Inauguration (January 20) . . . In advance, here is my fantasy, my prediction --
The day will be cold and gray. The crowds will be huge, millions, in fact. And they will be well-behaved, for the most part. Except for those people desperate to use one of a limited number of Porta-Potties. It could get ugly. Not everyone will be able to use their cell phones or Blackberries at the same time, due to overloading of the system. But eventually everyone will get home and get back in touch.
The day was cold and sunny, bright and beautiful. Estimates of crowd size centered around two million. They were well-behaved. Initial reports were that there were no arrests. Cell phone service was reported to be "problem-free" to "spotty." Extensive research proved unsuccessful as to whether there were enough Porta-Potties. Perhaps one of my readers knows. Finally, it is too soon to tell whether there are still lost souls wandering around in Washington D.C.
The moods will be wide-ranging -- excited, joyful, moved to tears, confused, anxious and relieved. People, filled with optimism, will have a spirit of helpfulness, of generosity and of shared community. They must be prepared for a great deal of celebration and stress, all at the same time. And they will have to be rather physically fit. The walks will be long, the pavement hard, the grass bumpy and the seating nonexistent. The people who come to see the Inauguration will be kids, . . . adults and a few very fit Seniors. They will come in all colors and from many different nations in addition to the USA. They will get tired and hungry. . .
The crowds appeared to be universally happy and excited. Many did shed tears. And there was a great amount of apparent camaraderie. I did read scattered reports of impatient incidents, however. As promised bridges were closed and security was extremely tight. The people all seemed young and vigorous and very diverse. Indeed, many were from out of the country. No one looked ravenously hungry, though we speculated that some "ate mayonnaise sandwiches" in order to make the trip.
The people who are participants in the Inauguration will be well organized, patient, nervous or excited and overcome with emotion at times. There will be lots of Democrats, some Republicans who are required to be there because of their office, and some who want to be there because it is of historic importance. Most will wish President Obama and the First Lady well. Security will be omnipresent* and as tense as at any time in memory. . . . And the Media will cover it all.
Under close observation participants seemed to be well organized, though the parade did run somewhat late. Everyone looked relatively patient. I detected that President Obama was a bit nervous at the beginning of his speech. Who would not be so, upon seeing the sea of humanity covering the Mall? Chief Justice Roberts' slight oath flub could have been because he is a newbie at oaths of office. Rep. John Boehner never looked happy. President and Mrs. Obama greeted, and were greeted by what seemed like, everyone. Security stopped everyone at the door of the vewing stand. Each party dutifully waited to be announced. I watched MSNBC and C-SPAN; the coverage was different but generally good.
The Inaugural speech will be magnificent and memorable to the millions watching. The Inaugural Poet will wax poetic. The Bible will be Lincoln's, and it will carefully be returned to where it belongs. All the Obamas will be beautiful and stylish. All the Supreme Court Justices will look distinguished. The bands will march smartly in straight lines. The parade will be on time, as will all other elements of the ceremony. And, the day . . . will make African-Americans and all Americans proud that history is being made in a profoundly important way.
The inaugural speech was not the best speech ever given by the new President, but it served is purpose very well. The domestic/politica/economic aspects were adequate and will be functional as a plan for where to begin work. But it was in addressing the world where the speech soared. My favorite line was about "unclinching your fist" to "shake the hand" of unfriendly countries. The Poet was a wonderful wordsmith, modern, powerful and talented. Her cadence was striking. One of my favorite very intimate visuals was when Michelle Obama held the Lincoln Bible for the administration of the oath to her husband. I liked the humanity displayed by the Supreme Court justices: Roberts not perfect, Alito insulted enough to skip the ceremony and O'Conner still robed. The parade, running late like most parades, gave us bands that were as American as apple pie, contrasting in capability, all happy to be included. My favorite parade moment was seeing Montana Senator John Tester astride his steed. The Obamas made up time as they went from Inaugural Ball to Ball. Important history was made on Tuesday.
The power to govern will quickly pass from Party to Party, Peacefully. The White House will get to work quickly, Tuesday afternoon, actually. People from other countries may wonder how we manage to do it this way for hundreds of years. And some may wish they were American. Others will go home and vow to work harder for better government, or peace or maybe revolution. And many others will go back to their own nations feeling that the earth is a bit smaller, and that we are all neighbors, able to be united in spirit despite differences.
The torch of governance passed peacefully from "43" to "44." Now Former President Bush listened calmly as his successor subtly took him to task as he spoke to the crowd and the world. And the crowd booed Mr. Bush, it was reported. The new skeleton White House staff were whisked by van to take over at noon. Those outside of the United States, who watched all this, will indicate by their actions as time passes, what they make of the transition between administrations.
The time has come to close. These are my predictions and assumptions. I will post again, post-Inauguration to let you know how I did. Have a great day. Enjoy, celebrate, reflect and hug those you love. Today is January 20, 2009. I thought it would never come. And now it here; I intend to enjoy it to the fullest.
And it is time to close today's post. Where I lacked information I invite my readers to fill me in. I hope that all of you had as good a Tuesday as we enjoyed. It was a magnificent new beginning, for which we had waited 8 years.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.