Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration somewhat-live blog, part 2

I admit, I am a sucker for the pomp and circumstance and the general majesty that is projected during any inauguration, state of the union, etc. So even if it had been John McCain's inaugural, I would have been in awe. That it was the inauguration of Barack Obama, who has the potential to be a transformational president for a number of reasons, made watching it that much more special for me.

In listening to his speech, I was struck at how strongly he articulated his differences with the Bush administration. Not that he plans on making such a stark break--he has spoken many times about how he plans to change the country's direction--but that he spoke about it in such unambiguous terms with the former president sitting at his side.

For instance, this line stuck out: "We reject as false a choice between our safety and our ideals." This is as succinct and direct a repudiation of the entire government's approach to security since 9/11 as I have heard. He outlined his differences with the Bush administration on foreign policy and economic policy is similarly direct terms.

A few other observations...

One of the reasons George H W Bush is awesome: he's not afraid to wear a fur hat in public. He's one guy I like a whole lot more now than I did when he was president. Instead of worrying about how he looks on stage, he probably thinks "I'm cold, I was the most powerful man in the world, and I can wear a fur hat in public if I damn well please."

Speaking of hats, I believe Aretha Franklin's hat is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station within the hour.

Joe Biden has a way of absolutely chewing up the scenery, doesn't he?

I couldn't tell if Obama was stepping on Justice John Roberts's lines when he was taking the oath, or if Roberts was using a different cadence than they had rehearsed. Either way, it made it seem Obama was eager to get started.

I was watching on NBC and they were annoying me with all of the cutouts to the school in Atlanta and some theater in New York and various crowd shots. I would have liked to just watch the speech without distraction. I suppose I could have switched to C-Span, but I can't give up my HD.
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