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President Barack Obama
January 20, 2009 9:19 AM   Subscribe

President Barack Obama The text of the Inaugural speech will be posted after it's completed. Change.gov is closing up shop; Change has come to Whitehouse.gov.
posted by theora55 (660 comments total) 61 users marked this as a favorite

 
!
posted by iviken at 9:23 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought for sure we'd see some Gotham fonts on the new site. Also? It's kind of ballsy to move to a 900px wide layout. I can't imagine the site is usable on a 800x600 display, or one with large fonts.

Also: yay!
posted by mathowie at 9:24 AM on January 20, 2009


Hope over fear... Obama succinctly sums up the entire Bush Presidency.
posted by crossoverman at 9:25 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Started off weak, but definitely rose to the moment.

America's back world. I realize we've been asshats for eight years, but please give us one more chance.
posted by bardic at 9:25 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 years, and our long national nightmare is finally over.

To make it personal, I told you so.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:25 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


bardic: "Started off weak, but definitely rose to the moment."

Yeah he did, and it just keeps getting better.
posted by Science! at 9:26 AM on January 20, 2009


administration!!! please hope me!
posted by decagon at 9:27 AM on January 20, 2009 [33 favorites]


Like I said on PF. I am waiting for the spaceships to show up. Where. Are. The. Spaceships?
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


The text of the Inaugural speech will be posted after it's completed.

Here's the link
posted by turaho at 9:28 AM on January 20, 2009


I thought for sure we'd see some Gotham fonts on the new site. Also? It's kind of ballsy to move to a 900px wide layout. I can't imagine the site is usable on a 800x600 display, or one with large fonts.

Change We Need!
posted by odinsdream at 9:28 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Surely, this will be the end of the Bush administration.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:28 AM on January 20, 2009 [158 favorites]


Intelligent, brave, articulate, and, if he believes what comes out of his mouth, there is hope for us.

But, folks, this man is not going to be able to do it alone... all of us have a part...
posted by HuronBob at 9:30 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


From whitehouse.gov:

Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Whitehouse.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 9:30 AM on January 20, 2009 [31 favorites]


Dear God, what a crappy poem.
posted by bardic at 9:30 AM on January 20, 2009 [21 favorites]


Happy birthday to me!
posted by xorry at 9:31 AM on January 20, 2009


Aaannnd... unclench.
posted by Cyrano at 9:31 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Holy shit, this guy is actually president.
posted by shadow vector at 9:31 AM on January 20, 2009 [26 favorites]


It's sad, all the soldiers that died for George W. Fuckstick's Wall Street joyride in Iraq.

At least it's over. And begun anew.
posted by plexi at 9:31 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Our long national nightmare is over.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:32 AM on January 20, 2009


I was really touched to hear him acknowledge that "non-believers" are part of the spirtual make-up of America.

But I really wanted to hear that he'd be signing executive orders today to reverse the worst of Bush's executive orders. To hear a list of initiatives he'd be taking, a plan for rescuing and redeeming America.
posted by orthogonality at 9:32 AM on January 20, 2009 [36 favorites]


oh, this poor woman.
posted by felix grundy at 9:32 AM on January 20, 2009


I'm starting the conspiracy here. Obama isn't President because the oath wasn't administered correctly.
posted by humanfont at 9:32 AM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


Now what??
posted by Xurando at 9:33 AM on January 20, 2009


Our long national nightmare is over.

I think it was how the poem was read, rather than the poem itself. But yeah, sheesh.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:34 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


He shoulda worn a hat. He could have single-handedly revived the hat industry.
posted by fixedgear at 9:34 AM on January 20, 2009 [26 favorites]


I was watching the CNN.com video stream and it just completely crapped out right around the time Obama started speaking. So I left the herky-jerky video going and dialed up the CNN audio stream which worked well.

I wonder what the final numbers will be for how many people watched this online. Didn't CNN say how many people were watching and how many Facebook messages were flying back and forth at various points?

(Now I'm listening to the poet, very surprised that they put her up after Obama, not before!)
posted by Jaybo at 9:34 AM on January 20, 2009


Dear God, what a crappy poem.

Yeah, it didn't even rhyme!
posted by crossoverman at 9:34 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Whats awesome is that whitehouse.gov does NOT have the back-patting they posted just a while ago, as seen in this metafilter thread.

Thank the lord...this administration is ALL about wiping out the krap from the past administration...ASAP! Jeez...I mean he JUST got inaugurated, and the website has changed!

I'm freaking impressed as an IT kinda guy.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:34 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


He totally should have worn that costume from the Alex Ross illustration.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


That site design looks great.
posted by gsteff at 9:35 AM on January 20, 2009


I imagine that's what everyone heard in their head when they realized they had to gather at Devil's Tower.

For a few minutes, all the world's compasses pointed toward Obama.
posted by unsupervised at 9:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I was really touched to hear him acknowledge that "non-believers" are part of the spirtual make-up of America.

I felt exactly the same way. I actually whispered "yes!" standing in a crowd of co-workers.
posted by papercake at 9:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [13 favorites]


President Obama! President Obama! President Obama!
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


BREAKING: ARETHA FRANKLIN STILL ALIVE

And I too was very heartened to hear the "and unbelievers" in there. I kinda hoped he'd go on to say "gay and straight" but baby steps, baby steps. Actions louder, etc.
posted by DU at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


It has finally happened!
As for the poem...what the what? Is this their way of getting people to slowly disperse? Great crowd control method if that's the case.
posted by reformedjerk at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2009


You say goodbye, and I say hello.

Hello, hello!
posted by bwg at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some of us are at PF BTW
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2009


Good on you mate, don't fuck it up.

/cries single man-tear at the inspirationalness of it all.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Finally.
posted by Merik at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can someone fill those of us in who can't watch what happened with the (now-thrice-referenced) misstep on the oath?
posted by Doofus Magoo at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2009


From Wonkette's live blog:
Rick Warren said “Malia and Sasha” like some Mexican porn narrator.
posted by saul wright at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2009 [22 favorites]


From Yahoo News:

Separated by a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inaugural, Roberts asked Obama: "Are you prepared to take the oath senator?"
Obama indicated he was, and Roberts started reciting — and Obama repeating — the 35-word oath that is prescribed by the Constitution.
But at one point early on, Obama paused, as if grasping for the next words. Roberts helped him over the brief awkward moment, repeating a few words to get Obama back on track.



No. Roberts got his lines wrong, and Obama paused to give him a chance to correct himself.
Interestingly, Obama voted against the appointment of Roberts.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2009 [55 favorites]


So I left the herky-jerky video going and dialed up the CNN audio stream which worked well.

