Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It was great to see the inauguration even from afar yesterday. The boys and I watched the daylong transition and were impressed by the stamina of the Obamas and the multitudes who stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the National Mall from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.

I thought President Obama's speech was excellent. He was pragmatic, adult and toward the end, better than any preacher or rabbi in connecting the higher spiritual relevance with action in this world. I did, however, enjoy the Reverend Lowrey's benediction at the end, mostly for its humor and inclusiveness. A smart leader knows his or her audience doesn't necessarily embrace a divine creator the way that he/she does.

Afterward, it was interesting to see the presidential limousine/armored car with the seal on its door. Earlier on their travels the indentation on the door was empty.

I thought the Bushes were gracioius, at least in their body language and was pleased with the civilized transition of power.

Aside: Some of the talking heads were the most annoying part of the coverage. Although I enjoyed and appreciated the likes of Bob Sheiffer (sp?), Peggy Noonan's multiple references to Jesus Christ in referencing Rick Warren's one-sided invocation, Katie Couric's picking at Obama's speech, Jake Tapper calling Malia and Sasha Obama "little queens," and the insipid negative remarks about the First Lady's clothing were cloying.

Also, in the Robin Roberts interview President Obama was gracious in his explanation of Chief Justice Roberts' delivery of the oath of office. As Joanie said, it was like he was mesmerized for a moment. It was a reminder that even our leaders are human. (At the end of the oath of office, I liked how Roberts used inflection in the final sentence with Obama strongly affirming that in a statement.)

I watched three of the balls (Neighborhood, Commander-in-Chief, Youth) and was impressed by Barack and Michell's grace and his ability to speak extemporaneously. It wasn't the same thing over and over at each. He connected with the audience. And their dancing together was beautiful. Beyonce Knowles sang "At Last "beautifully and has a better voice than I thought. It was fun to watch the president joke with members of the armed forces stationed in Afghanistan as to whether each was a Cubs fan or Sox fan. Hilarious.

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