Yesterday evening, 18h local time, I had the pleasure of watching the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States of America. And man, what a humdinger. Over two million people showed up in the blistering cold to watch this historical moment, and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it. As of noon in the US, we had a very new president. It was such a relief, after Obama had taken the oath of office, to hear the chief justice say: congratulations, Mr. president. I mean sure, he had said the oath wrong, and Obama was a good sport about it (because he had learned the words) and kind of laughed it off. That’s a likable president – one who keeps his humor and his calm even at the utmost moment of a very official ceremony.
And then – his speech at capitol hill, in front of this sea of people, all chanting his name. Man that dude can talk. All I need to do is see him there, before a lectern, and I am filled with positive feelings. I feel hope. I feel pride. I feel inspired. The best part is that not only can he speak well – choose the right words, use the right intonations – but that what he says is intelligent and sensible. I believe his is capable of great things, all by staying humble. Am I saying too much, getting too gushy? But did you see all these people? How they were so happy that they cried? I am part of those people – and finally, we hold together again. I seriously (and I know I’ll be teased for this later) was so caught up in the moment, that when the band played the national anthem and everyone was asked to rise – I stood up, put my hand to my heart, and sang the star spangled banner along with them. Well, kinda. Because I haven’t done that in at least 15 years, so the lyrics were sort of rusty.
Everybody was smiling and crying at the same time, there was just so much joy. The citizens in the crowd, the members of the government, his family… Even the reverend who held his own speech made jokes. I guess the only one who wasn’t happy was George. Oh, poor Dubya. Having to sit there, hear the new leader take sharp distances from his administration (even though Obama does respect Bush Jr.), hear millions of people who were so fed up with him, chant and praise and call out to Obama. May you never be bestowed with responsibility you can’t handle, ever again. But oh, how nice it was to finally hear: president Obama, former president Bush, when they were accompanied to the helicopter. As the reporter on CNN said: the Bush’s have now left the White House (huzzah!) and are leaving for Texas. Even the crowd waved to the helicopter as it flew by, seemingly saying: so long, and thanks for nothing.
Welcome, Mr. President Obama!
Or as Stan’s father would say: wooo! obama! yeah! we did it – we effin’ did it! yeah! change! he’s so perfect and awesome! yes I can!