Just back indoors and sitting talking about what we all just saw. I’m in this weird kind of place; this year has been a year of lots of reading about American history and the Founding – and one event that figures over and over again is the powerful one of the transfer of power between political enemies. All I could think of watching the grim face of President Bush on the Jumbotron (we were close but too far to the side to see more than the edge of the actual balcony where the ceremony took place) was that we were watching one of those turnings of the wheel.

And that – even more I think than Obama’s ascension today – moved me. Because it’s such a central a part of the greatness of the country that I love so much.

Obama looked weighed down – he didn’t have the bounce to his step – and his speech while excellent wasn’t the inspiration I hoped for. I don’t think that people will be citing this speech a decade from now. I wish it had been better – when I get some time, I’ll comment in more depth.

And when I get to my own computer, I’ll upload some pictures, including one of Bush flying past the trees in Marine One.

But one thing that struck me was the enthusiasm of the crowds – from the full planes flying into DC Sunday to the people we walked with across Capitol Hill into the mobs, to the crowd that stretched as far back on the Mall as I could see from the base of the Capitol.

And a huge back of the hand to whoever was responsible for organizing the growds; there was none and what we had instead were color-coded mobs.

22 thoughts on “Inauguration”

  1. I suppose that the lack of inspiration in Obama’s speech is part of a process of reducing the expectations to realistic level. Especially his focus on the ‘old values’ which practically means rolling part of the responsibility for the future to the American people.

  2. Which, if true, is a plus from my point of view. We’ll see if it turns out to be true.

    bq. “Especially his focus on the ‘old values’ which practically means rolling part of the responsibility for the future to the American people.”

  3. One of the high points of the day? Stay classy Democrats!

    “Bush Mocked As He Arrives on Inauguration Dais”:

    bq. – even more I think than Obama’s ascension today –

    Ascension? def =

    bq. 1. the act of ascending; ascent.
    2. the Ascension, the bodily ascending of Christ from earth to heaven.
    3. (initial capital letter) Ascension Day.

    Do you hear yourself? To what did he ascend? What throne? Where? To what?

    I had to turn the TV off today. The overblown coverage was sickening.

    I will give The One the same level of respect the Lefties gave to GWB – NONE! The nation seems to have descended into idiocy.

    The cost for this was an estimated $170,000,000. GWB spent $40,000,000 – less than 25% than The One and his minions – and was savaged for his supposed extravagance. You think that the VRWC does not have a memory?

    The market took it’s possible worst inauguration day beating ever:

    “U.S. Stocks Slide in Dow Average’s Worst Inauguration Day Drop”: from Bloomberg. DJIA down 332.13 to 7,949.09 by the ticker on my desktop. Some nice dead cat bounce that.

    All in all, a stellar day for America.

  4. And analysts quoted by the media, as they did at the election, found something else to correlate with the market’s move. The most dramatic and evident one being, of course, off limits.

    [Edit: actually, worse than off limits: the tenor of the comments I heard were all of the form “Barack’s swearing-in wasn’t enough to compensate for {factor x, y and z}…” and similar such pap.

    Not, I hasten to add, that analysts would be automatically right to attribute the market move to BHO’s “ascension”[sic], given their overall dismal capacities. Still, emblematic of what must not be considered out loud in polite company.

    In any event, this is all part and parcel of what Taleb and other famous types (and even yours truly, independently) have noted for quite a while: the media can’t just tell you what happened today, they have to tell you why, and they have to be sure not to pick the wrong thing to tell you. Even if they’re full of horse puckey and are totally kidding themselves.]

  5. “Which, if true, is a plus… etc.”

    I agree. No one should be sued if I fell from a bicycle that did not come with a warning that I should learn how to ride first.

    Or as Obama said it: “the time has come to set aside childish things”

    I only hope I’m right…

  6. #5 from robohobo:

    “You think that the VRWC does not have a memory?”


    In 2004 when W. was re-elected, the Democrats spoiled the Republican party again with empty claims of victory and refusal to concede an election that the second time wasn’t even close. The Republicans bought it, and W. delayed his claim of victory so long that the super-motivated workers who had given him his victory were denied the harmless release and high fiving they needed.

    Having insulted, degraded and attacked W. on the day of his election, on the day of his inauguration, twice, on the day of his departure and on practically all the other days of his presidency, they’re anointing the divine one with quadruple lashings of pomp, and when they do it again in four years, Republicans will go “What!?” again.

  7. The market would have slide a thousand points if it wasn’t for the swearing in. You can’t blame Obama for this kind of brainless sycophancy, and I’m guessing we’re in for a lot more of it. And god help you if you ever interrupt ObamaGirl.

  8. robo – you’re right that people did boo when they mentioned Pres. Bush, which was massively classless. So much so that the people around me in the Yellow area – Obama partisans all, from what I could hear – started cheering loudly to cover the booing.


