I am ecstatic.
I watched the entire Obama inauguration ceremony with our 2 1/2-year-old son this morning. I stood and cheered when Michelle entered the scene. (Gabe laughed hysterically at my antics.) I hooted and hollered when President Obama showed up; dignified, calm and full of…promise. (I mean, come on: the guy politely gave a half bow/nod to the Chief Justice who misplaced the word ‘faithfully’ while administering the presidential oath…no feathers ruffled.)
It’s been a long time since our country rallied around a new president in the way history has unfolded in recent weeks and days. Not since Kennedy, from what I’m told. I am proud, excited and rejuvenated to be a part of a generation blessed enough to witness this country-wide momentum in person.
The whole scene was extraordinary; the estimated 1.4 million attendees crowding the Mall to the point people were climbing on statues and monuments to get a better look; past and current presidents and their families streaming onto the platform as if gathering at a cocktail party; Aretha Franklin’s singing of My Country ‘Tis of Thee (did you check out her hat?); Obama’s twenty-one minute inauguration speech which I thought was simply lovely, considering most historical inauguration speeches get panned within hours of their delivery.
It’s hard no to feel that something special is afoot in this country; something revitalizing. There’s an enormous uphill battle standing in wait at our country’s feet. I don’t believe Obama can fix the multitude of problems swarming around us and the larger global community on his own…but I think he’s got the charisma, presence of mind, humility that seeks help and guidance from others, courage and balance to lead us in the right direction.
Congratulations to the whole Obama family on this historic day. I wish I could have been there in person to witness it but, that being said, the inauguration looked damned pretty good on my TV all the same.