There is huge expectancy for the inaugural address next Tuesday by the 44th president of the United States, more significantly America's first black president - well, strictly speaking, half-black.
We know President Barack Hussein Obama has a rich baritone. Lincoln had a thin piping voice which didn't carry - but that didn't matter. What carried into history were the words he himself wrote and read - without a teleprompter.
Since the advent of amplifiers, radio and television, voices have mattered. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's voice wouldn't have scared a sparrow hawk. Churchill had no better news for the British than Chamberlain, but his growling imperatives evoked the spirit of St Crispin's Day.
We know Obama is a very fine writer and one more sympathetic to the rules of syntax than his immediate predecessor, whose ability to murder the language we misunderestimated.
We know, too, Obama is unlike George Bush in that he can rouse emotional multitudes with his classical oratory permeated with the rhythmic call-and-response cadences that Martin Luther King brought so memorably from the Baptist churches of the south to the March on Washington in 1963: "I have a dream."
Forty-six years later, it's been realised: Yes we can! We're all fired up and ready to go.
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