Archive for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama takes office

Barack Obama, left, joined by his wife Michelle, second from left, and daughters Sasha, third from left, and Malia, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

Barack Obama, left, joined by his wife Michelle, second from left, and daughters Sasha, third from left, and Malia, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.

January 20, 2009, 11:05 a.m. Updated January 20, 2009, 12:04 p.m.


Inauguration Day 2009

President Barack Obama takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Tuesday.

Obama’s inauguration

Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009 — the first African-American elected to the position. Many locals will make the trip to Washington, D.C., to watch the historic event. Others will watch from here in Kansas.

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— Barack Hussein Obama became the nation’s 44th president Tuesday, telling a crowd that stretched from the steps of the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, and a watching nation, that “we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America.”

The ascent of the country’s first African-American president, and the peaceful transfer of power in tumultuous times both at home and abroad, drew an enormous mass of well-wishers and witnesses to history. An early estimate from a senior security official put the number of people on the Mall at 2 million.

Obama outlined the challenges facing the country: a collapsing economy, wars on two fronts, a lack of confidence in government and enemies who hate the very way of American life.

They can be addressed, he said, with “a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

“This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.”

High anticipation

The birth of a new administration always marks a burst of American excitement and anticipation, and in Obama’s case, a surge of optimism in a country beset by troubles. But perhaps no inauguration in recent times has matched the anticipation attending the senator from Illinois, who made “hope” and “change” the bywords of his campaign.

Obama was accompanied to the West Front of the Capitol by President George W. Bush and sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Obama took the oath by stating his full name, the one he said opponents once used to try to make him seem apart from mainstream America.

It was the first time the chief justice administered the oath — indeed, the first time any chief justice had sworn in a man who voted against his confirmation — and both men stumbled over the words. But the sight of the two youthful leaders — Roberts, 53, the second-youngest chief justice, and Obama, 47, the fourth-youngest man elected president — underscored the theme of generational change.

So did the presence of the youthful Michelle Obama and the couple’s two grade-school daughters, Malia and Sasha, dressed in candy tones of blue and pink.

Continuity was marked by the swearing-in of former Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. as vice president, the oath administered by 88-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens, a Republican appointee who is now the leader of the court’s liberal contingent and the second-oldest man to serve on the court.

Obama laid his hand on the burgundy-velvet-covered Bible that was used by Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and history again trembled. The chief justice that day was Marylander Roger Brooke Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision that said blacks could never be citizens. The Constitution, Taney said, recognized blacks as “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations.”

Obama called it the “meaning of our liberty and our creed” that those days are no more: “Why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”

It was his most overt reference to the historical significance of his achievement.

End, beginning of a journey

The day marked the end of an extraordinary journey to the White House. Obama becomes perhaps the country’s most improbable president, the son of a Kenyan scholar and a white Kansas mother, raised in the exotic climes of Hawaii and Indonesia and bearing what he describes as a “funny name.”

Just five years ago, he was a middle-of-the-pack Illinois state senator in Springfield, and now fills the nation’s highest office even before finishing his first term in the United States Senate.

But his candidacy inspired young voters and an unprecedented outpouring of African-American voters, and his motivational message drew independents and disaffected voters of both parties.

The speech, which ran slightly less than 20 minutes, contained a theme of inclusion and conciliation, both at home and abroad.

“Our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness,” Obama said. “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”


ImagineThat 9 years, 5 months ago

I think I will smoke a marijuana cigarette and apply for a passport today...........

Trobs 9 years, 5 months ago

The man can give a speech. However, actions mean far more then words. If in four years he does everything he wants to do, then I'll gladly support the man. Until then, I wish the media and the public would stop acting like he's saved the world. Measure a man by what he does.

sfjayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Nancy, even you have to admit that it is nice seeing a US president using proper grammar and with good diction. I didn't hear the new president use any made up words either. Already the changes are apparent - and positive!

Jeremy Lichtenauer 9 years, 5 months ago

A pigeon just delivered my $100.00 bill. Did everyone else get theirs?

juststrugglin 9 years, 5 months ago

I have just one question. He has portrayes himself as a black man, but is his mother not white? So I am a little confused about all the fuss.

