Honestly over the weekend, I already felt like I had seen and heard enough about this inauguration, but when I turned on my TV, the images got me:
- One of the scenes that began playing (over and over)on the television was the Obama's arrival at the White House to have coffee with the outgoing Bush's. And my sadness at seeing the Bush's leave hit me. I am, or at least I once was, a fan of the Bush administration. George W. Bush took charge of this country when we were attacked on September 11, 2001 in a way that we haven't been since perhaps Pearl Harbor in the much-more remote territory of Hawaii. I have admired his strength, his faith, and his personality. And I love Laura Bush -- the quiet presence that she lent to the office of the President.
More recently, I suppose that I have agreed that it is time for new leadership, but George Bush is my President. I voted for him -- twice -- and not since George H.W. Bush has a candidate I helped elect held the highest office in the nation. So I am sad to see them go, although I cannot help but think that they are also ready to move into a slightly more private sphere of life.
- The arrival of past president George H.W. Bush and family. Nothing about his presidency is memorable to me -- I was young and not paying much attention -- but they have adopted my home-town of Houston, and put his presidential library at my alma mater, and for that I love them.
- The first glimpse of soon-to-be President Obama. One of the talking heads (Brian Williams I think) said that Obama is marked by his internal and external calm and composure. I agree, but I am hoping to see a little glee. Not only is he about to become President -- an unattainable dream of so many children, but he's an historic President. (updated at 11:40am) Updated again after the swearing in and the speech -- I DID enjoy seeing his big smiles after he was sworn in, and before President Bush got on the helicopter, he was cracking them both up. Nice to see laughter.
- Tom Brokaw said that this is a new page in history, a turning over of America -- not only because of the inauguration of the first African-American president, but as a result of the increased interest of the youth and other groups in politics.
- The African American governor of New York David Paterson said that he has been amazed at the support and interest and emotion-level of White Americans -- specifically those (like me) who don't agree with his politics and didn't vote for him. That's me, and yes I'm amazed. I'm emotional. I'm surprised. I'm happy.
(Published at 11am. If I have additional thoughts to share I'll edit this after the speech etc etc instead of publishing a new post)
Even though I'm a horrible tweeter in general, I am tweeting a bit: www.twitter.com/jenndon.