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Fox News gives thumbs down to Obama inaugural speech

January 20, 2009 | 10:05 am

Almost as soon as President Obama finished his 21-minute inaugural address, Fox News invited Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, to assess the speech. Gerson's reaction? Not favorable.

After praising Obama for his presence and delivery, Gerson attacked the speech itself. "The surprising thing about this speech, however, was that in this extraordinary moment, the speech was actually quite ordinary from a literary perspective," Gerson said. "There were too many 'raging storms' and 'gathering clouds' and other things that any writer could consider cliched. And I don't understand, given Obama's literary ear in so many past speeches, how some of these things got through into an inaugural address. I think it's a mystery."

"I have to say I do agree with you," Fox anchor Chris Wallace said. "I kept looking for the line that I thought was going to be engraved in granite. And other than 'the price and the promise of citizenship' — and I'm not sure how immortal that line is — I found little precious little in here. There was not an 'ask not' moment."

— Scott Collins