Tuesday, January 20, 2009
One Emotional Day
If your emotions were not stirred by the Inauguration of Barack Obama, you either have none or you slept through it. Even if you did not vote for the guy, there was plenty in the pictures to awaken your senses. Former President Bush and wife Laura moved to the helicopter to leave town for the last time. They exchanged hugs and warm words with the new First Family. It was classy. Then the Obama's and the Biden's stood on the capitol steps as the chopper lifted slowly into history. Biden saluted, the others waved good-bye and another orderly transference of power was complete. Even if you didn't like "W", you had to empathize with his thoughts as he flew into the political sunset. Earlier the massive crowd on the Washington sent a strong message. Americans apparently are engaged in the political process and were willing to shiver in the frigid wind to be a part of history. Then the "So help me God" moments as the new vice president took the oath with a confident smile and even though the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court booted the swearing in for President Obama, Mr. Obama, as always, remained cool and got it done. And finally the Inaugural address. Frankly it lacked the "Ask not what your country can do for you line" that former President Kennedy made famous, but Obama made up for that with other provocative themes. With Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney sitting close by, the new President left little doubt he rejected their approach to government. This is not about the favorite GOP theme of whether "government is too big or too small," Obama opined, but about whether government can work. He lashed at the greed on Wall Street and called for a more "watchful eye" from the government implying that the Bushies were asleep at the monetary switch. Obama bemoaned the "narrow interests" in some political corners and urged citizens to "Pick up, dust off and join the remaking of America." And the new president argues for a new economy that doesn't "favor only the prosperous" but extends that prosperity "to everyone for the common good." Inaugural Day is the easy part. The words and emotions are one thing. Now America awaits act ion.