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Barack Obama Inauguration 2009


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I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned here yet since it's all over the TV, internet, iphones, etc. at this moment, there's over 2.5 million people at Washington DC waiting for the swearing in of the first black president in US history, what's everyone's thoughts here? I'm so hyped right now, can't believe this moment's finally here, I never felt so proud to be a young black man living in America than I do right now!!

Btw, I really like this article here on yahoo.com, it sets the mood for the day:


Inauguration Day: 5 things to watch

"They said this day would never come."

That's what President-elect Barack Obama said when he surprised a lot of people by winning the Iowa caucus. And that goes double for the inauguration the nation is about to witness. Whether you're planning to brave the crowds (and cold) or watch the festivities from home, here are a few things to look out for:

1. Will Obama deliver (again)?

It's no secret that Obama is known for his eloquent speeches. Perhaps unknowingly, he essentially kicked off his '08 campaign with a keynote speech at John Kerry's 2004 convention. During the Democratic primary, Obama's speech on race, addressing controversial remarks by pastor Jeremiah Wright, is now widely noted as a turning point for his campaign. Even after he wowed massive crowds in Germany, people wondered if he would be able to carry Denver's Invesco Field during the convention. By most accounts, he did. That's why rumors about Obama's inaugural address began to surface as early as October. Once again, there's a lot riding on this speech. AP sums it up:

"The great task of Barack Obama is to be a John F. Kennedy or to be a Ronald Reagan — truly inspire the American people and in a few succinct, memorable lines, lay out for the country your new vision for America," says American University political historian Allan J. Lichtman.


If history is any judge, we've yet to see the president-elect disappoint on the day of the big test. Even Obama's 27-year-old speechwriter Jon Favreau has become a minor celebrity. And if all this pressure ever feels a bit heavy-handed, Obama can enjoy the fact that there's also a good deal of light-hearted betting on his speech: Which past president will get the first inaugural shout-out? Will he say "banana"?

2. They built it, but will they come?

Following a historic nomination, you'd expect historic crowds. And if predictions come true, D.C. is about to become one packed house. While crowd estimates once peaked at 4 to 5 million, the Washington Post found that an internal report stated that the Secret Service is expecting anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million. (The record for the biggest crowd belongs to Lyndon B. Johnson, who saw 1.2 million in 1965.)

But numbers may continue to dwindle. According to FOXNews:

The Pennsylvania-based Red Lion Bus Company has canceled nearly all of its trips to Washington on inaugural week because passengers are steadily backing out of their reservations, the company's owner told FOXNews.com.

"Most passengers are canceling because they're not able to get tickets to any place where you could really see anything," said company owner Dennis Warner.

And some folks are planning on skipping town entirely. Politico reports that many Republicans will be taking well-timed "vacations" or gathering for their own "inaugural" events: One Republican lawyer is inviting friends to Las Vegas for an "Inaugural in Exile."

3. On the ball

While much has been made about the fashion choices of the Obamas, let's hope they are fully decked out on the 20th — there are no less than 10 official balls. Sure, it's the dresses we're all really paying attention to here, but as MSNBC reports, there's never a shortage of action:

"It's like a massive high school prom, is the only way I can describe it, in terms of the crush of people and the level of sophistication," said Sheila Tate, who was press secretary to Nancy Reagan. "It's just packed."

Tate has witnessed two coat-check riots at Republican balls. It happened at President Ronald Reagan's ball in 1985, when many women left in minks not their own, and again in 1989 for the first President George Bush at a ball with what became known as "The Bastille Day Coat Check."

But back to those dresses. If you know your first lady history, see if you can guess who wore what from past events. There's no doubt everyone will be watching to see what Michelle chooses — there are plenty of sketches for her to chose from. But more than a few people have asked: Is it crass to be so glitzy when the nation is knee-deep in a recession? Heck no, "Project Runway" guru Tim Gunn told the AP:

"'This is a time to celebrate. This is a great moment. Do not dress down. Do not wear the Washington uniform,'" said Tim Gunn, a native Washingtonian and Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc.

