Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Live Blogging The Inauguration of Barack H. Obama: Relevant History

Good Inaugural Morning, folks! It's just past 6 am west coast time and the house is quiet for now, and I'm watching the news coverage from Washington. It is already packed! I'll be posting throughout the morning, as this historic event unfolds. 

  • Bouncing between MSNBC and FNC, tantamount to left and right. Predictably, MSNBC is practically giddy, and FNC is inserting Reagan quotes and wisdom. But hey, FNC just put up David Axelrod, chief strategist for the Obama campaign, so there's a little "fair and balanced."
  • Ok that's interesting, both stations are running the exact same camera shots, right down to split screen. 
  • Wow, legendary journalist team Woodward and Bernstein reunited on MSNBC!
  • When I turned in this morning, and woke up I said a prayer that all will go smoothly today. Many people are understandably concerned about the safety of this gathering and of this president.
  • The Obamas emerge from church. For the fashiony people, she is wearing all American designers. And that's probably as hip as I'll get today :-)
  • Check out this great demographic data breakdown of our country. Thanks to my Twitter friend TwinToddlersDad for this link. You should follow him if you Twitter.
  • That's nice, the Bushes say no handshakes...give us a hug!
  • Jill Biden, bless her heart (as my southern grandmother would say), kinda stepped in it on Oprah, revealing that Biden was offered the choice of V.P. or Secretary of State. Sends the spokespeople scrambling. What does this mean for Hillary? I say not much. She was already out of the number 2 slot, and I think Obama was in the midst of negotiations with his top pick, Biden. So it is what it is, and no slight to Hillary should be blown out of proportion.
  • The Obamas are looking for a church to attend. That will be a hard, but important decision for them. Here's a little about what he said recently about his faith:
"Now, I didn't grow up in a particularly religious household. But my experience in Chicago showed me how faith and values could be an anchor in my life," he said. "And in time, I came to see my faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community -- that while I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn't be fulfilling God's will unless I went out and did the Lord's work."
  • Terrific story about the wonderful conversations that issues of country can inspire in communities and families. Politics need not be divisive and vitriol, but opportunities for families to grow and help one another flesh out what really matters. This is the ideal function of family, grounding and a safe place to learn the deep lessons of life and faith.
  • Details of Michelle Obama's emerging agenda. She's got a powerful team of her own behind her. Interesting look at this soon to be First Lady and the tone she may set for the country and for women.
  • One of things that swayed me to Obama-yes I was an undecided for awhile-was the class he exuded in handling the grittiness of politics, and his treatment of John McCain, recently reaching out and quietly including him, as well a publicly acknowledging him just underscores that. Sure, it's savvy and pragmatic, but how many politicians have turned away from such acts despite this, just to satisfy their own egos and need for "payback?" ALOT.
  • Here is the official schedule of the event.
  • Time for my little man to join the party. He's up and wanting to get involved. I may slow down, but stay tuned.
  • The excitement of the crowd is palpable, even on tv, can't imagine what it is like in person.
  • I like what Rachel Maddow said : "This is a democratic event, with a small d"
  • The moving vans are busy at the White House switching everything over.
  • It's super cold there, but I think all the people crushed onto the mall are probably keeping each other warm. Amazing.
  • Wow, Cheney in a wheel chair. That is a metaphor if ever I saw one.
  • It's got to be hard for President Bush to walk out there, and it's virtually as silent as a crowd can be.
  • I didn't hear them...cranky toddler who wants undivided attention...but Twitter reports some booing. That's bad form people! Follow the example of you soon to be new President!
  • Wow, look at that crowd go wild!
  • Here we go....
  • I wish there could be a continuous succession of garbage trucks today to keep little man happy during the festivities!
  • Rick Warren is taking the podium...pause for prayer.
  • Heartfelt, but not so eloquent.
  • Here comes Aretha! That's some hat.
  • Biden is sworn in...Cheney can go flyfishing.
  • Wow the dream team of classical music coming up next.
  • Doves released, beautiful...let's hope it is significant. This President can not avoid being a war President.
  • Baby boy is trying his best to bring anything he can stand on to try and get to the other side of the gate where mama is (right next to it).
  • The oath of office with the historic Lincoln bible. 
  • He's officially our President! People in the crowd are beside themselves.

