What Next

What It Will Take to Remake America Great

Barack Obama’s inaugural poet weighs in.


Episode Notes

A new presidential administration begins today. In pivotal moments like this, it’s hard to know what to say. But eight years ago, Richard Blanco was called upon to say something anyway—in front of a million people at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. And eight years later, he has some thoughts about the crossroads we’re at now.

Guest: Richard Blanco, author of How to Love a Country and the poet for Barack Obama’s 2012 inauguration.

Slate Plus members get bonus segments and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.