  9. Robohobo falls for the first VRWC fraud of the Obama Administration.

    The cost for this was an estimated $170,000,000. GWB spent $40,000,000 – less than 25% than The One and his minions -

    This comparison was juiced by including security costs for Obama and excluding security costs for Bush. The apples-to-apples figure for Bush is over $150 million. [That link has the 2005 article on the $40 million Bush cost and security is explicitly excluded.]

    Yeah, Robo, I know that Fox News reported this, and Drudge, and all your other favorite web sites. That’s the point: they are all lying bastards. Hasn’t creative accounting done enough damage yet?

  10. most everyone there were just nameless faceless huddled masses!

    what makes anyone think standing the inauguration crowd would be a pleasing experience? character building, yes, pleasant, no.

    it could have been 76 degrees,sunny, with free beer being handed out and it still would have been a mess because some fools would have drank too much and puked on somebody.

    in this country the top folks dont care about the little guys. we only care about money, power, celebrity and occasionally genius if it (once again) can earn someone money.

    on some level the sorry planning was foreseeable. sorry your experience was less than you expected,although i believe that may be what is said about obamas whole presidency: less than expected.

  11. _”That link has the 2005 article on the $40 million Bush cost and security is explicitly excluded.”_

    Bush spent $110 million on security? Even with BDS rampant that seems unlikely. You could buy two dozen Abrams tanks for that. Not sure about the rental.

  12. The NY Times reported two weeks ago that

    In 2005, Mr. Bush raised $42.3 million from about 15,000 donors for festivities; the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers.

    The Obama equivalent to the $42.3 million in private funds raised for the festivities was in the neighborhood of $45 million. In other words, whether you compare the apples-to-apples or the oranges-to-oranges, Obama’s Inauguration cost only slightly more than 43½’s, with perhaps four times as many people in the crowd.

  13. So will we hear from robohobo here, disowning the inauguration spending lie comparison? That the Obama estimate included security, while the Bush estimate did not?

    Your integrity – such as it is – is on the line here, robohobo.

    Also – where did you get that line? I would advise you not to listen to that news source in the future.

  14. Look, saying “the report you saw on Fox and Drudge (and MSNBC) is partisan crap, and here’s to prove it” is unconvincing. Here’s mediamatters “reporting” on the cost of the Rapture: (The cost of Obama’s inauguration, minus the security costs? Approximately $45 million.) That’s after several hundred words attacking every other press outlet who mentioned the story for not justifying their estimates.

    Assuming arguendo Obama only spent a few million more, there’s still the fact that Obama is spending extravagantly during a real live recession, while the 2005 Bush economy was in much better shape.

  15. Are you suggesting the man who wrote _Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over for Bush_ might not be a neutral source? I suppose it takes a Clinton shill to discover Bush shills in the media…

  16. bgates, I’d suggest that Obama is coming out far ahead on a per attendee basis.

    If Obama spending about the same as Bush is so damning, why are Drudge and company putting out a totally false comparison, one which neither you nor Mark seem willing to defend other than some snark about Boehlert. I can understand some skepticism about the source, but he lays out the number pretty clearly, how one number is the total of private contributions and the other is that number plus an estimate of government expenses. You are welcome to refute that with something other than an ad hominem attack, but so far no dice.

  17. Personally, I could care less. Obama had A LOT more people, so of course its going to cost more money. The question of whether the entire affair was necessary is an open one, but I’ll give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he felt the country needed a little inspiration. Sadly, I suspect the hundred odd million spent there will be about as effective as the trillion they intend to spend on stimulus.

    That being said, Boelhert is playing the game Media Matters always plays by putting just as much spin on the issue they go into apoplexy over their subject over. His numbers don’t exactly add up, and if you read the piece he is spit-balling a lot of them and we are supposed to believe him. MM is bought and paid for by George Soros. Its not a media outlet, its a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party (elements of it anyway) with Soros dropping the dime and the Clintons’ key people pulling the strings. I’m perfectly happy to go to links to primary sources, but you have to count your fingers after typing the MM website. I don’t have the time or patience to track down all the distortions and outright fabrications liable to be endemic in a MM piece but (skillfully I admit) parsed in as reasonable assumption.

  18. Hell, hypo, I have no credibility to you and lazarus here. Most likely because I am a conservative and therefore barely keep from drooling on myself according to you all. That has been made apparent for a long time. Once again, I am sorry I stopped by. I gotta learn to stop touching the flames, but the lights are so pretty you see.

    The sources were FoxNews among others.

    Here’s Hopenchangeitude to all.

  19. Hobo, your lack of credibility comes from posting factoids that are not true, whether circulated by Fox News or some other adjunct of the Republican Party. It is you who equates this practice with conservativism. I have not done so, nor would I do so.

    If your visits here were to spread this sort of disinformatsia, I will not miss you.

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