Speech: Part One

Speech: Part Two

Word impressions from the speech: humble, grateful, mindful, gathering clouds and rising storms, WE the people, faithful, true, not well understood, greed and irresponsibility, collective failure to make hard choices, indicators of crisis, sapping of confidence, nagging fear, challenges we face are real, they WILL be met, chosen hope over fear, worn out dogmas, strangled our politics, words of scripture, time has come to set aside childish things, precious gift, ALL are equal, ALL are free, greatness is never a gift, it must be earned, risk-takers, doers, men and women obscure in their labor, FOR US, fought and died, struggled and sacrificed and worked until their hands were raw, capacity remains undiminished, we must pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America, everywhere we look there is work to be done, all this we CAN do, all this we WILL do, imagination is drawn to common purpose, retirement that is dignified, held to account, restore a vital trust between a people and their government, without a watchful eye, spin out of control, extend opportunity to every willing heart, surest route to our common good, reject as false the difference between our safety and our ideals, friend,  we are ready to lead once more,  sturdy alliances, enduring convictions, power grows through prudent use, force of our example, humility and restraint, we will not apologize for our way of life, you can not outlast us, and we will defeat you,patchwork heritage is our strength not a weakness, we can not help but believe that old lines of hatred will fade, mutual interest and mutual respect, people will judge you on what you can build, not what you can destroy, we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist, the world has changed and we must change with it, embody the spirit of service, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all, a parent's willingness to nurture a child, return to these truths, a new era of responsibility, price and promise of citizenship, who we are and far we have traveled, brave once more the icy currents, nor did we falter, God bless the United States of America.
  • Amen.
  • Poetry takes the stage. "All about us is noise" "We encounter each other in words." "...the figuring it out at kitchen tables." "Love with no need to preempt grievance" (That get a smile from Michelle Obama)
  • Benediction. This man voice of gravity, more traditional words than Warren. "White will embrace what is right"...alright, not necessary. Only note of come-uppance. Review the speech of MLK, there were many white faces in that crowd, as there are today. Only note of divisiveness in my book. Otherwise pretty flawless.
  • The White House website is updated. Goals for their communications--looks good!
  • Bushes on their way out of town...must be bittersweet.
  • People...the singing of "hey, hey goodbye" is classless. Did you not listen to the speech? Ok I understand the venting, but still!
  • By the way, let me say how much I love Legos today...essential toddler taming tool!
  • Great article about a better way to evaluate Presidents : Presidential rankings should be based on different standards: "Did the president uphold the Constitution, and have an agenda that contributed to peace, prosperity, and liberty, and was he reasonably adept at getting that agenda implemented?"
  • Can't listen to MSNBC anymore, lets see what's up at FNC. PBS is coming up soon for some peace and quiet.
  • Change.gov has now shut down, and everything moves to the WhiteHouse.gov. The tech team is on top of it!
  • Toddler sons patience is now at an end, so it on to my part in the future, "willingness to nurture a child."
Final thoughts later once everything has sunk in. For now, happy that all has gone safely (thus far), and it's time to get to work.

Thanks for reading!

  • Want to see some photos of the inauguration? Visit the Huffington Post's photostream on Flickr.
  • Well that didn't take long. Al Jazeera published an article by Glen Ford, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, who says in essence "Obama is no MLK." 
  • Check out some great links to what international papers are saying from a great contributor, Stella, on OpenSalon.

Early Analysis:
  • A professional connection overseas commented that he was a little disappointed in Obama's speech, and expected more. This solid analysis of the speech addressed this issue and others, written by one who has studied the seminal Kennedy inaugural address closely.
  • If you took the visual inaugural quiz I posted yesterday, here is Obama's speech visually presented word cloud style.
  • A view of how they celebrated the inaugural around the world.
  • More speech criticism...a little tougher.
  • Looking at the first technology moves of the administration on the White House website.
  • Wondering about that Lincoln bible that hasn't been used since 1865? Here's some more about it.
  • Wondering what Bush was up to before the inaugural? A reporter managed to be the only one who got in to a farewell BBQ
  • And, it was profoundly sad for me to hear them serenade the lift off of the Bushes with the "hey, hey, goodbye." I'm not pleased, I'm happy to see the change, but there is a level of class fundamentally missing in that. Despite a bruising assault, Bush as shown some class in his exit, and that is worth noting. You may disagree, and that's o.k., but I think it goes to the heart of qualities that we need as a nation to be able to engage the world community, which is full of people we revile by the way, but which nevertheless people calling for the change that Obama represented felt strongly we still needed to engage diplomatically. Model it at home people, to get it right abroad. Absorb the words of the poem, "Love with no reason to preempt grievance."
I didn't really intend for that to be the last word of the post, but there it is. My hope is that the momentous movement that propelled this extraordinary person to this most exalted and difficult of positions, will listen to his words today that we must each take responsibility, and avoid the hypocrisy of expecting things from others when we do not hold ourselves to the same standards. 

It won't be easy. But together, yes, we can.

Once again, thanks for reading!

And on second thought, I'd rather this be the final thing I leave you with:

What a day.

Photo Credit Dave Test

1 comment:

growingupartists said...

I've never been so impressed and enamored with CNN. They practically had hooks in my eyeballs with all of their high tech gadgetry...

to a science, I tell you!

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