4. Christian controversy?

Obama vowed to be a president who would listen to all sides of an argument. And if his choices for inaugural prayers are any indication, he will be. Gay-rights activists were enraged when he chose conservative evangelical minister Rick Warren, who had made controversial statements about gay relationships, to deliver the invocation.

Then, Obama asked openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson to say a prayer at a pre-inauguration event at the Lincoln Memorial, which, as Huffington Post points out, wound up not being broadcast on HBO.

Was Obama smartly playing both sides? Robert King at The Indianapolis Star sums it up by asking, "What's up with Obama and his radioactive pastors?"

And when confronted with a backlash from gays on the choice of Warren for an inaugural prayer, Obama didn't just go and choose a bishop sympathetic to gay causes, or a gay clergy from a denomination with no battles over gays, he chose the most controversial gay clergyman in the land. He bought top shelf radioactivity.... The next four years should be anything but dull.

5. The ringleader

81-year-old Charlie Brotman will be a familiar face on a day that's full of change. He has been the announcer for 13 inauguration parades, starting in 1957 for Eisenhower's second term. He's often quite a hoot: Brotman got in trouble with the Secret Service for sorta, kinda, not really asking George W. Bush to throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals opening game. AP adds:

After all, he's the announcer who got the crowd, including the VIPs, to do the "wave" while waiting for late-arriving Bill Clinton in 1997.

And Brotman doesn't take his job lightly. He told USA Today:

"People are standing. They are freezing, and they may have been there for an hour or two, so I try to create some entertainment," he said. "It's as though these people are coming over to my house. I want them to have a nice time and a good memory."

Sounds like he's got something good up his sleeve for this year.

And as an honorary sixth, you know you'd be a fool to miss Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. So don't miss out.

- Sarah Parsons

Edited by bigted
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I'm pretty choked up. It's funny, here in a little French town in Normandy (right where Obama referenced the Allied Invasion in World War Two), I see so much hope (along with so many posters of Obama) by people so far removed by distance, but not by fraternity, from the United States. It makes me pretty proud to see the whole process, especially from abroad. I watched ABC, CNN, and CBS simultaneously on my computer here. I loved to see such a peaceful, exciting event. It's even more amazing, and humbling to see the influence my country's political/economic process has upon other, even older countries here in Europe.

My president has my goodwill. God Bless, and let's get started.

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Check out the transcript of the inauguration I found Allhiphop.com:


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I recorded The Inauguration on DVR while I watched it on Facebook. It was a great day for all Americans. I cried tears of joy when Barack Obama was introduced for the first time before he took the oath of office. I kept thinking about my father who grew up in Mississippi in the 50's & 60's. He told me stories of having police dogs & hoses sprayed on him & others. I thought about my 86-year-old grandmother who grew during The Great Depression, Jim Crow & the Civil Rights movement. I thought about how proud my parents & my grandmother must feel right now. I thought about my other grandparents who are deceased & how they would have felt if they were here to see this day.

I thought about those who fought, bled & died for African-Americans just to get the right to vote. I thought about Dr. King, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Medgar Evers, Shirley Chisholm, Bobby Kennedy & other great men and women who stood for change.

It was truly a moment that I'll never forget & a moment I will share proudly with my future children. It was simply the greatest moment in American history and I'm so grateful to have seen this moment.

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Cool pix there max!

I was glued to the tv all day. Watching him take the oath and the events afterwards. It was a very beautiful sight indeed! I was very much moved. All those people there at the Mall!!! Man, it was OUTSTANDING AWESOME I could go on. Ppl were really really happy. And thats good to see. I was so happy to see him go from President-Elect to 44th President of the United States of America!

:gettinjiggywitit: :wickedwisdom:

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It was definitely very very scary for me. Due to the unfortunate racism in this country, I honestly was waiting for a shot to ring out. I'm really glad that it didn't. I know my mom, who is catholic, remembers people saying that catholic could never become president and then we had Kennedy. And I remember the mentality of a black person never becoming president when I was a kid. It was never outright said, but when I would ask the question in school, there was always that vibe. But thankfully all that has changed.

I just hope that he can live up to everyone's expectations. They are basically calling him another Kennedy, which is really hyping him up, and it would suck if this ends up hurting him in a year or two.

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