Trobs 9 years, 5 months ago

I sure hope his administration is successful, we need a liberal democratic administration and congress for about 20 years now to get to where we ought to be with corporation accountability and human rights legislation. Maybe he and his successors can influence the supreme court as well. I think we need to step up watch dog agencies."Government - If you don't like the problems we cause, wait until you see our solutions"

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 5 months ago

juststrugglin (Anonymous) says… I have just one question. He has portrayes himself as a black man, but is his mother not white? So I am a little confused about all the fuss.=======================Havn't you heard? No one wants to be white anymore. Being white is uncool and whites, especially white conservative males, are automatically considered to be racist. White males are the most oppressed segment of society now. Just try to be a white male and work in Washington, DC and you will find out what reverse racism is all about. I don't blame Obama for not wanting to be white and for turning his back on his white heritage.

rachaelisacancer 9 years, 5 months ago

juststrugglin (Anonymous) says…I have just one question. He has portrayes himself as a black man, but is his mother not white? So I am a little confused about all the fuss.---------------------------How original! -------------------------Don't tell me not to live,Just sit and putter,Life's candy and the sun'sA ball of butter.Don't bring around a cloudTo rain on my parade!Don't tell me not to fly--I've simply got to.If someone takes a spill,It's me and not you.Who told you you're allowedTo rain on my parade?!!

TheOriginalCA 9 years, 5 months ago

Donnuts (Anonymous) says… ....we need a liberal democratic administration and congress for about 20 years now to get to where we ought to be with corporation accountability and human rights legislation. ....=================How about the human rights of an unborn child? How about Christopher Dodd's accountibility in his part in causing the financial crisis?

Boeing 9 years, 5 months ago

I am not a Barack supporter. I did not vote for him. But this is fantastic to watch...I love watching all of the history behind Presidential transfers, all of the ceremony, the symbolism. While I do wish it was McCain going through it all, it's great to watch as a history and politics buff (woops, maybe I should have majored in that instead of aerospace engineering!)

staff04 9 years, 5 months ago

If there ever was one who whines as much as you Tom, he has yet to grace us on these boards.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Nancy Boy, it was Justice Roberts who screwed up the oath, not Obama. The President knew the words and stumbled when the Chief Justice mis-spoke.Just another attempt to denigrate and disrespect the lawfully elected President of the United States by small-minds.Study the text. "The cynics have not yet learned that the ground has moved beneath them"Make that "cynics, biggots, and prejudiced" Bush is gone (thank God!) but the mentally challenged are still with us. God help us!

guesswho 9 years, 5 months ago

Mr Nancy Boy,I think it was the justice who goofed up the lines which made Barak stumble - i.e., do I say what he said or do I say it the way it is supposed to be.And, regarding his 'blackness' - the 'one drop' rule - that if you have a parent or grandparent who is 'black' you are also black. Most 'blacks' have whiteness in them, our society doesn't allow that.

mmiller 9 years, 5 months ago

Hmm, I have mixed feelings on the whole situation. I agree with Trobs regarding media coverage of this event. Bias, Sensationalism, manipulation, inflicting panic, fear and uncertainty into the masses -- these words define the American media. It's a business.Gone are the days of reporting useful facts and information to the masses. These days a squirell water sking in a pool is deemed newsworthy. I use to work in television for 8 years. I got out of it a couple years ago because of these issues. I got sick of being immersed in this nonsense 8 hours a day. I've discovered my life is much more less stressful and depressing without the news media.Anyway...I digress....

Jason Bailey 9 years, 5 months ago

It's still cloudy here. No rays of sunshine warming my heart and my skin.Seriously, though...did anyone catch that closing prayer and how white people were the only ones who were criticized in it? "Yellow people can mellow, Red Man can get ahead man, white people can do what's right." Basically told us Caucasian folk that we're doing wrong. How'd that work when it was white people who put Obama over the top in the election? Guess this is change we can believe in?

