Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugeuration Day

Today Barack Obama takes the oath of office and becomes our President.

I remember a wealth of presidential transitions. None came with as many emotional trappings as this one. The only one that does is the 1963 transition from John Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson, but that was such a spectacularly horrible moment in history it's not right to use it as a comparison to this moment.

I don't remember the transition from Hoover to FDR in 1932 of course but I think that's probably the last one when the hopes and fears of so many people were focused on the man becoming president.

As he takes the oath of office, Barack Obama will say a few very simple words:

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

Now, if we can just give the guy a chance.

How about we wait hundred days before we start nitpicking. Or expecting miracles.

As usual, Moonrat says what I'm thinking, only better.

18 comments:

Filamena said...

I think it's fair to say, this is in and of itself a miracle.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'm watching it; it's already a miracle, Janet. All those people... who'd-a thunk??

BJ said...

I agree, Janet. He may be America's first visible minority president, and he may be replacing an unpopular president at this inauguration. These are both important occurrences. However, he is a man, and as open to human frailty as any other. He will make mistakes, as any human will, and he will make some unpopular decisions, simply because this is the way the world must work.

I'm not disparaging the man. I'm just agreeing with Janet - don't expect him to be perfect. No one is perfect. Laud him all you want, but allow him to be human, and allow him to make mistakes. It's when leaders start to think that they are *above* human mistakes that they lose sight of their true purpose - to lead, not to rule.

This is just an outsider's view. As long as he can remain humble, he'll remember he's just a man with a very important responsibility. And these men make the best leaders.

inthewritemind said...

I'd wait longer than a hundred days--normally it takes at least a year before true changes take place.

Though I didn't vote for him, I am hoping and praying he does help us become more united and not so partisan. He's not perfect but I am being optimistic about how he can handle things. But time will tell. :)

Either way, today is a turning point in history.

Crimogenic said...

I'm at work, can't see it, but my mother is calling me to give me the updates. This is a great moment in American history, but I don't envy President Obama, he's got a lot of cleaning up to do.

magolla said...

I just watched his speech--BEAUTIFUL!

Barbara said...

I am currently floating in a delicious stew of awe and humility. Your husband and your boyfriend and I screamed and clapped all morning. What a day what a day!

Eric said...

The thing that gets me is that "...so help me God." is tradition and not actually a required part of the oath. And frankly, I'd be a whole lot happier if they swore the oath with their hand on a copy of the Constitution rather than the Bible. There's a whole lot of stuff in the Bible I don't want any leader of mine swearing an oath to.

JKB said...

Well said.

Indigo said...

I keep telling the naysayers it took years to make the mess we are in now, you can't expect the man to clean it up overnight. At the end of the day I hope people strive to remember that, he's a man. One single human being. One man can't change what has befallen this country. However, one man with a nation behind him...Anything is possible.

We changed the tide of history today once again. I believe it was for the better. (Hugs)Indigo

Stephen Parrish said...

Let's give the guy more than 100 days. Let's give him four years.

moonrat said...

aww. i think you said it plenty good.

Kristin Laughtin said...

Amen. As much as I like the man, I think some people are a little too excited and expecting him to work instant miracles. He is human. He will make mistakes. He may mess up at times. Hopefully the good he does will outweigh that. I just fear that people will be too critical of him for even tiny things because they've set their hopes too high.

Thomas said...

I also did not vote for him, but I agree it was a remarkable event, and as a consequence I will forgive a prospective agent's misspelling of inauguration.

Janet Reid said...

oops.
I thought I'd spell czeched that cause I knew it was one of those words I always get wrong.

Aimless Writer said...

Amen!
And God Bless Barack!

FIONA said...

I kept my kids home from school to watch it all---the school said it would "interfere with curriculum" to show it. History-in-the-making may interfere with curriculum, but not with learning. I took them to school right after the inauguration. Their classes were half-empty!

It was so nice to see how proud my kids were. I cried, of course.

What a great country we live in, that the transfer of power from one party to another went so well. One or two million people in the streets, to celebrate, not riot as happens in other countries.

Southern Writer said...

It's no secret that I was not a Bush fan, and of all the words I love, "Bush's Days Left in Office: 0 Days, 0 Hours, 0 Minutes, 0.00 Seconds" are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. I cried tears of sheer joy when he got on that helicopter and left Washington.

I think it's wonderfully ironic that the worst president in history -- the old, narrow-minded, extremely conservative, Southern white guy -- is being replaced with his polar opposite -- a young, sexy, progressive, liberal, mixed-race Yankee who will restore our constitutional rights, end the war that should never have begun in the first place, balance the burden of taxes more equitably, repair the NAFTA agreement to bring jobs back to America, propel our environment toward energy efficiency to help end global warming, and restore hope and pride in our country. A tall order, yes, but with the new enthusiasm for community service he inspires, I believe he can do it. We can do it. Yes, we can.