Skip to content

Mentions of Seniors in Inaugural Addresses

Every president since Reagan has noted the needs of older adults

  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+
    Sonya N. Hebert/Official White House Photo

    Barack Obama - 2013

    En español | "The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great."

    1 of 10
  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+
    Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

    Barack Obama - 2009

    "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works; whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified."

    2 of 10
  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+
    Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

    George W. Bush - 2005

    "We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance, preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society."

    3 of 10
  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+
    Ron Edmonds/AP Photo

    George W. Bush - 2001

    "[W]e will reform Social Security and Medicare, sparing our children from struggles we have the power to prevent."

    4 of 10
  • Remember the past, help shape the future.
    Robert Deutschman

    AARP Offer: Remember the past, help shape the future

    Share your stories and help advocate for political support to protect your future. Join AARP to support living with dignity and purpose.

    5 of 10
  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+
    Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

    Bill Clinton - 1997

    "Our land of new promise will be a nation that meets its obligations, a nation that balances its budget but never loses the balance of its values, a nation where our grandparents have secure retirement and health care — and their grandchildren know we have made the reforms necessary to sustain those benefits for their time."

    6 of 10
  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+

    George H.W. Bush - 1989

    "We must bring in the generations, harnessing the unused talent of the elderly and the unfocused energy of the young."

    7 of 10
  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+
    Joe Raedle/Newsmakers/Getty Images

    Ronald Reagan - 1985

    "As an older American, I remember a time when people of different race, creed, or ethnic origin in our land found hatred and prejudice installed in social custom and, yes, in law. ... Let us resolve that we, the people, will build an American opportunity society in which all of us — white and black, rich and poor, young and old — will go forward together, arm in arm."

    8 of 10
  • Inauguration Speeches and the 50+
    Chuck Kennedy/MCT/Pool/Corbis

    Ronald Reagan - 1981

    "We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people."

    9 of 10
  • AARP Baby Boomers (Sean McCabe)
    10 of 10