Skip to content

Liveblogging the Inauguration

20.January 2009

9:10 PM: Jason Wu, apparently…

8:32 PM: THERE IT IS! The dress! It’s light yellow? Cream? Maybe ruffly? In any case, its details don’t stand up amazingly well to harsh onstage lighting.

4:11 PM: “Tell us Soledad O’Brien… Michelle was walking in those high heels. What is that like?” Ugh.

2:52 PM: So, it was Teddy.

2:44 PM: Good grief… Wolf just called Nancy Pelosi Dianne Feinstein. So, since toasts are still going on, the collapsed Senator must be okay.

2:43 PM: Oh, shit. Maybe it was Ted Kennedy instead?

2:42 PM: A Senator collapsed in the Statuary Hall lunch. We don’t know who, yet.Maybe Robert Byrd.

2:38 PM: It’s The Moment on CNN! The “Synth!” Kind of cool, but utterly useless on TV. I imagine in person it would be cooler.

2:30 PM: This is entirely unrelated, but this commercial made me inexplicably happy. Link to video.

2:25 PM: CNN has finally noticed whitehouse.gov. That took long enough.

2:19 PM: In case you missed THE HAT, here’s video.

2:14 PM:
I’m just looking at the new whitehouse.gov and I’ve got to say the agenda points are inspiring. Also, on The Blog there are a ton of posts from 12:01 PM, the first minute they could post on behalf of President Obama. Very happy-making.

2:06 PM: Also, what the hell is up wiht CNN prattling on constantly about Reagan?

2:02 PM: A note: Yes, it is remarkable that a black man has been elected president. But perhaps more important is that it is this particular black man. What if it were a war-mongering, neocon, bad man and not this specific, intelligent, young, progressive, fabulous man?

Also, unrelatedly, I hate when journalists interview college students and say “What was the … coolest … part of this for you?” Ugh. How condescending and disingenuous.

1:54 PM: Was Bush’s daughter actually wearing leggings and a metallic mini?Because it kind of looked like it when she was just boarding un-Air Force 1.

1:49 PM: OOH! More CNN exclusive technology! SATELLITE PHOTOS FROM SPACE! A 3D photo compilation of the President at the moment of his address! Woo! Sad no hologram, though. I do respect CNN for getting Q to work for them.

1:39 PM: Alice Walker had advice for the President:

We are used to seeing men in the White House become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: it is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is only what so many people in the world really want.”

Full quote at Jezebel.

1:35 PM:
CNN has Colin Powell right now. I don’t respect all the decisions he’s ever made, but I am still really pleased and grateful that he so eloquently and forcefully endorsed Obama.

1:30 PM: 1. Anderson Cooper just had to correct himself from saying “Barack Obama” to saying “President Obama.”
2. I still can’t *quite* believe that Obama got elected. It’s almost too good to be true.

1:28 PM: Vice President Joseph R Biden and Dr. Biden! (It’s terrible that I didn’t know she was a Dr., probably.)

1:27 PM: Aww… bipartisan seating chart at the Congress lunch. Rahm Emanuel seated with the McCains!

1:13 PM: Sullivan’s whole post “Hello to all this” is really good and hits the nail on the head. Also, it has full text of the address.

1:11 PM: This photo, via Andrew Sullivan, is great on a lot of fronts.
1. Lincoln Bible. Looks pretty good. Bound in red velvet, silver metal frame, heavily gilded edges, I’ve heard.
2. Look at those gorgeous gloves!
3. Obama’s ring is cool!

1:09 PM: There’s Al! I love that big meaty Tennessean.

1:05 PM: Facebook status update roundup time:
every time cnn says “former president bush” it makes me happier.”
Has the whitehouse.gov site changed design? I quite like it.”
Awesomeness reigns at last.”
“[X]
is gettting back to Bar Study. Seems like a let down. But the Pres would want me to be responsible!”
“[X]
is finally proud to be an American.”
“[X]
is transfixed by the sense of history happening around her this day.

1:03 PM: Obama signing nomination papers! He looks so little in that big chair! Also, according to Wolf Blitzer, his penmanship is excellent and has “a little flourish.”

1:02 PM: Jeebus. Can fox news not get over Clinton? He’s NOT slimy!

12:58 PM: Photos via Jezebel:
Gothic: Dick Cheney
Chipper: Bill
Frackin’ Cylon: John McCain

12:56 PM:
Not to spoil the happy tone of the day, I’m a little pissed that they’re delaying Hillary’s confirmation for a day. WTF gives? She’s going to get confirmed anyway…

12:55 PM: Of the Bidens and Obamas standing together watching the old regime depart, wjh says, “they are wearing the german colors together!!”

12:52 PM: Michelle fashion update: the gauzy bits are actually ties on the jacket – repeat – the jacket ties in the front. AND a scarf underneath. All impeccably matched to the brocadey fabric of the dress and jacket. They’re calling it “maize-colored,” but it’s almost mustard-y and a little metallic. Also, I’ve decided that it is elaborate beading at the neck, not a necklace.

12:50 PM: Obama walking Bush out of the Capitol now. Obama’s face says, “Ciao, sucker!” Bidens/Cheneys looking much more cordial. Oh, and Jill Biden’s gorgeous red coat makes my knees weak.

12:49 PM: Ohhhh, Roberts screwed up the oath, not Obama. Probably an elaborate Bush-camp ploy to make the inauguration unconstitutional.

