Well this would be a breath of fresh air, if he’d really do it…Let’s see as far as honesty goes, “you can keep your coverage under Obamacare” , not really he was only kidding…”won’t raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000″, not really he was only kidding here as well…“We’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.”, ha ha…these are just a few.

Barack Obama must make brevity, honesty and humility his watchwords in his second inaugural speech if he is to live up to the benchmark set by his hero Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, writes Peter Foster.

In the White House Situation Room there is a suite of rather old-fashioned looking digital clocks that hang above the presidential seals of office, spelling out the time in oblong red numbers in mission-critical places around the world, including the location of the President himself at any given moment.

But as the hours count down towards Barack Obama’s second inaugural celebrations, America’s first black president and his staff will be measured not just against the tick-tock of daily deadlines that come with organising a party for up to a million people, but against the grand sweep of history.

Those who have been in the thick of it before, recall how time telescopes wildly in the run up to inauguration day, as White House members of staff find themselves juggling demands that are petty one minute, and profound the next.

Far more importantly, how will Mr Obama’s second inaugural address live up to the historical benchmarks set by Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address more than 150 years ago? And how will Mr Obama answer the call of a divided America, in a changing world?

“It is an incredibly intense period,” recalls Jeffrey Lord, a former political aide in the Reagan White House, “aside from doing your day job – drawing up gun control measures or strategising over the debt ceiling – you cannot escape the fact there’s all these people running round in the front yard with hammers constructing all this stuff.”

Across that front yard – or the North Lawn of the White House to use its official title – the bullet-proof viewing dais on Pennsylvania Avenue is already built, and the work crews are tightening the last nuts and bolts on the temporary grandstands where the elite invitees will review the inaugural parade.

Read more