Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blogging the Inauguration

8:09am --We turned CSPAN on just in time to see Obama and Biden arriving at the White House. A nice way to start the day! Looks like a beautiful day there, sunny and bright.

I'm still surprised how tall Michelle is. I didn't know it was tradition for the first-ladies to exchange gifts (according to the announcer). Apparently they are all now having coffee.

They showed the House getting itself together to go to the inauguration. There was some joking and hollering about what order they would be filing out. Clearly getting the House to get itself together is rather like herding cats.

8:15 -- They're seating VIPs at the capitol. I wish they would tell us who they are.

8:23 -- Look at all the crowds. Wow. Everyone looks so joyful.

8:40 -- I love all the classrooms calling in to say they're watching, and the kids cheering!

8:43 -- They're starting to leave from the White House. Anyone else notice how short Ms. Biden's skirt is? Wouldn't she be cold?

I can feel my own energy and excitement starting to build the closer we get.

Here come Laura and Michelle. Michelle looks fabulous. And alive, compared to Laura.

You can tell how heavily armored those cars are.

Darth Cheney in a wheelchair? What's up with that? Hard to have any sympathy for that guy, I'm sorry.

Thanks to google, I learned he pulled a back muscle moving boxes. Something poetic about that.

HERE HE COMES. Obama and shrubbie. Shrubbie leaving the White House for the last time.


It's hard to believe it's really happening, but it is.

8:54 -- The motorcade is on its way. People lining the route cheering...my cielo wonders how much of the cheering is joy that shrub is going, going, gone...I know for me it's equal parts that and cheering for Obama.

9:00 -- They've arrived at the Capitol. The ladies are inside, and Biden. And here's Obama and shrub. Cut to the crowd -- people are already in tears.

Supreme court filing in now. And now what seems to be the new cabinet members. Yup, there's Ken Salazar, my former Senator and now soon-to-be Secretary of the Interior, wearing a cowboy hat.

I love that CSPAN shuts up and just lets you have your own experience watching.

Clarence Thomas is laughing it up over there. I wonder what he's thinking about today.

9:12 -- When did Al Gore's hair get so gray?

9:13 -- The elder shrubs have matching purple scarves? OK. My cielo is stunned at how frail shrub sr. looks.

Here's Jimmy Carter. Just a decent human being.

The new Secretary of State and her husband (heh heh).

I wonder what it must be like to be a former president and be required to show up for stuff like this. I wonder if they ever just want to disappear and not know anything about all this ever again.

9:19 -- The former presidents are coming outside now.

Babs is just leaving her guy in the dust to fend for himself, isn't she?!

Wow, listen to the cheers for the Clintons. Actually, there were more cheers for the Carters than the elder shrubs, too. But a massive cheer for Hill and Bill.

9:22 -- First glimpse of the Lincoln Bible. Chills.

9:22 -- Oh, there are the girls! What will it be like to have little girls in the White House now? Big cheer for the girls as they come outside.

9:28 -- And the outgoing ladies are outside. Oh boy. Won't be long now.

You can hear the O-ba-ma chant starting to roll. Has that ever happened at an inauguration before?

9:30 -- Here come the NEW ladies. What is that red box Michelle is carrying? My cielo thinks it's her purse but I'm not sure. She wasn't carrying it before.

Big cheer for them as they come outside.

They're also showing shrub make his way to through the capitol...he looks like he'd rather be anywhere else but here. He makes a slap-handshake to an aide, who immediately wipes her hand on her clipboard. I kid you not.

9:35 -- shrub and darth cheney making their way outside. Quiet clapping, that's about it.

I'm always a little suprised by how these supposedly opposing party members are quite cordial and friendly with each other. On the other hand, it's good to have a peaceful transfer of power, and this is an example of that.

9:38 -- Biden is coming outside. And they're showing Obama behind, looking completely, I have to say, regal, and dignified, and completely in the moment.

HUGE cheer from the crowd as Biden comes out...probably they know who's next!

OK, my cielo can hardly sit still! WE know who's next, too!

The O-ba-ma chant is rolling again...

9:42 -- And here he comes. I can't sit still either! Trumpet fanfare. I think I'm going to cry.

9:46 -- Diane Feinstein looks, and sounds, absolutely giddy.

She references the "non-violent struggles for equality" which made this day possible. Nice.

9:48 -- OK, Rick Warren. Not much excitement about that from the crowd. "You are loving to everyone you have made." His emphasis, you gotta wonder if he means it. "Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven." Nice.

Not bad. Although going for the Lord's Prayer is dancing a little to close to the line between church and state, if you ask me.

9:53 -- Aretha looks FABULOUS. And sounds fabulous, too! NOW we're talking.

9:57 -- The oath for the vice-president. Also using Lincoln's Bible, looks like.

This means darth cheney is now officially out. Thanks be to God.

9:59 -- Special musical interlude. Just to make us crazier! Oh, it's lovely. Echoing Copeland, because John Williams rarely has an original idea...but still lovely. Look how much fun Yo-Yo Ma is having.

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free...

10:04 -- THE OATH. We stood, too. Poor guy, so nervous!


What part of that did shrub not understand?

10:07 -- The shrub era is officially over. And now for the speech!

He's sticking it to shrub and his administration...quietly, subtly, but it's there.

Honest, but hopeful. Steeped in history and scripture.

10:27 -- The Yes We Can chant is rolling now.

10:28 -- The Inaugural Poem. "Praise Song for the Day."

"repairing the things in need of repair..."

"we walk into that which we cannot yet see..."

"praise song for struggle...for every hand-lettered sign..."

"what if the mightiest word is love..." oh yes...

I remember when Maya Angelou read her poem at Clinton's 1st Inaugural, which still gives me chills.

10:32 -- Rev. Lowery with the benediction -- "God of our weary years..." oooohhhhhh.....now I'm going to weep. Seriously.

"Tanks beaten into tractors." I love that. Great modern interpretation of the ancient text.

Amen, amen, and amen.

10:40 -- It's a brand new day. A brand new day.

May we be worthy of it.

P.S. At 10:52am, mountain time, the cheneys were driven away from the capitol.

At 10:53am, mountain time, the Obamas quietly escorted shrub and his wife to the helicopter, which bore the shrubbies, senior and younger, away.

Goodbye, and good riddance.

My cielo just started singing an old pentecostal song: "los demonios que atormentan a la gente ya se van..." (The demons which torment the people are on their way out...). Heehee!

Enjoy the parade, y'all!!!