So Eager for Obama, Wants Inauguration Moved to December

“People who elect a new President are eager for the change to take place. The sooner the better,” USA Today founder Al Neuharth argued in his Friday column in which he asked, coincidentally just a week-and-a-half after Barack Obama's election: “Why wait until late January to turn the Oval Office over to a new President elected in early November?” He proposed: “We should move the President's inauguration up to the first Tuesday in December, one month after the election.” After all, “the time lag” is “too long in these modern times when crises need the earliest possible attention.”

An excerpt from Neuharth's November 18 column, “Why wait until Jan. for new president?
President Bush's gracious hosting of President-elect Barack Obama at the White House this week raises this simple but important question: Why wait until late January to turn the Oval Office over to a new president elected in early November?...

No lame-duck president can do anything meaningful after the successor is elected. The time is spent figuring out things like how many presidential pardons to issue, many to convicted political pals....

Most presidents-elect know what they want to do about major issues or whom to appoint to major offices by the time they are elected or soon thereafter.

That's why we should move the president's inauguration up to the first Tuesday in December, one month after the election....

When the Constitution was framed, things moved more slowly. That may explain the March date. The January date was an improvement. But the time lag still is too long in these modern times when crises need the earliest possible attention.

People who elect a new president are eager for the change to take place. The sooner the better.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center