12:45 PM:
Michelle’s suit is by Isabel Toledo. Cuban-American designer who headed up Anne Klein for a couple years. The suit is really pretty – lovely textured fabric and the color is gorgeous on her, but not on almost anyone else. I also like the gauzy bits around the neck (attached? a separate scarf?). Note: both Michelle and Laura Bush are wearing suits with long jackets (same length of the shift underneath) and no lapels. Almost funnel necked in LB’s case.

12:43 PM: Cute picture of Sasha and Malia.

12:40 PM: Back to the important things: is that thing at the top of Michelle’s dress a necklace or some elaborate beading on the dress itself?

12:38 PM: Biden just took a picture for Malia! Awwww….

12:37 PM: “When black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, and when the red man can get ahead, man.”

12:36 PM: “Tanks will be beaten into tractors”

12:35 PM: Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery’s benediction is pretty great. We will “turn to each other and not on each other … we will make choices on love and not hate, on inclusion and not exclusion, on tolerance and not intolerance.”

12:31 PM: Obama’s face has changed since he took the oath… kind of a transformative moment, I guess. He looks less nervous, more self-assured in his (HIS!) power, now. He looks very calm, whereas while he took the oath and just before, his face was a little shaky, his chin wrinkling a little to contain overflowing emotion.

12:30 PM: Edifices is not an easy word to say.

12:29 PM: Elizabeth Alexander is on message: things to repair, children in school, power of language, curiosity beyond our own borders.

12:27 PM: What a damn good speech. And I’m happy to report that Bush looks sheepish. Cheney is wearing a fedora and managed to stand up for a handshake. By the way, how gothic is it (to steal my sister’s word) that he showed up in a wheelchair? My first thought was, “What, now that he’s off the hook we can actually see how weak he is?”

12:25 PM: “In this winter of our hardship…”He’s literate! And articulate!

12:23 PM: Oooh good rhetoric: “These things are old. These things are true.”

12:22 PM: Katrina reference followed up by an economic reference. Good parenting, all good things. It’s an Aaron Sorkin inspired “Ask not…”

12:20 PM: “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

12:19 PM: “We will not apologize for our way of life and we will not waver in its defense.” Kind of hawkish, but sounds nicer coming from someone who has really benefited from the good parts of our way of life. I.e. that our country makes room for things like constitutional amendments and the civil rights movement. It’s not another oil-fat straight old white man vowing to fight the little guy.

12:18 PM: Has it occurred to you all that we can be happy about reading the news now? Bush can’t do any more harm!

12:17 PM: “Founding fathers?” Didn’t he used to say Founding Parents?

12:16 PM: Economic regulation! Yay!

12:14 PM:Science! Renewable energy! Education!Hooray!

12:13 PM: A mention of American innovation and inventiveness. “We must begin the work of remaking America.” I’ve missed his rhetoric over the last couple months.

12:13 PM: “They saw America as greater than the sum of our individual ambitions.”

12:11 PM: “Greatness is never a given. It must be earned.”

12:10 PM: “The time has come to set aside childish things.”

12:09 PM: So very happy. “Less measurable, but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across the country.” “The challenges are real and they are many. They will not be met easily, but know this, America, they will be met.”

12:07 PM: For all you geeks out there, I thought I’d share the text of the last inauguration we were all happy about:

“I, Laura Roslin, do now avow and affirm that I take the office of President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol, without any moral reservation or mental evasion that I will protect and defend the articles of colonization with every fiber of my being.”

Compare to:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

12:06 PM: Hell, yeah. Little bumpy in the recitation, but I think we can put that down to emotion.

12:02 PM: NoOath, yet, but congrats, President Obama.

11:59 AM: JOHN WILLIAMS? When they first announced Itzhak Perlman and Anthony McGill (clarinet), I was hoping for some Presidential klezmer.

11:58 AM: Joooooooooe!

11:57 AM: They’d better make it snappy. Obama becomes pres at noon, oath or no.

11:56 AM: Here’s a good article about past Inaugural prayers.

11:54 AM: I never much liked “My Country ’tis of Thee” before. Maybe politics just needed a little soul…

11:52 AM:
Is the Lord’s Prayer traditional at these things?

11:50 AM: That water carafe next to Obama is a Crate & Barrel design.

11:49 AM: “You are loving to everyone you have made.” That’s surprisingly inclusive.

11:48 AM: Bracing for Rick Warren – only a smattering of applause… very little. Is that because it’s Rick Warren, or because people don’t clap for a prayer?

11:47 AM:
“Real and necessary change.” “Renewed call to greatness.”

11:45: Dianne Feinstein. “Peaceful transition of power” mentioned for about the 73rd time today. It is pretty awesome, of course.

11:42 AM: All the bigshots walking out now. Obama with assorted Congress leaders (yay Nancy!). As a sidenote: “Hail to the chief” was composed circa 1821, based on some verses from “The Lady in the Lake” by Sir Walter Scott. It was made the President’s official theme tune in 1954.

11:41 AM: He’s using the Lincoln Bible – it apparently hasn’t been used *since* Lincoln’s inauguration… not bad.

11:36 AM: Also: Michelle O’s gloves! Olive leather!

11:27 AM:
Could Aretha Franklin be any cooler? What a killer hat.

11:22 AM: Wow. There’s a moving van at the White House even now. Kind of awesome.


11:06 AM:
“That will be the last time they play ‘Hail to the Chief’ for Bush.”

10:15 AM: Guess who isn’t President anymore!!

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: