to transfer power from Washington, DC and give it back to you, the American People.  From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.”

Seven, “I have always felt that a people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. My grandfather always used to remind me; ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. We must remember peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.”

Eight, “May God bless America.” 

The Times reviewed the draft speech. It concluded the speech needs more work.  Maybe the Biden team should recruit Melania T**** to advise it on how to make a quality speech that doesn’t hijack other people’s words.

How many did you get right?

How did you make out on matching your words and presidents?  There were some gimmes, but a few to dig harder for. The presidents, in order, one-through-eight, are Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald T****.

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose, not infrequently laced with savage humour. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Pete Hamill and Mike Barnacle; the late Jimmy Breslin and Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington, Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

More by David Simmonds:
Tell a Friend

Click above to tell a friend about this article.