Today is Here!

As one of my Twitter friends said, “Feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. When I wake up, the world will be glorious, full of hope & promise & wonderous things to discover! Obama!”

(photo by Paul Kolnik, of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations)

It’s actually very early in the morning (like, still last night), but when I get up, I’ll probably be adding to this post, live-blogging the events throughout the day as I watch them (sadly, only on TV)

Happy happy day, everyone!

So, I’m watching on TV now but am thinking of going to one of the common areas in NY to watch on a big screen TV. I know I’ll be cold (I think the Apollo theater is the only inside venue and I’m sure it’s full by now) and probably won’t see as much, but sometimes it’s just fun for a sense of community.

I’m actually liking NBC’s coverage better than CNN’s. NBC has some knowledgeable people on — I liked the presidential historian who talked about the first inauguration (Washington’s of course) and the most difficult transition of power (1953, Eisenhower) — CNN is just interviewing people and the commentators are saying such cliched things: “It’s a new dawn, “it’s a new day,” “this is historical,” etc. What would David Foster Wallace have said…

Seemingly forced smiles on the faces of the two Obamas and two Bushes as they pose for photos on their way into the White House.

With all this talk of Bush leaving Washington, it is really interesting to think of where we might be right now had Gore become president eight years ago.

Why do the commentators keep saying “this could only happen in America”? A member of a historically oppressed group who has a mother and father of two different nationalities can only become a leader here?

Bush seniors are arriving at the capitol. Barbara does not look happy and George Senior looks so defeated. I feel kind of sorry for them.

Bill Clinton looks pretty sober; Hillary looks excited.

Rahm Emanuel! Ballet man!

Jimmy Carter, cute man, wears a dimpled little smile πŸ˜€

I’m such a doof — wondering, hey where’s the 40th Pres?…

Crowd is giving the Clintons a lot of applause when they are announced. Yay πŸ˜€ I’m annoyed she’s not being sworn in as Secretary of State today though.

Adorable little girls. Little Sasha’s completely out of the shot!

Polite applause for current first lady and vice president’s wife.

Love that Michelle Obama’s wearing a dress by a Cuban-born designer.

The current Pres — always has that slightly goofy I-know-something-you-don’t look on his face.

Back to CNN; commentators are so profound: “History’s going to change in a few moments.”

Cheney’s wheeled in. All the Republicans looks so tired and defeated: limps, in wheelchairs…

Bush politely shaking hands with people on the sidelines. Last time “Hail to the Chief” will be played for him.

Obama looks nervous.

Biden doesn’t!

Obama looks nervous! He’s the fifth youngest elected Pres it says on CNN’s ticker. Really? There’ve been four younger?

Obama’s announced. Music is drowning out all the applause and making it seem a bit anticlimactic.

Okay now all the chants “Obama Obama Obama” are coming on.

Everyone is told to take their seats and someone near the TV camera (a woman, who sounds black) says jokingly, “down boy.” Don’t know if she meant it regarding him though. Obama looks nervous as he sits.

Like Feinstein’s speech.

Rick Warren gets a noticeable “boo” along with some mild applause. CNN has on their ticker tape that he supported an amendment to ban gay marriage. The ticker note shows for quite a while.

Aretha Franklin belts out “My Country Tis of Thee.” Remember when during FDR’s inauguration a black woman was scheduled to sing but there were racist protests (led by the Daughters of the American Revolution) and then Eleanor demanded she sing. And she did. I mean, I don’t remember but it’s in the history books. Aretha is making me cry!

I don’t think the camera mikes are properly picking up the applause. Crowd reaction keeps sounding so dull. And I’m sure it’s not if you’re there.

Biden gets sworn in! Very strong, assertive voice. And all smiles throughout! He thanks the Justice, kisses his wife.

“Air and Simple Gifts” by John Williams being performed by Yoyo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montelo, and Anthony McGill. Yoyo Ma’s hair is flowing in the breeze. Very beautiful, serious-sounding string music with air of hopefulness. Now piano comes in and gives it more depth. *Although program is running late and Obama hasn’t yet been sworn in, because of the Constitution, he’s now President!* Wow, gorgeous instrumental piece. I like the notes that sound like climbing, and there’s kind of a Beethoven “Ode to Joy” undercurrent it seems.

Taking oath! He’s nervous, mixing up the lines! Michelle looks so proud!

Now the TV mike is not cutting off the massive applause.

Artillery ceremoniously fired.

Now gives his address. Delineates the problems we face and the path ahead. “Needs won’t be met easily nor in a short span of time. But know this, America. They will be met.” Now gaining strength in his voice and losing his nervousness. Voice starts booming like a minister’s. “Know that America is a friend of each nation.” Goes on to express that he’s more into negotiation than military action and vows never to sacrifice justice. Because we’ve overcome slavery and segregation, we know the world can overcome hatred and divisiveness as well. It sounds kind of like a sermon, though it’s not religiously based. Gets lots of applause for commending US’s progressiveness and ability to overcome with remark that he may not have been served at a local restaurant a few decades ago, and is now taking this oath. “Let us mark this day in remembrance. Of who we are and how far we have traveled.”

Lots of cheering in auditorium area; crowd in back is chanting “yes we can.”

Poet Elizabeth Alexander introduced. Reads her poem Praise Song for the Day. Like the lines: “each one of our ancestors on our tongue”; “we encounter each other in words … words to consider, reconsider”; “say it plain, that many have died for this day”; “what if the mightiest word is love”; “anything can be made, any sentence begun.”

Reverend Joseph Lowery delivers benediction. Makes humorous little racial rhymes at the end. “When the yellow man can be mellow, man,” “and the white man will do right, man.” etc. But at the end, the commentators are saying this was part of the Negro National Anthem — at least I think this is the part of the speech they’re referring to.

Star Spangled Banner sung. And now Sousa is played and everyone’s leaving.

Okay, I think I’m going to go out now and see what the pulse of New York is!

Btw, Katrina live-blogged too.

Oh, just one more thing: Jeffrey Toobin is now saying on CNN that John Roberts, Chief Justice, is the one who messed up the presidential oath, not Obama.


  1. ohh thanks for the nod!

    It's close to Christmas…

    I like ABC the best (though I love Anderson Cooper).. Yes, Roberts was at fault… we dissected that speech in my PoliSci class and so I know it and while I was watching I heard it and told my mom that it was Roberts… Poor guy was probably so nervous…

    There have been a lot of “human” moments this weekend… on the kick off concert on sunday…the guy who sang the National anthem, goofed the last line πŸ™‚

    I can't really put into words how I feel… there are just so many emotions running through me.

  2. Forgot to mention the 40th president (Ronald Reagan) is dead

  3. “There’ve been four younger?”
    Bill Clinton (46)
    John F. Kennedy (43)
    Theodore Roosevelt (42) – Youngest president ever
    Ulysses S. Grant (46)

  4. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Thanks for your comments and explanations, Katrina! I know, such an emotional day for me too!

  5. That's what you get for having a reader with a degree in history! πŸ˜‰ Did you hear the audio of him being sworn in again?

  6. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    No, I heard about it but didn't see the second swearing in. Did you? No problems this time I take it!

  7. Yep No problems, though I felt bad for the Press Sec. He got grilled by one reporter about it (which is just ridiculous) because there wasn't any video of it, only audio.

  8. Yep No problems, though I felt bad for the Press Sec. He got grilled by one reporter about it (which is just ridiculous) because there wasn't any video of it, only audio.

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