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 5 months ago

On 11/6/08 Tom said:Mr_Nancy_Boy_To_You (Tom Shewmon) says… Serious post here. Everyone needs to calm down and give Obama a chance. I will not listen to Fox news anymore if every single night, they are trying to stir up trouble–or any other source. This is what the left did for eight years and I think it's time the right at least tries to set a good example for once in this psychotic “gotta have it NOW” nation.Now, that being said, he needs to be held accountable for what he's doing (and Ried and Pelosi and congress). I hope that the mainstream media big boys will not be on a daily mission of sugar coating what goes in the capitol bldg and the whitehouse.Alia says.....Nice to see you're living up to your word, Tom.

riverdrifter 9 years, 5 months ago

Frwent is correct: it was Roberts who screwed up the oath, not Obama. Yesterday Bush had a 13% approval rating. The thirteen-percenters are here today.

ImagineThat 9 years, 5 months ago

Obama FLUBS oath of office...........The Chief FLUBBERHail to the FLUBBERCommander in FLUBBERFLUB to the Chief

bd 9 years, 5 months ago

If he really wanted to help us all, he would have cancelled to $120 million party and gave the money to the poor!What a shmuck!Long live the King!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 5 months ago

Exposer, you can get your barbed wire and issue me thirty lashes, I made a spelling error and therefore all I say is invalid.Except that Nancy is a non-entity. Ooooh, did I spell that right???? I would not want to be misunderstood.Get a life.

jayhawks71 9 years, 5 months ago

People should read the comments before commenting. Roberts misread the oath. Even though I will never be taking that oath, the instant Roberts said "execute" I turned to the group I was with and said, "where was faithfully?" before he tacked it on at the end. A Supreme Court Justice who cannot read is something of concern.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 5 months ago

We survived the bush Presidency and have a leader we can respect and, I hope, trust. What a great country!

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years, 5 months ago

well to carry on with jayhawk71s post they are now saying that that little mumble stumble is going to have to go to supreme court to have verified that the oath was taken and Obama really is president sounds like so much fun.Well it is DC I guess nothing can be simple and easy.

Unix_Admin 9 years, 5 months ago

Accually Tom,It was Justice Roberts who messed up the Oath according to the news. The tempo, and the last line screwup were Roberts mistake. (according to the news)

mmiller 9 years, 5 months ago

God, reading all these comments fatigues my eyes...UGH....

DMH1983 9 years, 5 months ago

How does a black democrat continously compare himself to a white republican? I think this whole Lincoln-like Inaugration horse and pony show is in horrible taste. I hope all you BO supporters loved the show, cause you'll be paying for it!

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 5 months ago

The really frightening part of this blog is that these these dolts presented so clearly here have the right to vote. Really frightening.

bondmen 9 years, 5 months ago

And the Reverend Joseph Lowery's Benediction at Obama's inauguration said in part:'Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen'...

DMH1983 9 years, 5 months ago

Why are lefties so nasty? I am convinced the the smartest Liberals I know become back-bitting a**holes when anybody disagrees witg thier point of view! Is it impossible to express your beliefs without personal attacks? logicsound04, this is pertains to you in particular!

DMH1983 9 years, 5 months ago

"Oh, yeah… Because if you were better educated, most of you would not be right wingers. (Look at the demographics.)" Case and point to my last post.

beawolf 9 years, 5 months ago

To read the comments from the apparent republican conservatives in this thread it's quite easy to see why the last 8 years have nearly destroyed this country.The pathetic vitriol of these comments is sad. Truly sad.

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years, 5 months ago

Man all this name calling and bickering sounds like a bunch of old ladies in here. By the way Ted Kennedy had a seizure at the end of the lunch taken to the hosp.

Kirk Larson 9 years, 5 months ago

Roberts misread the oath, but you can't blame him...It's probably the first time he's read anything from the Constitution. And about Barack being "half-white": for over a century, conservatives held that anyone with "one drop" of black blood was black. Now they want to change the rules if brings him over to their side. How sad.

DMH1983 9 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04 - I did not see a post from the right where the poster specifically singled out a leftie and called them a "bitter, sore-loser" as you did. I did not see a right winger call into question anyone's education. Did you? I did see some conservatives express thier opinions without needing to personally insult anyone. If the worst statement by a right winger was my reference to liberals behaving like “back-biting a**holes” when thier point of view is not shared, then I think us Conservatives have some ground to make up!

