Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hail to the Chief

A little late, I thought I'd post my inaugural reflections for, umm, posterity? Or something.

Anywho, (less and less of a) Baby J and I watched the inauguration together. I was unexpectedly most moved when Obama walked out onto the dais, I think because I somehow didn't actually believe that moment would come, but I only realized that fact right then, in the moment itself. J was eating lunch for the first part of the festivities, but he used his newfound clapping skills successfully throughout the introductions:

Then we watched the speech together. I did wish for a bit less doom and gloom and a bit more hopeful rhetoric, but overall I was pleased. Baby J stayed on message at first...
then got a little distracted...
then abandoned paying attention altogether in favor of eating off the floor.

My reactions were similar. Unlike most people I've talked to, I was thoroughly charmed by the little old man's rhyming benediction. It so clearly came out of his pastoral (or, more precisely, preacherly) tradition I thought it was fitting. The poem reading underwhelmed me, and I was too worried that the performers were going to freeze to death to do more than be anxious during the quartet, though I especially liked the clarinet. Aretha's bow was just too much, but you gotta love her unapologetic wearing of it. I don't know what the man giving the invocation saw it necessary to say Sasha and Malia's names with such verve, as if he were trying out for A Chorus Line or Chicago. And the snafu with the text of the oath of office was just unfortunate, not least because many people here (in our red state) thought Obama had messed everything up, when clearly, it was Justice Roberts' mistake that Obama tried gamely to follow. (I also thought the do-over swearing in wasn't necessary but was a nice gesture nonetheless.) I didn't particularly love the color of Michelle's dress, but thought the cut was just right, and I really liked the youngest daughter's hot pink and fluorescent orange.


mtg said...

actually, i loved the poem. very whitman-esque, no?

Lilita said...

I think it was more the delivery than the actual text. I liked some of the images but I felt like her delivery really took the life out of whatever she was saying, on a day when spectacle was as important as substance.