Open Thread: Inauguration 2009

On this historic day when President-Elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office to become the 44th President of the United States, and the first African-American to serve as president, I wanted to give our M* readers an opportunity to share their thoughts and impressions of this historic day.

If you are stuck at work like I am, unable to watch the proceedings on television, you can watch ABC News online by clicking here.

Please be respectful and “bi-partisan” in your comments. :-) Comments that are deemed inappropriate or overly partisan will be deleted without hesitation.

22 thoughts on “Open Thread: Inauguration 2009

  1. Ronan, the Washington Mall is so crowded with people celebrating Obama’s inauguration, I think they are using the UK for overflow. :-) Thanks for the well wishes!

  2. You can tell who is used to bowing in prayer and who isn’t — I like the way the camera keeps picking up shots of people for whom prayer means something.

  3. I’m bummed, my internet connection at work keeps dropping the feed…limited bandwidth!

    That is always fun, Ardis, to see who actually bows their head during the prayer. Very telling.

    Wouldn’t it be funny if they invited President Uchtdorf to the stand to do releases and sustainings.

    “It is proposed that President George W. Bush be released as President of the United States of America. All in favor, please manifest by raising the right hand…”

  4. What a mess Roberts made of the oath! The question is: did Obama actually say it as spelled out in the constitution?

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    “faithfully” certainly got stuck at the wrong end of the clause by Roberts, and I’m not sure Obama put it in right.

  5. I live in DC, just over a mile from the Capital, so I got to work from home today (because our office closed since no one would be able to get to work). Thus, I’ve been able to watch all the events on TV while working, all warm and comfortable and away from the hordes of tourists. But it’s been pretty fun to watch.

    I have to admit, though I am incredibly cynical and feel hostile towards politicians of all parties, I really enjoyed Pres. Obama’s inauguration speech. I must also admit feeling hopeful that things will improve in the U.S. Oh, I doubt they will, but I hope they will.

    The last couple of days I’ve been watching the tourists with amusement, feeling all cool about being a local, but it’s actually kind of cool being here for this, even though I’ve avoided the actual events (I’m afraid that standing for 8 hours in 25-degree weather while surrounded by hordes of people – and I hate, HATE crowds – just sounded pretty miserable).

    I do wish Pres. Obama all the best, and am curious about what his chapter in the American story will be.

  6. Watching the video of his swearing in gave me chills. What an awesome thing it is to witness this historical event.

    I’m jealous, Tanya. I was in DC many years ago for a college journalism convention and fell in love with the city. So much to see and do.

  7. Your description, Tanya, is kind of how I felt about doing anything connected with the Olympics here in Salt Lake in 2002. Then when I finally went out into the crowds one afternoon just before it ended, I had a really great time and wished I had spent a little more time with them. Not much. Just a little. I don’t like crowds any more than you do.

    One thing I always appreciate about inaugurations is that the outgoing president and vice president just get into limos or onto helicopters and disappear. There is never any real doubt that they will do that — just ride off into the sunset. As much as the hope a new president (this one in particular) brings, I enjoy that little sign that even if all is not well, all is not terrible, either.

  8. As I mentioned at Times and Seasons:

    It has been more than 1 1/2 hours since the Inaugural Address, but I still find myself overwhelmed by the clarity of the message and the power of the delivery. Not one given to tears, I fought back my emotions during the entire presentation, as President Obama outlined a vision for America that was both grounded in the realities of our age and the potential of our triumph. It was stunning and stirring.

  9. Ihave been in meetings all day and didn’t get to see the inauguration. I didn’t vote for Obama and I have my doubts about his coming presidency, but the peaceful transition process is still awe-inspiring, and I hope he is successful. As “the Onion” said, he really has the worst job in America – I don’t know why anybody would want it. For that reason alone you have to have sympathy for him.

  10. I hope this isn’t too partisan:

    I think and hope America will get “buyer’s remorse” concerning our new president. His main qualifications seem to be skin color, charisma, and oratory skills. At least the last two presidents, Bush Jr and Clinton had executive skills as governors. Bush Sr, had many years of Washington experience. Reagan has executive experience as governor of California. Carter had executive experience as a governor, though he turned out to be hugely inept as president.

    Our new president doesn’t have executive experience, and precious little experience in Washington.

    On the good side, his team seems to consist mainly of people recycled from the Clinton administration, so in terms of experience, I’m actually kind of glad to see that (though I disagree with the philosophies of the Clinton-ites.)

    The big problem, and this came into play with Bush Jr also, is the recycling of socialism, which has proven to be a failure whenever and whereever it has been tried. Socialism failed in the former Soviet union and Soviet block, it failed (and is failing) in the Scandinavian countries, and even China has slowly embraced capitalism as a replacement for socialism.

    Yet this huge “bailout” (essentially gov’t buying stock in private businesses) is nothing but socialism, and even has a good measure of fascism (the technical definition of fascism is a union of business and government.) Don’t forget that “nazi” in German, stood for “National Socialist”.

    Jeff Lindsay has some comments along the same lines on his Mormanity blog. This bailout thing, which Obama and congressional dems are going to at least double, is a scary thing.

  11. Ardis Parshall :
    … and we have a new president. God bless America.

    You seem to be praising the process. I’m curious though, Ardis, if you made the same remark in 2001.

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