Streaming public radio (MPBN!) + herky jerky flash video stream from the NY Times here. All I can say is the internet is good, but I give thanks for the Radio, which never fails me.
posted by anastasiav at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Although really what third-party content is there on whitehouse.gov? Like that page says, stuff the government puts out is public-domain.
posted by smackfu at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2009


As an atheist I sincerely say, "Amen."
posted by bardic at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


Okay, I didn't cry until now but Rev. Lowry did it.
posted by chihiro at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


!

Also, full text of the speech is now up at NYTimes.
posted by Chionophilia at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2009


SO who wants to sing with me?
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Started off weak

I'd disagree there, bardic. The past decade, for a variety of reasons, has left me extremely cynical, especially about politics. I'm not proud of it, but I was ready to write off today as empty pageantry and more of the same in a new wrapper. The beginning of he's speech seemed to speak directly to that, which gave me a glimmer of hope.
posted by jonmc at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm freaking impressed as an IT kinda guy.

Did anyone notice whether they did a DNS or content switch?
posted by odinsdream at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2009


'... Yellow can be mellow, the red man can get ahead, man'? WTF?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Bush looks like he's dying.
posted by Xurando at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


smackfu; I'm just happy about the Creative Commons license being mentioned at all, honestly.
posted by odinsdream at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2009


My random thought about the inauguration:

Rosalynn Carter: How fabulous does she look?

The Elder Bush and Barbara: Wow, George finally looks as old as Barbara. What's up with the purple scarves everywhere?

Look at all those damn people!

Hillary: Smart enough to wear pants when it's 30 degrees outside. Go, smart lady! (I mean, seriously...it's frozen out there...that's no weather for stockings.)

Do you think the giant pink fuzzy thing leading the Obama girls is secret service?

Laura Bush....so glad I never have to see your pinched face and dead eyes on national TV again. I only wish you weren't moving to my hometown. Dallas has enough stupid, we don't need to import it.

Mrs. Cheney...she looks so normal to be married to such evil.


Dear lord, listen to that crowd shouting for Obama.

Michelle is so gorgeous, but I can't tell if the dress is just cut wrong, or if she's got a little preggie puff going. Could we have a baby coming in the White House? I think Jackie Kennedy was the last First Lady to give birth.

Cheney: How bout we get all French Revolution about the place and use a catapult to launch Cheney into the crowd?

Ah George...so glad to see you leaving, you smirking, drunken, idiot. Please reconsider coming to Dallas and instead go with Cheney to an undisclosed location.

Oh Biden...Can I call you Joe?


Erm...how could you screw up the swearing of the oath? I mean, really...as fantastic an orator as you are, you couldn't have memorized the oath?

Obama...Obama...Obama!
posted by dejah420 at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I kinda hoped he'd go on to say "gay and straight" but baby steps, baby steps.

He said that in his election victory speech. You consider that a baby step toward saying it in the inaugural?!
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I want that closing benediction guy to be my preacher. He talks like he's earned the right.

When brown can stick around, when yella can be mellow!!!!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]




hal_c_on - whitehouse.gov is STILL running IIS. So it hasn't changed enough for me to be fully impressed yet, but it's one hell of a start.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009


Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world

wow! thanks
posted by infini at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009


That stinks.

I've been watching at bbc.co.uk all morning with nary a problem.
posted by chihiro at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009


IT IS STILL NOT TOO LATE TO BET ME LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY THAT BU$HITLER WILL STAGE A COUP AND BECOME EL PRESIDENTE FOR LIFE.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, Obama voted against the appointment of Roberts.

I think it was the first time a Justice has administered the oath to someone who voted against him.
It was clearly revenge.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Amen!
posted by anastasiav at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009


I liked he mentioned Hindus btw ;p
posted by infini at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009


like some Mexican porn narrator.

So that wasn't just me? That guy gives me the sweaty creeps.

Also, I just got a package in the mail.

/opens it

A copy of the Qu'ran signed by Karl Marx! Finally, the Muslim Worker's Paradise is here!
posted by DU at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


Erm...how could you screw up the swearing of the oath? I mean, really...as fantastic an orator as you are, you couldn't have memorized the oath?

Obama didn't fuck it up. Roberts fucked it up. Probably just to be a dick.
posted by enn at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2009 [39 favorites]


They all look very cold.
posted by merelyglib at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently years of watching sports have conditioned me to expecting the National Anthem to be followed by a flyover.
posted by smackfu at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


Joseph Lowry's benediction stomped all over Rick Warren's convocation. I'm a non-believer, and I was inspired by that.
posted by chimaera at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009 [17 favorites]


Congratulations everyone. Carry on.
posted by theCroft at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009


Yeesh. C-Span is getting nailed right now. I think I'm not the only expat trying to get a glimpse of my fantastic new president.
posted by bardic at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009


You know how Obama stumbled on the Oath? Chief Justice Roberts caused that, and probably on purpose.

He mixed up the position of "faithfully" in the oath (and another word? I forget), and messed up the normal flow a bit. The reason I suspect it was on purpose is that the US Constitution clearly states that:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Essentially, as debated on metafilter on an earlier thread, one cannot execute as president without reciting the oath word-for-word. Obama voted against the supreme court nomination of Roberts, and this is probably he way of getting back at him. It couldn't have een that hard to read it correctly, he was reading it off a sheet of paper! This was probably to create illegitimacy in the president, but Oama, the constitutional scholar that he is, caught it and gave him a "WTF" look.
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009 [55 favorites]


I can't express the combination of feelings I'm experiencing right now: Relief. Hope. Inspiration.

I will say that the only thing that could have been worse than that poem was that corny benediction.

Here's to the future!
posted by trip and a half at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009


Can someone fill those of us in who can't watch what happened with the (now-thrice-referenced) misstep on the oath?
posted by Doofus Magoo at 11:37 AM on January 20


Well, first Roberts addressed Obama as "Senator" then as Roberts proceeded he paused, and when Obama began repeating at the pause Roberts hurriedly continued, which caused Obama to have to stop and repeat the first part of the oath.

Really tacky on Roberts' part.
posted by plexi at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am open and hopeful. I've refused the easy choice of becoming a cynic in the face of the absolute corruption, greed and ingrained incompetence that we've had to deal with over the last eight years. But I will be realistic and critical. I will pay attention.

