The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

President Obama!

Crowds watch Obama give his inaugural address

The presidential inauguration was pretty cool! I thought it particularly amusing that every time George Bush appeared on the big screens, the crowd booed! They booed a little less at Laura Bush (and at George Bush senior, before they realised who it was). When Hilary Clinton appeared, they cheered! Then when Bill Clinton appeared, there was raucous applause! And when the Obama family showed up, the crowd went wild!

(And, about half an hour after the ceremony, that same crowd jeered at the Marine helicopter flying over the National Mall to carry George Bush out of DC …)

Crowds by the Washington Monument

Unfortunately, the DC authorities aren’t very good at managing big public events. Or more likely, they’re so paranoid about security that they forget how problematic it is to throw up random roadblocks, close Metro stations, and fail to provide clear directions …

Concrete barricades in downtown DC A crowd tries to get into L'Enfant Plaza station

But there did not seem to be a single soul in town unhappy at who it was taking the presidential oath — the mood was festive and very upbeat! So much so that the footpaths were lined with people selling cheap trinkets, from Obama t-shirts to stickers to tote bags to condoms!

Inauguration crowds by the Lincoln Memorial Dudes with Obama merchandise

And the upbeat mood wasn’t limited to the capital! In Chicago, Obama’s face was on every street and in every shopfront! And at Phoenix airport, on my way back, passengers and staff alike were glued to the TVs showing post-inaugural coverage!

Barack Obama banner in downtown Chicago Ground staff at Phoenix airport watch the inauguration coverage

  1. Stayed up late watching it all on TV – can’t stand how the AU networks seem to think “Australians would rather listen to ill-informed Aussie journos commenting on the proceedings, rather than the US experts”. Had the same problem during the election, but whaddayagonnado?

    Did wonder where you were at – obviously pretty far back if you’ve got a shot that close to the Washington monument :-) But just being there…that is _awesome_.


  2. If it’s any solace, there was plenty of annoying commentary on the American TV coverage too :-)

    Once I made it to the Washington Monument it was already 10.15 am (having stepped off my plane at Reagan Airport at 8.45 — that trip normally takes ten minutes!) and in every direction I looked the crowd was far too thick to move through. But at least I got in (unlike some) — and the vibe was no different at that end of town!

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