How you (and Lincoln, FDR, and JFK) can help write this year's inaugural address.

The inner workings of Slate.
Jan. 16 2009 7:59 AM

Help Obama Write His Inauguration Speech

How you (and Lincoln, FDR, and JFK) can help write this year's inaugural address.

If you've ever wanted to be a presidential speechwriter, now's your chance: Click here to collaborate with Washington, Lincoln, and JFK—as well as other Slate readers—to write this year's inaugural address. Created in partnership with MixedInk, this feature is called "The People's Inaugural Address," but even the title itself is open to change.

Here's how it works: When you click on the link, you will be taken to a site where, once you register, you can start writing your own speech. But you won't be writing alone. As you compose, MixedInk's technology will search for similar words and turns of phrase from all 55 previous inaugural addresses, as well as contributions from other users, and tell you if anyone has had similar thoughts. You can then incorporate these into your own speech (or decide to stick with your own words). You'll also be able to search for useful snippets of text yourself. The technology keeps track of authorship, and when you're done, you can share your speech with others, who can then borrow (or ignore) your handiwork as they see fit. They can also rate your speech and comment on it.

At the end of this process, which will last about two weeks, Slate will publish the speech with the highest rating. (We may publish a few interim versions as well.) Maybe it will be the one you wrote—with a little help from Jefferson, Madison, and FDR. And maybe President-elect Obama will decide to borrow from your speech—at least that part where you quote Lincoln—when he delivers his inaugural address on Jan. 20.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.