With that said... Please don't let us down, President Obama.
posted by defenestration at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


though i fall into the unbeliever category.

here's my fear, to dampen all the enthu, that expectation management on a global scale will be a major challenge, issue and/or obstacle

otoh virtue and faith have been known to do wonders

(2 rupees worth over ;p)
posted by infini at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2009


"...let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

You mean like that plane in the Hudson?
posted by mwhybark at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2009


I prefer the 1997 version.
posted by ALongDecember at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2009


Apparently the B key on my keyboard is a little bit wonky today...
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2009


You can't call people wingnuts and then say the Chief Justice screwed up the words on purpose to screw with the new President.
posted by smackfu at 9:43 AM on January 20, 2009 [18 favorites]


They all look very cold.
Not Yoyo Ma.
posted by Xurando at 9:43 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anybody got a video or audio link to Obama's speech? I was on the bus, would like to see/hear it before I read it.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 9:44 AM on January 20, 2009


an lo, it was good.
posted by jerseygirl at 9:44 AM on January 20, 2009


Yay!
posted by caddis at 9:45 AM on January 20, 2009


Did anyone notice that he used the phrase "new age" at least twice in his speech? Was he telegraphing his pliability and docility to his Luciferian overlords?
posted by fleetmouse at 9:45 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


IT IS STILL NOT TOO LATE TO BET ME LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY THAT BU$HITLER WILL STAGE A COUP AND BECOME EL PRESIDENTE FOR LIFE.

LOOK AT ME I'M A RIGHT-WING ATTENTION WHORE
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ah, I stand corrected on the oath part. Load Roberts into the catapult after we launch Cheney, then.
posted by dejah420 at 9:46 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not even -10C. Washingtonians are wimpass punks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:46 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, fuck Diane Sawyer: she's blathering that Obama "needed a prompt" in the middle of taking the oath of office. It was obvious to me that John Roberts screwed up, Obama realized that, and in response then waited for Roberts to realize that and get his (Roberts's) lines right. Obama knew his lines, and didn't need a prompt.
posted by orthogonality at 9:46 AM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


It's a whole new world. You can do anything!
posted by Science! at 9:46 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I used to say it was nearly impossible for people with unusual names (especially when the names are not English or Irish) to be elected president. This notion struck me when Loretta Lynn made the comment about Dukakis, "Why, I can't even pronounce his name!"
So we were stuck with monosyllabic presidents (Bush, Ford) or the phonetically simple (Carter, Clinton). When we got a more complex name it was often originally through the vice presidency (T. Roosevelt, Coolidge). (Eisenhower is an exception to this rule.)
I suspected America was too full of Loretta Lynns to elect any name out of the mainstream.
Congratulations Obama. You did it your way.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:47 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


The nonbeliever shout-out was certainly appreciated.
posted by defenestration at 9:47 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


When brown can stick around, when yella can be mellow!!!!

I thought he was just re-purposing the old water conservation advice:

If it's brown, flush it down
If it's yellow, let it mellow.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:47 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office . . . .

Roberts said execute faithfully, and Obama caught the change and waited for Roberts to correct himself. Kinda important, as the Constitution dictates the oath. Doesn't negate the Presidency, as Obama was officially President as of noon today, regardless of what happened.

Hope this clears things up as to who was at fault.
posted by theroadahead at 9:48 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Bardic: America's back world. I realize we've been asshats for eight years, but please give us one more chance.

We're cool bro, we're cool. *manly hug*.

chihero: I've been watching at bbc.co.uk all morning with nary a problem.

BBC slowed for me during the Biden swearing-in, and crashed completely for Obama. Got it back up for the end of Obama's speech.
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:48 AM on January 20, 2009


I'm Hope Drunk right now. I hope it doesn't turn into a Hope Hangover and then Hope Rage followed by Hope Riots and Hope War.
posted by The Whelk at 9:48 AM on January 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


I can't believe that other inauguration post got deleted. "single-link, oddly timed"? C'mon! How about "LA LA LA HEAD IN SAD DON'T WRECK MY OBAMA BUZZ".
posted by stinkycheese at 9:48 AM on January 20, 2009



From Yahoo News:

But at one point early on, Obama paused, as if grasping for the next words. Roberts helped him over the brief awkward moment, repeating a few words to get Obama back on track.


That was actually an AP article written by Republican hack Mark Sherman.
posted by plexi at 9:48 AM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


Hello new day. It's nice to see you're finally here.
posted by rand at 9:48 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nice to know we have a functional illiterate in charge of the Supreme Court.
posted by bardic at 9:48 AM on January 20, 2009 [14 favorites]


I'm freaking impressed as an IT kinda guy.
The switch-over was planned stagecraft (not that there's anything wrong with it)

I'm more impressed by the overnight Linux backporting. Was mentioning this on Slashdot, but to pull it off a few _days_ (hours?) before D-Day is extremely risky; you'd want to code-freeze well in advance to make sure there are no last minute fuck-ups.

Tech seems to be all about being ballsy in the new Obama administration. :-|
posted by the cydonian at 9:49 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


*reads thread*

so much for hope, back to your regularly scheduled bullshit....
posted by jonmc at 9:49 AM on January 20, 2009


Roberts said “execute the office of President to the United States faithfully,” rather than “faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.” Obama stopped. Roberts said, "faithfully the pres...the office of the President." Obama said "the office of President of the United States faithfully."

He didn't take the oath word for word, if that matters, thanks to Roberts. Ladies and gentlemen, start your conspiracies.


Here's the youtube.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:50 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


any link to the closing benediction? I shut the TV off right after obama's speech cos its the middle of the nite and am the only one awake and watching in the house yada yada
posted by infini at 9:50 AM on January 20, 2009


And I see it was covered. Damn, this is moving fast.

Well, anyway, fuck Roberts.
posted by theroadahead at 9:50 AM on January 20, 2009


Krrrlson writes "IT IS STILL NOT TOO LATE TO BET ME LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY THAT BU$HITLER WILL STAGE A COUP AND BECOME EL PRESIDENTE FOR LIFE."

HI MY NAME IS KKKRLSON, I TAKE NO JOY IN ANYTHING.
posted by orthogonality at 9:51 AM on January 20, 2009


Cheney: How bout we get all French Revolution about the place and use a catapult to launch Cheney into the crowd?

When I saw him in the wheelchair I half expected his arm to start twitching like Dr Strangelove.
posted by daveje at 9:51 AM on January 20, 2009 [27 favorites]


But realize what is happening - on this most historic of days, the Republican idiocy machine is causing a nonissue with a recitation to be the main topic. Sort of like a birth certificate. Or a middle name. Look over there while we rob you of everything.

I can't live the next four years of my life with an ear to that crumbling machine.

It is time to move on.
posted by plexi at 9:51 AM on January 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yes, I noticed the "to" thing and found it odd, and then remembered that I was watching a couple of guys with a lot going on on a big day, and didn't think much of it.
posted by Mister_A at 9:51 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


It is excellent, everything. And he even mentioned nonbelievers.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:51 AM on January 20, 2009


I think the speech was historic, not because of its poetry or lofty rhetoric, but because it represented so unequivocal a break from the policies of the Bush administration and so honest a presentation of the challenges of the next four years. Obama did not say "I am going to fix everything." He said "We as a people have a responsibility to fix this, it's going to take a long time, it is going to be hard work, it is going to require a lot of sacrifices, but we will do it because it is in facing these challenges that we define ourselves as a nation."

It wasn't an uplifting speech, unless, like me, you're sick of equivocating, you're sick of people saying the way to fix things is just to do things the way they have always been done, and you have been waiting for someone to mount a challenge to America to grow the fuck up and take some fucking responsibility, and to demand the same from their government. If that was the speech you've been waiting to hear, this was huge.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:52 AM on January 20, 2009 [34 favorites]


President Barack Hussein Obama... Fuckin’ A.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:52 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, ten minutes into this new presidency I haven't received either a blowjob or a jetpack.

WTF OBAMA!??!!!11!
posted by bardic at 9:53 AM on January 20, 2009 [16 favorites]


"the scene is best described as awfully noisy"
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on January 20, 2009


I just overheard on the TV in the next room that Bush is "now a private citizen"... Boy did hearing that make me happy.
The U.S. just got the best Brazilian in history.
posted by Ziggurat at 9:53 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


www.isobamapresident.com has updated as well.
posted by Hlewagast at 9:53 AM on January 20, 2009


It's been a long, long time coming
but I know a change has come
posted by Afroblanco at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd give my right arm to work for his IT operation. I bet there was someone with their finger over the enter key to make the switch as the oath was sworn.

No rash of pardons from Bush though?
posted by idb at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009


Nice clean code btw, which isn't always the case with ASP.NET, especially when using ASP.NET Ajax.
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009


He actually mentioned data and statistics in the inaugural speech!
posted by jasper411 at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Good Luck, America. And congratulations. You did good. finally
posted by mr.marx at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009


I love how Drudge changed 'Obama flubs oath of office' to 'Obama and Roberts flub oath of office.'...
posted by troybob at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are now two Former President Bushes.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009


Ah! Obama just put the trash on the helicopter.
posted by orthogonality at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


You hit the nail on the head Astro Zombie. It was refreshing, to say the least–this was the opposite of being told to fight terrorism by going to Macy's.
posted by Mister_A at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I can't believe that other inauguration post got deleted.

I can't believe this one is being allowed to remain. A single link to whitehouse.gov?

Of course, my last post pointing out the lameness of this thread got deleted - so this one probably will as well.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:56 AM on January 20, 2009


And it's kind of oddly timed, don't you think?
posted by stinkycheese at 9:56 AM on January 20, 2009


But I really wanted to hear that he'd be signing executive orders today to reverse the worst of Bush's executive orders. To hear a list of initiatives he'd be taking, a plan for rescuing and redeeming America.

The dude has only been CAPABLE of signing executive orders since noon. He has a jam-packed schedule for the rest of the day.

For God's sake, he's only just become president less than an hour ago, can't people cut him SOME slack to do things like catch his breath, set up his voicemail, find where the copying machine is...?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:56 AM on January 20, 2009 [15 favorites]


I haven't seen this many white people watching a black guy on TV since the OJ trial!

Zing!
posted by fungible at 9:57 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


The speech felt good. *hugs everybody, is glad the nightmare is over*
posted by keijo at 9:57 AM on January 20, 2009


I just checked my email – my stimulus payment is not in there! OBAMA RECESSION ENTERS SECOND HOUR!!!
posted by Mister_A at 9:58 AM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


Obama doesn't need slack. He speaks and there is voicemail. He responds and there is a network backbone. He lays hands upon a paper and there are copies. Admittedly this causes problems in the office, but with proper gloves everything works out fine.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


I cried in my cubicle watching this. But for joy, not sorrow.
posted by tommasz at 9:59 AM on January 20, 2009


The Bush era is over.

We made it.

We fucking made it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:59 AM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes we can!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:59 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


America, Fuck Yeah
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:00 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I loved the shot on CNN of the Obamas and the Bidens standing on the steps waving goodbye as the Bushes took off in the helicopter.
posted by octothorpe at 10:00 AM on January 20, 2009


Here in the UK we have been watching with tears in our eyes and hope in our hearts that the USA will fulfill its self-proclaimed manifest destiny. Being a member of Metfilter has made me believe it is possible. I didn't before.

I loved the fact that the John Williams (original) compostion was based on a traditional Gaelic air (in English I know it as Lord of the Dance, anyone?) I also loved the last jive about Black, Brown, Yellow and White.

Wow for the outfit of the First Lady, boy did she stand out in a good sense, "hey I'm going to bling this, my husband is now the President!" The girls looked and behaved as I would expect from their incerdible behaviour during the campaign. There were a few times in the BBC coverage where they clearly said things to him but I couldn't catch it. Again, anyone?

But I was really struck by how proud and confident Pres Obama was as he walked down through the Capitol building and before he emerged out onto the Platform. I almost felt like he was missing the crook and flail, the double crown of Pharaoh... there was such majesty evident in that progress. Here the BBC suggested it wasthe US equivalent of a coronation but this is the first inaguration where I could see this symbolism. I realise that this is probably anathema to most Americans but believe me in the rest of the globe that regality will stand him in good stead, since it was on merit and not inheritance.

I also noticed the hesitation on the oath and had already, as a linguist, identified that the origin of the fluff was in the feed of the lines rather than the repition. I sincerely hope it was not deliberate on behalf of Roberts but every outgoing regime can have a bloody tailflick I guess.
posted by Wilder at 10:00 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can see just how sharp Obama is by his reaction to Robert's miswording the oath; he knew it better than the Chief Justice. He knew precisely what he was supposed to say, and was waiting for Roberts to get it right. I thought Roberts did correct himself, though, and others here are saying he didn't?
posted by Malor at 10:00 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like the official page for George W. Bush on the new site. The biography gets up to 2001, and then the next seven years are summed up as follows:

President Bush is married to Laura Welch Bush, a former teacher and librarian, and they have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna. The Bush family also includes two dogs, Barney and Miss Beazley, and a cat, Willie.
posted by designbot at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2009 [12 favorites]


I just checked my email – my stimulus payment is not in there!

No, you're looking at it the wrong way! Obama has kept us safe from terrorist attack for over one hour!
posted by troybob at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2009 [13 favorites]


Let's do this thing.
posted by Kikkoman at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]



I was really touched to hear him acknowledge that "non-believers" are part of the spirtual make-up of America.

There were several hundred watching where I work and a big cheer went up. I was surprised by the volume, and pleased to hear it myself.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:03 AM on January 20, 2009


I was in New York when Bush triumphed in 2000. The mood was pretty dour among my friends, but I told them not to worry because America was "too strong to break." Now that America has suffered from multiple fractures, many of them critical, I'm hoping that the next four years will show that the U.S. is, in fact, "too strong to be kept down for long."

Congratulations to the new president, and best of luck!
posted by Ljubljana at 10:03 AM on January 20, 2009


There were a few times in the BBC coverage where they clearly said things to him but I couldn't catch it. Again, anyone?

I think the concensus on one of them is that after his address, his older daughter said "That was a pretty good speech, Dad."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey you're right Troybob! Even if this rate of terrorist attacks doubles, it will be literally infinitely better than under Bush!
posted by Mister_A at 10:03 AM on January 20, 2009


Yes, I noticed the "to" thing and found it odd, and then remembered that I was watching a couple of guys with a lot going on on a big day, and didn't think much of it.

The Internet may not be the right place for you.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:03 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I wouldn't usually do this, but somehow these lyrics seem to fit the occasion (a little hippie-ish, but too bad):

Long Time Gone - Crosby, Stills & Nash

It's been a long time comin'
It's goin' to be a Long Time Gone.
And it appears to be a long,
appears to be a long,
appears to be a long
time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn.

Turn, turn any corner.
Hear, you must hear what the people say.
You know there's something that's goin' on around here,
the surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of day.
And it appears to be a long,
appears to be a long,
appears to be a long
time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn.

Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness,
you got to speak your mind,
if you dare.
But don't no don't now try to get yourself elected
If you do you had better cut your hair.
`Cause it appears to be a long,
appears to be a long,
appears to be a long,
Time, such a long long long long time before the dawn.

It's been a long time comin'
It's goin' to be a long time gone.
But you know,
The darkest hour is always
Always just before the dawn.
And it appears to be a long, appears to be a long,
appears to be a long
Time before the dawn.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:04 AM on January 20, 2009


Roberts said execute faithfully, and Obama caught the change and waited for Roberts to correct himself. Kinda important, as the Constitution dictates the oath. Doesn't negate the Presidency, as Obama was officially President as of noon today, regardless of what happened.

YOU SEE AMERICA, this is what happens when we elect a CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR.
posted by Mikey-San at 10:04 AM on January 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


Wilder-- I heard one of the girls tell him after he had taken the oath, "you're the president now, dad." Someone else said one of them told him he gave a good speech.
posted by shmurley at 10:04 AM on January 20, 2009


I heard Michelle say "LOL Roberts".
posted by Mister_A at 10:05 AM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


Count me among the grateful that Obama mentioned the non-believers.

I may be agnostic, but I do believe in us.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:06 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Onion: Bush Dies Peacefully In His Sleep
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:07 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I suspected America was too full of Loretta Lynns to elect any name out of the mainstream.

Same. But as Obama said, America is the hope that "the skinny kid with the funny name has a place for him, too."

As a fellow skinny kid with a funny name, I found this gratifying.
posted by deanc at 10:07 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Congratulations, Mr. President. You have my axe!

Congratulations America. You elected an adult.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 10:07 AM on January 20, 2009 [14 favorites]


"...and we will return science to its rightful place..."

SCIENCE! HECK YEAH!

Science and diplomacy and unbelievers! Whatever happens, at least I got to be happy about a President for like the first time ever.
posted by Scattercat at 10:07 AM on January 20, 2009 [15 favorites]


I loved the fact that the John Williams (original) compostion was based on a traditional Gaelic air (in English I know it as Lord of the Dance, anyone?)

Simple Gifts, a Shaker song.
posted by trip and a half at 10:08 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wilder, Obama's a similer, that look on his face in the hall, that was a poker face.
posted by bdc34 at 10:08 AM on January 20, 2009


YOU SEE AMERICA, this is what happens when we elect a CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR.

To be precise: a CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR who voted to gut the Fourth Amendment.

Not the kind of CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR I was hoping for.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:09 AM on January 20, 2009


Nothing has changed yet in my day-to-day, but we'll see what happens when I try to travel the world again. All I care about are my visa fees, speed of embassy response and my personal safety. Everything else governmental (outside of the pomp and circumstance of celebrity) exists as cogs that grind bones into flour. Grind on, USA. Grind on.
posted by electronslave at 10:09 AM on January 20, 2009


Dear God, what a crappy poem.

Yeah, it didn't even rhyme!


They really shoulda gone with a nice limerick. Those inaugural limericks are always such crowd pleasers.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Freaking Roberts and trying tactlessly to screw up the PRESIDENT-ELECT's oath. Seriously, Obama should have done it holy roman emperor style. Was it charlemagne who didn't wait for the pope to coronate him, took the crown, and crowned himself?

Yeah, Obama should have not waited for Roberts...and recited the entire oath himself. THAT would have been kickass!
posted by hal_c_on at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course, my last post pointing out the lameness of this thread got deleted - so this one probably will as well.

Dude, that is some lame-ass trolling right there. Sharpen up! Your fellow trolls are ashamed!
posted by mwhybark at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2009


That was an amazing thing to witness, how kind of the crowd to only give muted boos to GWB when he came in.

America FTW!
posted by Wilder at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm still emotional and I'm not American or in the US. I'm somewhat relieved that Bush managed not to start WWIII before this day.
posted by 999 at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2009


'... Yellow can be mellow, the red man can get ahead, man'? WTF?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:39 PM on January 20


I'm with you, that was terrible. Also, I guess it's time for me to begin "embracing what's right." Because I guess I've been doing wrong all this time.
posted by brandman at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whats awesome is that whitehouse.gov does NOT have the back-patting they posted just a while ago

"Page Not Found

"The page you requested wasn't found at this location. The Obama Administration has created a brand new White House website, and it's possible that the page you were looking for has been moved."

Could the transition between administrations be better summed up than with a 404 error?
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:11 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


does anyone know exactly what were the two documents that obama had to sign after the ceremony?
posted by sergeant sandwich at 10:12 AM on January 20, 2009


Mission Accomplished.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:12 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


HAPPY NEW PRESIDENT MOTHER FUCKERS WOOOOOOO.
posted by The Straightener at 10:13 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Everything just feels right. I'm glad that I was able to see him sworn in as President it is a proud day.

Also helicopters are awesome.
posted by lilkeith07 at 10:14 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


All I care about are my visa fees, speed of embassy response and my personal safety.

I see someone who didn't even listen to the speech.
posted by DU at 10:14 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


whitehouse.gov has been completely transformed. We will all embrace this new, sleek aesthetic together, with eyes lifted upwards toward off-white and arms reaching for fonts.
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM on January 20, 2009


There are now two Former President Bushes.

And let's keep it that way!
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:16 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


"...and we will return science to its rightful place..."

I watched the Inauguration in a room full of scientists and scientific staff. That line went over extremely well.
posted by gurple at 10:16 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


oh shit is that jquery
posted by boo_radley at 10:16 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Everything else governmental (outside of the pomp and circumstance of celebrity) exists as cogs that grind bones into flour. Grind on, USA. Grind on.

You just earned yourself a smaller piece of celebration cake, mister.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:16 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


2nding chimaera.

Compared to Rev. Lowery's incredible benediction, Rick Warren's invocation sounded like he wrote it last night at the Holiday Inn Express.
posted by webhund at 10:17 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is fucking awesome. The only thing that would have made it more awesome would be if Obama knocked Cheney (who looked to be pulling a pinochet in that wheelchair) out of his wheel chair and declared that it's Obama time.
posted by chunking express at 10:17 AM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


When I saw him in the wheelchair I half expected his arm to start twitching like Dr Strangelove.

Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that . . . when Cheney was pushed to the steps leading to the seating area I was half hoping for a chair malfunction that would send him head-over-teakettle down the steps . . . no such luck, sad to say.

Cheney's wheelchair-bound exit was, nevertheless, a fitting symbol of his loss of power. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
posted by rdone at 10:17 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I also love all the different spellings that they put in the meta tag of the new whitehouse.gov


Barck, Barek, Barak, Barrack, Barrak, Obma, Barack
posted by lilkeith07 at 10:18 AM on January 20, 2009


Dude, that is some lame-ass trolling right there. Sharpen up! Your fellow trolls are ashamed!

Let's step outside.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:18 AM on January 20, 2009


Why wasn't Darth Vader pushing Cheney's wheelchair?
posted by Mister_A at 10:18 AM on January 20, 2009


The only thing that would have made it more awesome...

would have been if Cheney, with blue lightning bolts coming out of his hands, were thrown off the stage by Bush, whose mask was then pulled off to reveal Karl Rove.
posted by troybob at 10:20 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Was it charlemagne who didn't wait for the pope to coronate him, took the crown, and crowned himself?

Napoleon.
posted by empath at 10:20 AM on January 20, 2009


Joe Beese, you aren't the keeper of the flame. Why can't you just pipe down and let people celebrate? Go make a sandwich or something and stop making an ass of yourself.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:21 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I love LeVar Burton.
posted by piratebowling at 10:22 AM on January 20, 2009 [15 favorites]


Does anyone know where I can find text of the benediction? I keep hearing it was badass but I had to do some work right after the speech.
posted by sperose at 10:22 AM on January 20, 2009


Better yet, go make all of us sandwiches.
posted by rand at 10:22 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I sat with a mostly American crowd in downtown Beijing; CNN on a big screen. Everybody in buoyant mood. Ended up explaining to one guy that I'd never blamed ordinary Americans in the past so he didn't have to tell me he could feel proud of his nation again. Felt a bit like "no, it's me" discussion at a break-up :D Left early before the speech as I thought my dog might want a piss.
posted by Abiezer at 10:23 AM on January 20, 2009


I loved the fact that the John Williams (original) compostion was based on a traditional Gaelic air (in English I know it as Lord of the Dance, anyone?)

Simple Gifts, a Shaker song.


Actually, the John Williams piece was based on, or inspired by (or however you want to put it) Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland which in turn features the use of Simple Gifts. John Williams even introduced the melody in the clarinet as Copland did.
posted by ob at 10:23 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I loved the part about how we would be glad to extend our hand to the conservatives if they would just stop fisting...
posted by troybob at 10:24 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Fuckin' a, America. Fuckin'. A.
posted by Koko at 10:24 AM on January 20, 2009


I second sperose's request and make my own for the second time
posted by infini at 10:25 AM on January 20, 2009


Because of the realities of work, I had to be walking around my building when Obama was giving his speech. At first I was a little sad that I wasn't able to hear the entire thing from beginning to end, but instead I got to walk from department to department seeing everyone gathered around television sets, many of them with tears in their eyes.

In some ways, I think that might be a better memory for me to keep, I didn't get to see him take the office, but I did get to see how powerfully that affected the people around me.
posted by quin at 10:25 AM on January 20, 2009 [17 favorites]


I thought for sure we'd see some Gotham fonts on the new site. Also? It's kind of ballsy to move to a 900px wide layout. I can't imagine the site is usable on a 800x600 display, or one with large fonts.

Yay, out with Bush-era technology! Hope and Change thyself to a post-1995 display forthwith.
posted by Bokononist at 10:26 AM on January 20, 2009


They really shoulda gone with a nice limerick. Those inaugural limericks are always such crowd pleasers.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:10 AM on January 20 [1 favorite +] [!]


A little googling finds plenty, like this one:

There once was a man named Barack
Who flew to the top like a hawk.
This caused disbelief
That a Commander in Chief,
Could actually chew gum and still walk

posted by 445supermag at 10:26 AM on January 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


A funny thought occurred to me – we have George W. Bush to thank for this day.
posted by Mister_A at 10:26 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here's some of the pre-inaguration celebration coverage, including a link to a video of Bishop Gene Robinson's prayer, as recorded from the crowd. Word is, that prayer was considered pre-show, so HBO didn't broadcast it.

Taken from that story: The only saving grace was the President-Elect himself, who mentioned the gay community in his address:
"…As I stand here tonight, what gives me the greatest hope of all is not the stone and marble that surrounds us today, but what fills the spaces in between. It is you - Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there. It is the same thing that gave me hope from the day we began this campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago; a belief that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everyone together - Democrats, Republicans, and Independents; Latino, Asian, and Native American; black and white, gay and straight, disabled and not - then not only would we restore hope and opportunity in places that yearned for both, but maybe, just maybe, we might perfect our union in the process."
posted by filthy light thief at 10:26 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay!
posted by spilon at 10:27 AM on January 20, 2009


Some rightwing nutjob will be filing suit to invalidate the inauguration based on perceived error in 5.. 4.. 3..

Screw any screwups, real or imagined. W. is no longer president. Cheney is out. Barack Obama is President of the United States of America. Can we have at least 1 day of unalloyed hope and joy.
posted by theora55 at 10:27 AM on January 20, 2009


</W.>
posted by sambosambo at 10:27 AM on January 20, 2009 [52 favorites]


Oh, I linked to the wikipedia page without noticing that there's a reference to the John Williams composition at the bottom of the page. Not that wikipedia is the font of all knowledge, but there it is...
posted by ob at 10:27 AM on January 20, 2009


To celebrate this new age, we should (1) put a portrait of Obama on the front page, and (2) bring back the img tag...
posted by troybob at 10:27 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, that was pretty great. The man sure knows how to give a speech. Now it's time to deliver!
posted by graventy at 10:28 AM on January 20, 2009


I caught all of three minutes in a dollar store on a quick break.

But what I caught did not disappoint.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009


brandman writes "'... Yellow can be mellow, the red man can get ahead, man'? WTF?!? posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:39 PM on January 20

"I'm with you, that was terrible."


It's a rhyme that was used in the Civil Rights Movement; Lowry was alluding to that struggle and its grass-roots nature, not just making up a crappy poem.
posted by orthogonality at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009 [12 favorites]


Roberts misinterprets the Constitution pretty much on a daily basis, so that was just business as usual.
posted by naju at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009 [41 favorites]


Allahu Akbar!
posted by matteo at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


So this is the place to be, eh?
posted by gman at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I actually woke up today with a renewed feeling of hope. I just want to jump up and down.

I still couldn't help cursing at the TV when Bush got on the helicopter. Have fun clearing brush asshole.
posted by photoslob at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anybody have video or Rev. Lowery? I missed that part.
posted by billysumday at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009


Cheney was in a wheelchair? Weird. Did he stand up when Obama was given the oath?
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just remember even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.
posted by Sailormom at 10:30 AM on January 20, 2009


We fucking made it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people didn't.


I can't believe the guy I watched severely depressed and drunk as a horse (me, not him) on tv in the middle of the night (in Sweden) kicking ass at the dem convention in 04, actually now has become the president of the US. Metafilter praise aside, I did as matteo think it was wishful thinking. Glad I was wrong.

My change came, and I am no longer depressed. Your change will come now, I hope.

Still drunk though.
posted by mr.marx at 10:31 AM on January 20, 2009


Yikes! Cindy McCain is sitting between John McCain and Rahm Emanuel at the luncheon. It must be a swear-fest!
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:31 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope that helicopter has enough fuel to make it to Guantanamo.
posted by troybob at 10:31 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that . . . when Cheney was pushed to the steps leading to the seating area I was half hoping for a chair malfunction that would send him head-over-teakettle down the steps . . . no such luck, sad to say.

I was kinda hoping that John Goodman was in the crowd...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:32 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Cindy McCain is sitting between John McCain and Rahm Emanuel at the luncheon.

I hope she's not wearing too much makeup!
posted by troybob at 10:32 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Thanks Iowa.
posted by Muddler at 10:33 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]




My friend posits that Cheney intentionally chose a wheelchair so that he wouldn't have to stand for Barack.

For anyone else, that would sound ridiculous. For Cheney, that's about par.
posted by spiderskull at 10:33 AM on January 20, 2009 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: Science, Diplomacy and Unbelievers
posted by ooga_booga at 10:33 AM on January 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yipee!
posted by pointystick at 10:33 AM on January 20, 2009


This shit's been blacked out in Canada. What's everyone on about?
posted by gman at 10:34 AM on January 20, 2009


Great Day or Greatest Day?
posted by MarvinTheCat at 10:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


My friend posits that Cheney intentionally chose a wheelchair so that he wouldn't have to stand for Barack.

Like I said: "This sonofabitch can WALK!!"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was going to make an FPP for this in a little bit but it looks like all the central content will disappear real soon:

Anyway as part of his open or grassroots government shtick the Obama team played with running a few user generated/rated Web 2.0 sort of things, and the popular results as well as the responses or lack thereof are often enough both amusing and saddening:

Open for Questions Round 1 and responses.

Open for Questions Round 2 and responses.

Citizen's Briefing Book, responses spread throughout the front page blog.

Basically, there's a lot of prosecute Bush, do something about wiretaps and surveillance, reform the drug laws, and put in single-payer healthcare talk making it to the top. I'm sure we'll see these topics and others become part of the nation's "official" political debate real soon now.

The one issue where the Obama team actually took a stand, answering "Will you end Don't Ask Don't Tell," with a "Yes... " was followed up in other statements with "... sure we will, one of these days when we get around to it."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:36 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rick Warren, boo. Obama, yay! Crappy poem, boo.

That's my review of the inauguration, for those who like their reviews of monumentally historic events to be summarized in eight words or less.
posted by jamstigator at 10:36 AM on January 20, 2009


Awesome inauguration... but wtf was up with that official po-em? I think Joseph Lowery's riff about the "red man" was much more entertaining and genuine.
posted by benzenedream at 10:36 AM on January 20, 2009


oh, and re: Cheney in a wheelchair, it's hard not to free-associate
posted by matteo at 10:37 AM on January 20, 2009


Didn't anyone other than me like the poem? I thought it was like... a quilt; disjointed pieces that made a whole. I found it quite moving.
posted by adamt at 10:37 AM on January 20, 2009


No. Roberts got his lines wrong, and Obama paused to give him a chance to correct himself.

Yep.
"On CNN, Wolf Blitzer said, "'John Roberts had one job to do today and he sort of screwed up.' Jeffrey Toobin replied, 'I almost fell out of my chair.'"
posted by ericb at 10:37 AM on January 20, 2009 [13 favorites]


A flashback to Rev. Joseph Lowrey 2 years go.

Something CRAZY might happen in America, OH LORD!


Something crazy just did happen, Rev Lowrey, and yes, it's a good crazy.
posted by empath at 10:38 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cheney was in a wheelchair? Weird. Did he stand up when Obama was given the oath?

Yes. And he said "Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!"
posted by Sandor Clegane at 10:38 AM on January 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


I loved the fact that the John Williams (original) compostion was based on a traditional Gaelic air (in English I know it as Lord of the Dance, anyone?)

Simple Gifts, a Shaker song.

Actually, the John Williams piece was based on, or inspired by (or however you want to put it) Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland which in turn features the use of Simple Gifts. John Williams even introduced the melody in the clarinet as Copland did.


Well, the name of the Williams piece is 'Air and Simple Gifts', so...
posted by trip and a half at 10:38 AM on January 20, 2009


.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 10:39 AM on January 20, 2009


Postscript: A real telling bit was that while the actual results for the Open for Questions rounds weren't completely memory holed, as far as I could tell all internal change.gov links leading to them were removed or redirected and I had to dig around other sites for old links to try.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:39 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Merry Christmas one and all!

I wanted to watch live on CNN or even listen on the radio, but I suspect that even if our server wasn't having problems already, our student body trying to watch en masse probably borked it.
posted by bettafish at 10:39 AM on January 20, 2009


For all y'all who don't know the cynical rhyme by which African-Americans from Rev Dr Lowery's day would talk about the racial hierarchy, it was:

If you're white, you're all right;
If you're brown, stick around;
but if you're black, get back!


Courtesy of my (yella, but not so mella) late grandmother

!!Kudos!! to Rev Dr Lowery. He FTFU.
He, aside from Obama, was the best speaker of the day.
posted by droplet at 10:40 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I watched the inauguration at the feet of George Washington, on the steps of Federal Hall, America's first capitol. It was both dizzying and sobering and I am privileged to have been a witness to it. I am proud of my country again, and I still allow myself to hope that this is only the beginning.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:40 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Amazing. Just amazing.
posted by rtha at 10:40 AM on January 20, 2009


Cheney in a wheelchair had me immediately thinking...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:41 AM on January 20, 2009


Didn't anyone other than me like the poem?

I didn't get into this one as much as I did Maya Angelou's On the Pulse of Morning, though I think a lot of people didn't like that one, too.
posted by troybob at 10:41 AM on January 20, 2009


orthogonality writes "Obama knew his lines, and didn't need a prompt."

