20 January 2009

The New Guy

I went. Do you really need pictures of me shivering to prove it? I think not.
I was impressed. By the size of the crowd. The mood of the crowd. The generosity and happiness that seemed to be free-floating through the crowd. It was a wonderful day.
I thought Mrs. Obama looked amazingly elegant and beautiful in her gold ensemble. I'm not sure how she managed to stand there, even under heat lamps, holding the Lincoln Bible for him to take the oath of office, without visibly shaking in the January cold, but... she did.
I thought President Obama's speech was incredibly good. Where other past presidents have issued a "wake up call" to Americans, I thought Mr. Obama issued more of a "grow up" call. I liked the way he asked us to start making the hard decisions; to work hard, to start repairing our image abroad and to generally take responsibility for ourselves and our lives.
And I liked being there for all of it.
I was a bit disappointed that people booed the outgoing President. Doesn't his office still deserve our respect, even though so many of us didn't like him? And on big national occasions like that, when we feel so good about our new President and the shining future that he holds the door to, is it so very neccessary to tell his predecessor and the rest of the world that is watching that we didn't like President Bush? He's already leaving with the worst approval rating in decades... if not ever.
I had to stop myself from taking a school marm tone when the crowd was even louder in disapproving Vice President Cheney. I wanted to shout, "Folks, you're booing a man in a wheelchair," but...
It was that crowd's day, I supposed. And in standing on the Washington Mall in that cold January wind that was blowing, I really got the feeling that someone else was about to teach us some manners. Someone else is taking over the lessons in etiquette and "raising the children."
Personally, if the Inauguration and its events were any indication, I look forward to watching Him and Her press ahead... getting the country's groove back on.

No comments: