Write the Next "Ask Not..."

What famous line would you write for Obama's 2nd Inaugural?

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 10:00 AM

When President Obama took office in 2009, his own approval rating exceeded the popularity of his economic policies. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/Getty)

Some of American rhetoric's most famous lines have been given during inaugural addresses.

What line would you write for Barack Obama's 2nd inaugural speech?


Submit one line (and one line only!) that will echo through the ages in the comments section below.

And for inspiration, here are some of the most memorable past lines.


Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

-- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933


With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

-- Abraham Lincoln, 1865


And so my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.

-- John F. Kennedy, 1961


Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

-- Ronald Reagan, 1981


Today we can declare: Government is not the problem, and government is not the solution. We—the American people—we are the solution.

-- Bill Clinton, 1997


Post your line below. Deadline: the moment President Obama starts his speech! (Around noon on Monday)


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Comments [13]

Toothsayer from Upper East Side

Ask not for Off Sets. ever again. WE will off set 45 % of you REpublicans. Why must my Democrats suffer under the Gun swingers stupidity, the Senate that needs to know how the country will support Sandy victims in NY or NJ, businessses who are poor and individuals who need help.

I, President Barack Hussain Obama will be happy to help my own constituency. You REpublicans have enjoyed the reapings of my party members. They rally, go house to house WHILE you live in mansions Ex. Maine and Texas. If you are a registered Republican then you will not get the Hurricane Sandy rebuilding deals OR Health Insurance. After all the Blue states pay the bills for REd States stupidity.

If this is ok, 70% of the country, who are poor Republicans dont need the support. If you are a Republican Cuban and not a Democratic Haitian, for one year 2013, do not accept SSI, or Disability. You European Caucasians who have over stayed your tourist visa for YEARS declare your status.It is NOT the Mexicans that are the problem, you live amongst us, as if we dont know you. You want to be paid off the books, give me your fake social security and the name of your child who is attending public school via MY TAXES,.
Thank You Republicans, I know you hate to retire when we do, get SSI, Health insurance, Natures calamity help. I salute you who dont need ANY hELP, just tell your NON LEGAL RELATIVES to go back with all the other illegral immigrants.
Oh, you Russians, Chinese, Polish, Nepalese who cannot speak English, as OLD as you are, I know OLD DOGS can learn NEW TRICKS.

Jan. 28 2013 06:40 PM

you people are shills...

Jan. 22 2013 10:16 AM

Government cannot solve every problem but there are some problems that only good government can solve.

A government that is large enough to solve nearly every problem, weakens its citizens by taking away too much in taxes and lessening our sense of responsibility for ourselves.

However, an under-resourced government pushes too many things off until 'tomorrow' -- until the next Congress, until another day -- permitting things that can and should be fixed go on...and on...and on.

And hands the unfinished work and the interest on the borrowed money to the future as well.

Let us begin to make things right.

Jan. 21 2013 11:28 AM
Steven Ross from New York

This morning, I received a telephone call with a taped message saying that if I am a senior and am feeling some aches and pains (as it happens, I am), I can receive free meds from Medicare. Here is my line:

I tax you. I tax me. Come and get your meds for free.

You don't like it? Neither do I. Instead of taking our money telling us not to worry because the government will take care of us to the extent the government decides to do so, let us keep our money so we will have the ability to take care of ourselves.

Jan. 21 2013 11:25 AM
Mical Moser from Brooklyn

Today, history requires not that we strive for the moon, but instead that we strive for the earth.

Jan. 21 2013 11:21 AM
Terry from New York City

Strengthen the Nation with Equal Education.

Jan. 21 2013 11:04 AM

I have a dream that one day humanity will overcome its need for fear and violence and band together for the first time not along ideological or political lines, but in the need for peace and progress.

Jan. 21 2013 10:42 AM
Lynn from New Jersey

Inasmuch there will always be world, national and personal debit, we move forward inspite of imminent costs.

Jan. 21 2013 09:50 AM
Jose from Accord, NY

We are a great people, but we could be better; we have come far, but could go even further; we have a great country, but we will make it better.

Jan. 21 2013 09:42 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I have finally realized that protecting our children includes protecting our unborn brothers and sisters.

Jan. 21 2013 08:44 AM
Gianni Lovato from Chatham, NY

"Can we all get along and get something done, for the next four years? The American people and the world will appreciate it."

Jan. 21 2013 08:38 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

After my weak performance in the first debate, I have to thank Lance Armstrong for his "advice" that pumped me up so I could win the Presidential race.

Jan. 21 2013 02:53 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Hey! The teleprompter isn't working too.

Jan. 21 2013 02:21 AM

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