Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What I thought of it all

I know everyone's just dying to know, so here's my wrap up, illustrated by photographs shamelessly borrowed without permission. We'll go in chronological order.


I am crazy about most things green, so you can imagine what I thought of Michelle Obama's green gloves. Which matched her green shoes. So happy about that.

While I didn't think Aretha Franklin sounded on the top of her game (I can imagine Jennifer Hudson having sung this better), there is absolutely no doubt that she was working that hat. To wear a hat like that rather than having the hat wear you is something only she could have pulled off. She looked fabulous.

I absolutely loved the adaptation of Copeland's "Simple Gifts" performed by Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill, and Gabriele Montero. My MIL appreciates Ma's playing but is consistently disturbed by his facial expressions and movement, feeling that it distracts from the music. To me he looks like a man who takes joy in the music and the connection with other musicians, and I love seeing it. Too bad they look like they're playing in front of a baseball backstop.


Hmmm. As a nonbeliever (did you hear the shout out to us in the address?), I'm uncomfortable with invocations, benedictions, references to god, participation of clergy (especially one of these), and bibles in public ceremonies. Separation of church and state anyone? But the history of the bible used today was undeniably interesting. Not only was this bible used for Lincoln's swearing in, but Lincoln's oath was administered by Robert Taney, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the majority opinion in the Dred Scott decision, which extended slavery into the territories. And today a black hand rested on it to take the oath of president.


Sasha and I agree—a job well done. I think he hit the right notes in a message of both hope and caution. To me, this seemed like an address that reached out to and celebrated all Americans. I wonder though how it played to conservatives. If we can resist from a slugfest, I'd love to hear what people outside my liberal bubble thought. Are you hopeful? Do you feel we stand together or still apart?

I particularly liked what he said concerning one of our greatest challenges:
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
My question is which comes first: the unclenched fist or the hand? A diplomatic game of rock, scissor, paper. Are we big enough to reach out a hand to a fist? Today I feel hopeful that we might be.


As angry and disappointed as I have been over the past eight years, I am grateful for the goodbye being civil and dignified on both sides. Just one thing, Mr. Bush. Keep going. Don't look back. The place to look now is forward. Have a safe trip.


Ned said...

It was hard for me to watch Bush leave. Even though I am a staunch Rep. I shed tears today watching...I could not stop thinking about all the injustices over the years and thinking of everything Mary had been through. (She helped raise hubby). Very emotional. I will support this administration because this is USA and we voted and a choice was made. We have to all work together and give him a chance to make a difference. The only thing negative I will say is I wish we celebrated the event as much as his color. To those that don't know me that remark may be taken the wrong way. (Strangers please know I live in a urban area, my kids go to public school and are the minority)

adozeneggs said...

I have to say, I couldn't agree more with you regarding religion as a part of this whole ceremony. I'd like to see a real separation of church and state.
I thought that the Obama girls just looked adorable as well.

Angelina said...

Okay- no tv here so I missed the amazing gloves and I must have been secretly connected to Michele last night because I wrote a post about bringing gloves back into fashion! Her gloves are lovely!

OH and I LOVED the shout out to us nonbelievers because I think that's the first time we have ever been included in a presidential speech.

I thought his speech was really great, so dignified, so down to earth and it really spoke to my own beliefs.

except for the god stuff. Yes, I would really like to see a whole lot more separation of church and state.

All in all I think it was just an awesome day. I'm so full of it still!

(Ha- word verification is "proses")

NJDecorator said...

I just thought it was lovely to see a happy family together. Watching their children take it all in was special.

Trish said...

As a staunch Republican, I can wholeheartedly say that President Obama has my 100% support. His policies and politics may not be mine, but they are clearly the choice of the vast majority of Americans. I have the utmost respect for him and he has my prayers and support for the job ahead of him. He (and the rest of us) are going to need it to get through the next few years and to extricate ourselves from the various messes and crises and whatnot.

