I witnessed President Obama's swearing in ceremony today. I had not really thought about watching it, to tell the truth. I’ve got papers from last week that still need to be graded (seriously, who’s surprised?), but, as everyone around me was watching, I decided to pull up a live stream from msn.com (as CNN and Fox wouldn’t work – thanks a lot!) and see history in the making.
As a journalist, I was enthusiastic to watch my first (sadly, yes) presidential inauguration. Like at a football game, I get caught up in the moment and the excitement of the people around me. I was a little nervous about Obama’s well-being, too, even though USA Today reported that he has a 70 percent approval rating going into office. But, as we all know, you only need one crazy to stir up some real trouble.
To document this historic occasion, I sat in my office, drinking Harry and David’s Moose Munch coffee and wearing my Ann Taylor pants and shirt and a sweater I purchased from Nordstrom’s – actually, I bought it all (minus the black boots) while in Chicago. I know y’all were all eager to know that. ;)
And here is my almost minute-by-minute account of the inauguration (which, after today, I can now spell).
10:51 – Need to go to the bathroom, but I want to hear Rick Warren’s prayer. I’ll go after that. I’m so glad he’s praying before the swearing in. *Quick prayer for Obama’s safety.*
10:56 – Now Aretha Franklin is singing, and I love her!! Wow, what a voice. Didn’t she and Beyonce have some falling out a few months ago?
11:00 – MUST go to bathroom. Some flute players and whatnot. I’ll go now.
11:03 – Video stream went out while I went to the bathroom. Grrr….
11:04 – They say that Obama’s been prez. for 4 mins now. So…why is he not on stage and the music players are?
11:07 – Stupid video stream went out. AGAIN.
11:08 – Obama’s sworn in. He seems very eager – forgot what to say once, but no biggie. I forgot what to say during my wedding vows.
11:09 – One of the students across the hall (I know which one, haha) just let out a victory cry.
11:10 – “The challenges we face are real…and the threats will be met. We have chosen hope over fear.” He sounds hard core.
11:11 – “As Scripture says, ‘the time has come to set aside childish things.’” Okay…
11:12 – He’s a good motivational speaker. Guess you have to be to become president, though…
11:13 – (referring to economy) “We must begin the work of remaking America…There is work to be done.” No joke.
11:14 – Oh, snap. Now he’s talking about harnessing technology and science. “All this we will do.” You know, I’m all about inventions and using technology and whatnot, but this makes me fearful of stem cell research and cloning and such.
11:16 – Ha! One of his daughters is taking a picture of her dad speaking. Cute.
11:17 – “…safety and ideals”…What? Okay, good, not giving ideals up. I need to pay better attention. “America is a friend of each nation.” Uh….really? I’m not a friend of Iraq. Just a thought. (Though, he did say something about America being a friend of each nation who wants peace, but I didn’t catch all of that.)
11:18 – “Our power alone cannot protect us nor does not entitle us to do as we please…We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles and will meet these threats.” Discusses that we will leave Iraq and work tirelessly to lessen nuclear threat and global warming.
11:19 – (regarding terror) “Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken we will outlast you and we will defeat you” …“nation of Christians and Muslims and Hindus and nonreligious…we have emerged more united.”
11:20 – “Our common humanity will reveal itself.” “To Muslims: we seek a new way forward; to leaders around world who seek conflict: know your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.” How long is he going to speak?
11:21 – taking about nourishing starved bodies – I’m down with that. “We cannot afford indifference for those outside our borders.” True dat, but we also need to concentrate on the problems in our borders.
11:22 – “As much as government can do and must do, it is the faith and determination of American people that this nation relies on.” Talks about economy, Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, parents being responsible
11:23 – “honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true…quiet forces of progress. What is required is a return to these truths…We have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world.” He’s going to be in for a rude awakening. I’m not tolerant. Dang.
11:24 – “Every nation and every faith can join together (in inauguration)”…Are we done? Almost…He’s winding down. I can tell.
11:25 – He said “hope” again. I should’ve taken a count of how many times he said that.
11:26 – “God’s grace.” “God bless you and God bless the United States of America.” Okay. And we’re done.
11:36 – Wait, wait, during this dude’s benediction, he just said something about “mosques, temples, or wherever you worship.” HUH? I hate it when pastors do not take a stand.
11:37 – “…yellow will be mellow, and the white will do right.” Again, caught the last end of his prayer, but…really?
Summary? I still don’t agree with Obama's policies or his ideas, and I am curious to see what changes he will make in the coming years. But I’m not worried. Let’s be honest. God’s really in charge, and this election did not take God by surprise. And maybe in 2012, I’ll watch my second presidential inauguration.