Don't look for any big surprises today in Obama's Inaugural Address.
The new President will strike a balanced tone and will speak for about 20 minutes or less. This is a relatively short address for him and it takes into account the frigid weather and the huge crowd.
Obama will offer trademark messages of hope, change and generational shift but he will also warn of the size and seriousness of our problems. He will echo Kennedy in asking not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country. He will ask for sacrifice, patience and understanding.
Of course he will also call for unity.
Let us hope that he expresses the warmest thanks and appreciation to President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush for their extraordinary service to our nation, especially in the days following September 11. And let us hope that Obama thanks President Bush for the absolutely flawless transition, grace and dignity that led to this hopeful new day.