Pundits of all stripes have been preparing us not to expect overnight miracles from the Obama administration. Barack himself quite sensibly cautioned that the mess his predecessor got us into isn't going be tidied up by the weekend. What immediate progress we've enjoyed in these first few days of the new order has been gratifying indeed: concrete plans to dismantle our illegal detention facility in Guantanamo; a White House salary freeze; a curtailment of lobbying clout; unshackling the Freedom of Information Act; serious talk of getting us out of the pointless war in Iraq.
VIDEO: CNN's Video Podcast of the Inauguration [iTunes]
AUDIO: Barack Obama's Inaugural Address [mp3]
Buy one here, if you must.
Pictured: "Determined Chia Obama." Also available: "Happy Chia Obama!"
Photo via Flickr: More By Cheeses
Usually, when I report from unfamiliar cities, I pay close attention to characteristics that make particular locales special. For example, in Alabama, most men molest their siblings. In Los Angeles, when people move, they take their refrigerators with them. But while my amateur socio-anthropological musings can open eyes to fellow foreigners, they can also ring generic, obvious, and lazy to those already in the know.
PRELUDE: 5 AMI showed up on the National Mall at four o’clock this morning, which made me one of the first putzes on the scene. The following five italicized paragraphs were written way before the sun appeared; and while this crap is mostly irrelevant at this juncture, I’m leaving them to show how superficially enlightened an exhausted man can become on the heels of history.
What we've lost:
...black will not be asked to get back, brown can stick
around, yellow will be mellow, the red man can get ahead, man, and
white will embrace what is right! Amen!"
Is it possible that Joseph Lowery's inauguration speech was better than the main event?EDIT: Apparently, I'm not the only person who thinks so!
In which Barack Obama lays out his vision of the covenant between president and people, using the moment of his inauguration to profess his unshakeable fealty to this great nation...
(And no, I’m not sorry.)
Chris Faraone is on the ground in D.C. with the latest on the questionable floats, the massive crowds, and how you can be a part of history without making the eight-hour trek to the nation's capital.
VIDEO: Follow Chris Faraone live from the Inauguration
INAUGURATION IN REAL TIME: Webcast video, Twitter updates, Flickr feeds, and more
During the presidential Amtrak dash last weekend CNN reported that “50 everyday Americans” were traveling with Barack on the Obama Express. Fair enough, but I’m guessing that while his handlers plucked what they believed was an adequate population sample, there were probably no hookers, bookies, crackheads, pregnant teens, or BU chicks yapping loudly on their cell phones, so it wasn’t really a representative snapshot of America.
While the rest of you were watching the HBO broadcast of the pre-inauguration concert from the Lincoln memorial last night, I confess I was cheering my Pittsburgh Steelers to victory over the Ravens and their 12-year-old quarterback. Sweet.
But I did catch a bit of the DC showcase, and then more of it on a repeat airing on MLK day.
I’m ransacking my apartment for vitals needed on this inaugural
whistle-stop shimmy down to Washington. This sort of rogue
day-and-a-half accommodation-less adventure mostly just calls for
vagabond basics such as gum and deodorant (as opposed to toothpaste and
soap), but there’s still important gear to remember.