The [Inauguration Day] Papers
A special Inauguration Day Papers is on the way.
Just to get things started:
* Imagining a McCain Inauguration.
* A sampling of today's best commentary.
* Inauguration bets.
* The Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau has updated its Political Odds board.
* The Official Moon Rover of the Inauguration.
I had to run down to the Walgreens amidst the proceedings. The cashier was a young African American woman wearing an Obama button. I hope this sentiment in no way is some sort of white guy patronization, but I just wanted to reach across the counter and hug her and show some sort of . . . racial solidarity with her. I wanted her to know . . . something. Maybe that I might be white, but I believe in the dream.
"Only a few more minutes now!" I said to her as I laid my papers and pop down for her to ring up. "Have you seen any of it?"
"No, I haven't seen any of it."
Of course. She's working.
"They should let you have a TV here!"
"We asked . . . we wanted to use one of those little TVs . . . " referring to some mini-TVs in the store.
She really wasn't very chatty.
"Thank you," she said as she handed me my receipt.
As I took it, I made sure to brush my hand against hers. That might sound like the stupidest thing in the world. Or not.
As I walked home from Walgreens I heard a voice yelling my name. I turned around and it was Ethan Michaeli, publisher of Residents' Journal, in a car on Milwaukee Avenue.
"Why aren't you home watching it?"
"I just ducked out for a few minutes, I'm on my way back. What about you?"
"I'm listening to it on the radio."
"It's quite a spectacle."
Not only was Rick Warren a crappy choice to give the invocation for the obvious political reasons, he was a crappy choice because he's such a dime-store schmaltz king who immediately diminished the proceedings when he stepped to the microphone.
Besides that, as an agnostic Jew I find myself more than a little irritated at hearing an invocation of God in the same way theocracies think their leaders are blessed and can be blessed by an almighty power. God sure didn't do George W. Bush much good.
Cleanse us of Rick Warren, baby!
Biden Sworn In
Stick to the script, Joe. No extemporaneous speaking.
Obama Sworn In
He's screwing it up! Both of the first two sentences!
A reader writes: "I think the chief justice screwed it up. He transposed some of the words and it threw Obama."
According to Katie Couric, Joe Biden was briefly the president because Bush's term had expired and Obama hadn't yet been sworn in. I'm not sure that's true - there was no official transfer of power. Maybe there was no president. I'm pretty sure Biden won't go down in the history books as having served as Commander-in-Chief.
Barack Obama is now President of the United States.
COMMENT 3:15 P.M.: Garry Jaffe writes:
Couric is an idiot.
It was explained a few days ago that the oath isn't necessary & the change is automatic at noon. Congress passed some law making it so.
A Nation Texts
I received this text at 11:07 a.m. from a friend. Phone companies will make a mint today from texting fees.
"Woo-hoo! Happy new administration, America!"
I'm scheduled to speak on Vocalo at 2 p.m. today if you care to listen in.
At 9:44 a.m., I received an e-mail from Ann Coulter with the subject heading: "Prepare for B. Hussein Obama."
Frankly, kind of boring and some parts didn't ring true. But what is there to say, really?
Ogden Nash wasn't available?
Somehow when African American preachers talk about God it's not offensive. Kind of like kick-ass gospel. Lowery showed Warren how to do it.
Just sent to me, from Sasha Frere-Jones's Twitter feed: "Warren sounded like a HS principal. It's the Metallica strategy: opener sucks, then you turn on PA and SHRED!"
COMMENT 3:15 P.M.: Garry Jaffe writes:
As a former Jew & now an atheist, I find all references to god absurd, no matter what the race of the foolish parasite the minister is.
REPLY: I said on Vocalo earlier today that I found Lowery's comments to be universal in nature, mentioning God but not seeming to be a religious message about tilted toward one particular faith. It feels different to me, perhaps because it's not exclusionary, self-righteous, or zealous.
And It's Over
The crowd and the anticipation and the video of Obama entering and exiting the White House were much better than the speech. And now, on to the budget!
Watching Obama escort Bush to the helicopter flying him out of there was pretty cool too. The speech really was the least of it.
All this time to prepare and all they can think of to ask of ordinary Americans is "How do you feel?" and "What does this mean?"
What Were They Thinking?
Inside the thoughts of Chicago luminaries at the inauguration.
The Beachwood Tip Line: From the bottom up.
Posted on January 20, 2009