Remote Inauguration

We were very excited that Jessica, my 20-year-old daughter, attended this week’s Presidential inauguration in Washington, DC. You can see her blog entries and photos at  http://feelingelephants.wordpress.com/. Ours is a politically passionate family. One of my earliest memories was glee that my candidate (John F. Kennedy) won the presidential election over my older brother’s candidate (Barry Goldwater), in 1964.

Our family has always been split between liberal and conservative. The divergence of our current family politics is best shown in two objects: a framed picture of the late President Ronald Reagan that my father put up in the front hall of their San Francisco house (intended to be seen by everyone who came over for parties to phone Obama voters, hosted by my mother), and the shoe with BUSH –> in gold paint on the toe that someone gave my father for Christmas:

Bush Shoe photo: copyright 2009 Katy Dickinson

I was at work at Sun during Tuesday’s inaugural morning so I went over to the Menlo Park campus Crossroads conference room to watch history unfolding
live by CNN TV broadcast on the big screen. Because I usually get my news from National Public Radio (NPR), it was particularly interesting to see how the great and powerful look and interact:

    • Why did Jimmy and Roselyn Carter greet  George and Barbara Bush with a kiss for Barbara but then walk by  Bill and Hilary Clinton, who were right next to the Bushes, without a word?
    • The senior President Bush does not seem to be aging well. He sat next to Hilary Clinton and behind the new First Lady  Michelle Obama, so there were many pictures of him with his mouth open looking confused.
    • Hilary Clinton, on the other hand, looked radiant two days before her confirmation as our new Secretary of State.
    • It was fascinating to watch outgoing President George W. Bush during his last minutes in office. I saw Bush pat the leg of one of the tall Marines in full dress uniform as he walked past – like you would pat a friendly dog.

It was certainly a great day for San Francisco, with soon-to-be President Barack Obama walking into the ceremony right behind Senator Dianne Feinstein
and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. This is a welcome change from President G.W. Bush pretending that California did not exist. Having Dianne Feinstein serve as Chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies meant that we got to see a great deal of her between speakers and events. We are so proud of her!

Except when greeting people, President Obama seemed grim during much of the event. The only time I caught a big smile was when he messed up his inaugural
oath (he had to take it again later). The biggest smile of the day, however, was that of cellist  Yo-Yo Ma who appeared delighted to be performing with violinist
Itzhak Perlman. There was much wondering how the instruments and musicians could play “Air and Simple Gifts” so well on that cold day. This was cleared up when it was  announced today that those on the inaugural stage heard the musicians live but a prior recording was broadcast for everyone else. However
real the broadcast, Ma’s smile and the superb music were a genuine delight.

CNN in Sun’s conference room

Inauguration on CNN in Sun's conference room photo: copyright 2009 Katy Dickinson

Feinstein, Obama, Pelosi on CNN

Feinstein, Obama, Pelosi, inauguration CNN photo: copyright 2009 Katy Dickinson

Obama taking the oath, CNN

Obama taking the oath, inauguration CNN photo: copyright 2009 Katy Dickinson

Clintons, Obama, G.H.W. Bush, CNN

Clintons, Michelle Obama, G.H.W. Bush, inauguration CNN photo: copyright 2009 Katy Dickinson

Hilary Clinton, CNN

Hilary Clinton, inauguration CNN photo: copyright 2009 Katy Dickinson

Perlman, Montero, Ma, McGill, CNN

Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero, Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, CNN photo: copyright 2009 Katy Dickinson

Photos Copyright 2009 by Katy Dickinson

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1 Comment

Filed under News & Reviews, Politics

One response to “Remote Inauguration

  1. Anonymous

    If Saint Obama does any better than any other run-of-the-mill politician who actually *wants* to run a country, I’ll eat my hat.

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