Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration of Barack Obama

I have been watching the following people flow into the stands over CNN.com:
  • Al & Tipper Gore
  • George Herbert Walker & Barbara Bush
  • Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter
  • Hillary Rodham & William Jefferson Clinton
They just panned back to show the huge crowd. It is amazing. They estimate it at around 2 million people.
  • The Bush daughters?
  • The Obama daughters Malia and Sasha... to a huge round of applause.
  • Laura Bush & Lynne Cheney
As I am watching the events, I saw someone take a photo of the Obama girls as they walked down the hallway. In return, Malia Obama pulled out a camera to take her own picture of the events.
  • Michelle Obama
  • George W. Bush & Dick Cheney in a wheelchair.
  • Joe R. Biden, Jr.
And now, Barack Obama is approaching down the hall, with Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein in front of him.

A friend of mine on Facebook wrote that he “thinks Dick Cheney looks like Dr Evil in his wheel chair.” To which I replied:
Definitely James Bondian. He needs a white Persian cat on his lap. "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die...!”
Here he comes:
  • Barack H. Obama
I am listening to NPR while CNN shows the video. They noted John Lewis is standing in the crowd. 400,000 people came by subway alone.

Online, CNN is being utterly silent. No voice over. No comment. Those of us on Facebook are keeping the narrative.

Dianne Feinstein (D-California) is introducing the event. She is speaking about this is the product of non-violent democratic processes. How this is the turning point of change.

Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church now steps forward. Controversially chosen, He begins with “Everything we see, and everything we can’t see…” and credits it all to God. He, like Dianne Feinstein emphasises the “peaceful transition of power.”

Aretha Franklin is coming forward to sing “My Country Tis of Thee.” That’s when I couldn’t keep the tears of joy back any further. After she finished, the bells rang out.

Senator Robert Bennett then stepped forward to explain the giving of the Oath of Office to the Vice-President Elect. The Justice came forward. Joe Biden stepped forward. Joe Biden knew his lines. He had practiced this beforehand, and was eager to speak the words. He finished with an easy smile and a handshake, “Thank you, Mr. Justice.”

Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, and Gabriella Montero play now for the assembled crowd. John Williams arranged the piece. It was based on the old Shaker dance song “Simple Gifts.”

Barack Hussein Obama came forward and, with all the eyes of the world on him, flubbed his lines. He had to have a section repeated to him. But in due time he got it all straightened out.

The 21-gun salute began then. And the crowd went wild. I gave a virtual Facebook hug to my sister-in-law.

Barack Obama came forward and began to speak. “On this day...”

Tuskegee Airmen were in the crowd. The camera returns to the new President. Barack’s words were tough and progressive. During her father’s speech, Malia snuck in a few more people. To the leaders of foreign nations, he says, “Your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you can destroy.”

“What is required now is a new era of responsibility…”

After the crowd cheered, Elizabeth Alexander, a poetess, came forward to recite, “Praise Song for the Day.”

Of all the words to arrest me, were these, “Repairing things in need of repair.”

Joseph E. Lowery then delivers the Benediction. The elder gentleman speaks airily and raspily. Yet his tone speaks of a life-long orator. “...and none shall be afraid.” He finishes with a rousing, "Say ‘Amen!’” The crowd obliges with laughter.

I sing along with the Star Spangled Banner. “…and the home of the brave!” With that, the game begins! The Presidential party begins to stream out of the stands. Kids dance arm-in-arm. People cheer for the cameras. By 9:43 AM Pacific time, the cameras of CNN finally cut to a commercial.

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