I also took great pride in watching the inauguration with my kids and telling them exactly why it was so very important. My two year old can proudly say that the man who leads the good ol' USA is "Predisent Obama." (It almost came out as "precedent" which would have been really appropriate.)

Man, I love this country.

p/s - Insanely jealous that you are talking about skiing! I may have just learned, but my goodness that is an addictive sport!

Belle in Bloom said...

I had tears in my eyes all day. It was really a special moment in history. I was so excited for my own selfish reasons. democrat, change, not a fan of the past eight years...but when I saw the elderly black men in the audience choked up and crying, it opened my eyes to a whole other layer of this historic event. I mean, i realize he's the first black president but I voted for the best man, not his color. But seeing the effect it had on these people who have been through the unthinkable, my gosh...words cannot express. I wasn't looking at the whole picture. But yesterday, when i did look further, well, I was just really proud. It affected my children, too. They were moved. Even in classrooms where being a democrat is not the cool thing (we're in a huge red state) my boys were proud and moved. amazing.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a wonderful day -- inspiring speech, beautiful fashion, lots of pomp and circumstance!

Purple Flowers said...

You've written an EXCELLENT blog!

Tonia said...

Loved the gloves and the coat, very proud to be an American (first time as an adult that I have felt that way. I am 40 so it has been awhile.)I have been struggling a bit lately with some of the appointments made so far. I supported Obama all the way and still do but yesterday all the apprehension melted away. I truly believe WE have a chance to turn things around for the good of many rather than the few. I too had some issues with the emphasis on god so I appreciated the acknowledgement that there are those that don't believe and that we count just as much as those that do. All in all a very fine day.

Broady said...

Pretty much what Trish said.

Didn't vote for him, but stand behind him and the rest of our country who did vote for him. I love this country (although I did for the past 8 yrs, as well) and am enormously proud of our new first couple, and expect great things from a man of such talent.

Also Cindy-- you pegged my thoughts on Aretha! The performance wasn't so great, but she made up for it with the hat. That thing rocked.

cancersucks said...

Well said! The green gloves and the children's outfits were from J. Crew....I heard that on Good Morning America this morning. I have been glued to the tv.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Wonderful post!

I was glued to the TV just like everyone else all day. Just amazing!

I thought the same thing about her fabu green gloves and shoes. Though she must have been freezing all day in that open coat. Loved it- beautiful- but I am a practical girl and feel one should you know, bundle up when cold.

I agree on separation of church and state- which that would actually happen in life. But overall, I thought it was an amazing and beautiful day. I hope our country is still talking about yesterday in 30 years!!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I meant to say "WISH" that would actually happen, not "which."

Midge said...

I agree on every single point. I was at work and didn't have a tv but I was glued to the internet looking up images.

KSK said...

Nice summary. My concern was that the lunch was going to give him indigestion - guess he's not lactose intolerant...

*whole day = 10* !!

Elaine A. said...

That last picture is my favorite. ; )

But seriously. Amazing day, amazing time in history...

The Food Librarian said...

I'm still crying and just tear up at it all. What a beautiful day yesterday. And damn, those J. Crew dresses on the Malia and Sasha were soooo damn cute! (Did you hear that J. Crew's website crashed today?) Awesome review and recap! :)

Jennifer said...

For a consoling look at Obama's views on separation of church and state, see http://www.yoism.org/?q=node/377 (scroll about 1/3rd of the way down) to see video clips from an Obama speech from June 2006.

Beescotch said...

Hi Cindy! I'm a new reader. I love your blog. I found your blog through Jen (URB) and just read all your posts from the present to this one. Love your kitchen, by the way.
Wanted to say I am totally with you on the nonbeliever thing. I too was psyched when the new prez mentioned us in his speech!! But as I was just mentioning to my husband this morning- I think we need a name like "the enlightened" rather than "nonbelievers." I can't help but feel that everyone else is the "duped" or "superstitious." I mean let's leave behind the Middle Ages, come on now.
Ok just wanted to say that, I'm going back to catching up on the rest of the blogs. :) So great!!