WWoftheW 9 years, 5 months ago

Nancy;I know this is along way from your comments, but the justice got the words wrong actually.

staff04 9 years, 5 months ago

Naw, you got it right the first time Tom. "Exposed" is a dead-on assessment.

DMH1983 9 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04:The definition of a hypocrite is:1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings Again, my original post was about how left wingers making personal attacks on this board. You failed to give me an example of a right winger doing the same. I am not a hypocrite because I did not personally attack anyone for thier point of view. I would rather discuss differences and learn from observation. I will admit that I would love to tell you what I think of your opinions, but I will exercise some constraint.

Confrontation 9 years, 5 months ago

Run, white boys, run! Tommy will show you the way to Canada.

DMH1983 9 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04- You are contemptous and not worth anymore of my time...keep spewing insults as I'm sure it brings you the self-validation you must be missing.

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years, 5 months ago

round and round and round we go where we stop no one knows.

kmat 9 years, 5 months ago

What a bunch of bitter people on the right. Can't you for one day celebrate the fact that there has been a change of leadership? You may not like Obama. Live with it. He was elected. Can you stop your bickering and whining for one frickin day? Good god!I have been so surprised that the conservatives at my work have been just as bad. If you only paid attn to them, you'd think the world ended today. Oh no, the sky is falling.Grow up! If you are an American and love your country, you will support this president and will help him and the govt to restore this country to our previous glory. Like it or not, he is your leader.I never liked Bush. I did try to support him. I gave him every chance in the book. It pained me on 9-11 when I had to say that no matter what, I had to stand behind him because we are one country. Can't you bickering, bitter folks on the right grow up and do the same? If not, then you must not love your country very much.And to all of those that keep going on about how he's not black or how he's putting down his white heritage. You are so full of it. He has never put down his white heritage. He's embraced it. I am about 80% Irish and 20% black. Anyone that looks at me thinks I'm white. When asked on surverys I say I'm white. I'm not ashamed that I'm part black, but besides my full lips, I look white. Anyone that looks at Obama is going to say he's black. In this day and age, it really doesn't matter. The whole goal of this society is to get to a point where race doesn't matter. I love Colbert who says he doesn't see race. Can't we all be that way?It's really disheartening to see these kinds of remarks, just one day after MLK day. We are all Americans. Start acting like it and support your country and your president.

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 5 months ago

One of the greatest days of my life as an American. I cried.This afternoon I'm watching the "objective" economic analyst's on FAST MONEY and they can't help but be cynical and the guy hasn't even warmed his chair in the oval office.Guess they didn't like the little slap he gave Wall Street during his speech. It's time for everyone to work together and fix our country.

Mixolydian 9 years, 5 months ago

You're all a bunch of cackling hens on both sides.Give it a rest.It was a peaceful exchange of the greatest power on the face of the earth. What a fantastic country, it can rise above Bush and Obama. God bless us everyone.

wyattearp2 9 years, 5 months ago

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Larry Bauerle Jr. 9 years, 5 months ago

"We are looking at the beginning of the end. Mark my words."Technically, if you believe there is a "beginning" and an "end," didn't the end begin at the beginning?We don't know if President Obama will be an effective president yet, but shouldn't we all be hoping for that, versus the alternative? Do those of you who don't like him really wish him to fail? Doesn't that mean we all would fail? Could you not at least recognize the history of the moment for our nation? That seems really sad.

lounger 9 years, 5 months ago

Ding DOng the witch is Dead! Goodbye G.W. Hello Obama! Fresh new start. Oh yes and for anyone who gave Obama crap for flubbling his oath I will remind you that ANY speech Obama has given was better than ALL of the speeches combined that G.W. Bush gave in his pathetic eight years. Obama will turn this country around for a host of reasons - one main one-HE IS A POSITIVE PERSON!!!! Hooray!

Flap Doodle 9 years, 5 months ago

"In all, the Inauguration probably generated around 500 million pounds of CO2, excluding the methane and CO2 released as a result of flatulence by the 1 million or so Inauguration attendees."

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