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Stream of consciousness remembrance as the events unfolded. Simon makes a cameo appearance in this post. Since it is more about me than him, I’ve put the post below the fold.

There are the girls: Lovely coats. Sasha’s is pink because she is seven. My niece Maddie would have chosen similarly. They look perfect. I tear up and wonder if a nearly forty year-old can also wear a shiny satin belt on her coat. (No.)

There’s Bush 41: Hee. I guess when you are 84 you are too sensible to go outside when it’s this cold without wearing a warm hat. I love it!

Here’s Michelle: Gorgeous color on her, but I’m not sure about the built-in necklace thing. Not a miss, but I think she would have looked better in something simpler. Perhaps the momentousness of the occasion got to her and she over-reached in that wedding/Oscar way.

Obama! He looks very handsome and preternaturally calm. How does he do that? And where is his overcoat? We can’t have another William Henry Harrison on our hands. Matt assures me that the suit jacket looks very thick, but I remain unconvinced. Put on a coat, Mr. President-Elect!

Aretha: She is a legend and a true diva. Having said that, I’m so-so on her phrasing and I hate her hat. Then again, at least she wasn’t bedecked in head-to-toe fur, as is her wont.

Biden is veep: Yay! Also, how many names does he have? (Turns out only three, but that middle one is Robinette. Who knew?)

Williams music: I groan when I hear it’s John Williams and expect something cheesy. I wonder how the heck the musicians can play in the cold with stiff hands, and Matt wonders how this weather will harm priceless instruments. I am then humbled. The music starts and it is gorgeous-truly emblematic of all that is good in and special about America. “Air and Simple Gifts” is a hymn wrapped around Copeland’s treatment of the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts, which happens to be a great favorite of mine. I look at the musicians. They are world class in their instruments and also happen to be Venezuelan-American, Jewish-Israeli-American, French-Chinese-American, and African-American. I feel a surge of pride and cry some more. This is the highlight so far.

Oath of Office: Um, why’d Roberts say “to” instead of “of”? Did Obama just blank? He looks like he blanked. Oh my God, he flubbed the oath! Or is he off because Roberts goofed? Is he bemused or nervous? I can’t tell. Whatever, he’s president now. Yay! (After-the-fact fact-checking showed that Roberts indeed said “to” and left out “faithfully,” Obama paused to let Roberts fix, which Roberts tried to do but put the “faithfully” in the wrong spot. I guess he’s never done this before and was nervous, too. I always find these moments humanizing.)

The speech: Somber, steady, thoughtful. Took the long view of history, the annals or longue dureee approach, and put the present into perspective. I like having such a fine and honed mind in office, I feel good about our chances, and I really, really like this man.

Speaking of which, Put on a coat, Mr. President!

Off to pick up Simon at KIP: The kids are chanting O-B-A-M-A in the halls and home-made signs are up everywhere. Simon is all smiles and seems caught up in the frenzy. TVs are up in the auditorium, where all the kids—even the itsy bitsys—watched the swearing in during lunch. I smile—not for the first time in the day—and then learn I missed what many called the best speech, by the Rev. Joseph Lowery, while I was driving.

The job: Oh yes, I do have one. No email sent or received from 11:30 to 12:45. Then learn a contract just came in. January 20: A-Okay!

Coda: Dr. Lowery indeed splendid. Further investigation reveals Obama’s getting ahead of himself during the oath may have tripped up Roberts AND that Roberts left out the word “execute” the second time around. Thank goodness that oath is just for show and the transfer happens at noon regardless. Very worried about Senators Byrd and Kennedy, both of whom had to leave the lunch for medical reasons, and hope both will be OK.

Evening Addition: So, the inaugural balls. They look great, I love the cut and color of Michelle’s dress and will forgive the stuck-on fru-fru, I thought Beyonce was unusually good (and well dressed) for her first dance, then they let Ray Romano on stage and the Obamas disappeared to CNN and a different ball. As they should have. It was like watching a very expensive Bar Mitzvah. Also, the POTUS looked hotter than Sting. I need a drink…

And oh my God! Does anyone fact check any more? Some doofus on CNN just perpetuated the myth—debunked everywhere—that Clinton staffers removed the “w”s from White House computers.

3 Responses to “Not-Quite Live Blogging the Inauguration”

  1. blg says:

    Overcoat – a real spin thing. Look back at Inaugurations throughout the years. Someone told Presidents-elect that they look more robust without the overcoat. Also, you may not remember the brou-ha-ha when JFK walked to his Inauguration without a hat. Hatmakers the world over predicted their own demise, which was pretty accurate.

  2. Mike Murrell says:

    Excerpted from the NYT:

    The somber, elegiac tones before President Obama’s oath of office at the inauguration on Tuesday came from the instruments of Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues. But what the millions on the Mall and watching on television heard was in fact a recording, made two days earlier by the quartet and matched tone for tone by the musicians playing along.

    “Truly, weather just made it impossible,” Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said on Thursday.

    The Marine Band and choruses, which performed throughout the ceremony, did not use a recording, she said.


  3. Amanda says:

    Yeah, but brass is totally different from strings. Strings in extreme weather not only pop, but can seriously damage an instrument. Ma said he seriously considered playing one of the new carbon bodied cellos, which are much stronger than veneered wood and hold up better, but they look funky (blue and stuff) and he didn’t want to take away from the occasion by people going, what the heck is that anyway? He and Perlman did in the end use modern instruments, and not their cherished Stradavarii.

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