I correct myself: Roberts screwed up, Obama waits for him to correct it, then Obama goes ahead and repeats Roberts' screwed lines. An inauspicious analogy for the future, and not quite a "I didn't stumble, I'm kissing the earth of the England I will conquer" save.
posted by orthogonality at 10:41 AM on January 20, 2009


Apparently Cheney is in a wheelchair because a door hit him in the ass on the way out.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:41 AM on January 20, 2009 [48 favorites]




Sweet, Optimus! You're like our ambassador!
posted by troybob at 10:42 AM on January 20, 2009


Try and go to senate.gov CNN just noted that they have the recipes listed for today's luncheon. I got the PDF, but now the page is getting hammered* and nothing will load.

*Don't.
posted by Science! at 10:42 AM on January 20, 2009


Or what Sandor Clegane said
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:42 AM on January 20, 2009




I thought the poem was only mostly bad -- with good delivery, it could have been inspiring.

I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt on the delivery, too, though. Everyone up there was speaking very slowly and clearly, probably with strict instructions to do so because of the way the sound would be conveyed to the masses. This poet just wasn't any good at all at that particular type of delivery.
posted by gurple at 10:43 AM on January 20, 2009


For some reason I'm hearing the words: "Chaney in a Wheelchair" to the tune of Morrisey's "Girlfriend in a Coma."
posted by ob at 10:43 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I have little doubt that the sharp-eyed critics who will take him to task over the oath will soon also point out that in the second paragraph, the president revealed he cannot count:

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

And Grover Cleveland was two of them.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:43 AM on January 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


Here's some of the pre-inaguration celebration coverage, including a link to a video of Bishop Gene Robinson's prayer , as recorded from the crowd. Word is, that prayer was considered pre-show, so HBO didn't broadcast it.

Rachel Maddow on the Robinson Flap.

Obama Team Apologies.
posted by ericb at 10:44 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Me/tries to look up... neck cracks.... OW damn I forgot how bright that sun was! Screw it, I'm just happy that, as an American, I can look up to our president again! Is it too early to chant 4 more years?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:44 AM on January 20, 2009


Cheney needed to save his strength for closing the Bailey Building and Loan.
posted by Benjy at 10:45 AM on January 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


As for the poem . . . some poetry is written to be read aloud, some to be read silently. I think this poem works better on the page than orally.
posted by theroadahead at 10:46 AM on January 20, 2009


As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Was it just the BBC that cut to Bush's face as Obama was reading this part?
posted by tomcooke at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to have to wait till day's end to see/hear the whole thing, but what I gather from this thread is that the oath of office was administered by Rowan Atkinson doing his Four Weddings and a Funeral role?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Does anybody have the text of Rev. Lowery's benediction? I sorta kinda love that man all of a sudden.
posted by msali at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2009


The following is a transcript of the inaugural poem recited by Elizabeth Alexander, as provided by CQ transcriptions.

Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.
posted by geos at 10:48 AM on January 20, 2009 [21 favorites]


"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works"

I really liked that bit. I mean, I liked the speech, and there were some wonderful moments in it, about unity, responsibility, the restoration of science, but that line I really liked.

Does it work?

I hope in these next four years, America makes it work.
posted by sandraregina at 10:49 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]




I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but if you have your speakers on you will hear Theme From Shaft playing very quietly in the background.

Damn right.
posted by Johnny Porno at 10:49 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


President Obama's first official act. Proclaiming Jan 20th a "A National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation."
posted by macfly at 10:50 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


It wasn't an uplifting speech, unless, like me, you're sick of equivocating, you're sick of people saying the way to fix things is just to do things the way they have always been done, and you have been waiting for someone to mount a challenge to America to grow the fuck up and take some fucking responsibility, and to demand the same from their government. If that was the speech you've been waiting to hear, this was huge.

Yeah, as I said, I caught a random 3 minute portion and it just this kind of sentiment.

Random 3-minute portion of a speech taking me from skepticism to belief? That's a good speech.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:50 AM on January 20, 2009


@ tomcooke: I don't think it was just the BBC. I was watching it in the U.S. on, I think, MSNBC, and they cut to Bush immediately after that part--just in time for us to see him twitching.

Good riddance doesn't even come close.
posted by chicainthecity at 10:50 AM on January 20, 2009


God, that was a long 8 years.
posted by moonbiter at 10:51 AM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


Obama and Robers should have rehearsed that shit. But oh well. I suppose we'll have to see what the future holds but I'm a lot more optimistic today then I was yesterday. What a relief.
posted by delmoi at 10:51 AM on January 20, 2009


I was up late last night.

Yes we can? OH YES WE DID.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:51 AM on January 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


Lowery's benediction:

"God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand -- true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you're able and you're willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed -- the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

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 back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen!"
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:52 AM on January 20, 2009 [48 favorites]


My God, we have a smoker for a President. What is the world coming to?!
posted by shmegegge at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2009


AYYYYYY-MAAAAAN!
posted by droplet at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2009


Someone explain to me why, on this auspicious day, the DJ is down 185 points. Christ, Wall Street, can't you enjoy anything?
posted by Thistledown at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anecdotal evidence of the importance/interest of this even in far away small cold countries: Swedish papers 1, 2 and 3. And 4.

Seriously, I'm drunk right now. That must mean there is no global warming?
posted by mr.marx at 10:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Imp of the Perverse, which is at work full-time in my mind, was desperately hoping for one or more of the following to occur:

1) Cheney rises from his chair like Nosferatu and Force lightning erupts from his fingertips as he mows down everyone.

BILL CLINTON: Always two there are, a master and an apprentice.

2) OBAMA: So help me *beat, looks into the camera* Allah.

3) They grab Bush and, kicking the podium on its side, try to use it as a makeshift altar:

ROBERTS: Drown our useless things in blood!
PRESS CORPS: Blood! Blood! Blood!
MICHELLE OBAMA: The king is dead; long live the king!

4) OBAMA grabs the FIRST LADY: It's time to ... christen the Oval Office. RAHM, I'm gonna need a couple of cold ones in about an hour and a half. *reaches into RAHM's pocket for a pack of cigarettes and a lighter* And these.

Fade to black, "Sixty Minute Man" by The Dominoes playing

5) A wretched and crazed AL GORE emerges from somewhere under the carpet, reaching for the Lincoln Bible. "MINE! MY PRECIOUSSSS! THEY TRISKSED ME! MINE!"

Instead, aside from Robert's flubbing the oath, everything went smoothly. If you don't count CNN's streams getting hammered during the speech.
posted by adipocere at 10:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [32 favorites]


RedState is so hilarious and by hilarious I mean WHAT: It’s not easy to escape the sense that we’re gaining something that would make George Washington feel very uncomfortable: a constitutional monarch.

Have you even been...I mean...

W.T.F.
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wilder: I loved the fact that the John Williams (original) compostion was based on a traditional Gaelic air (in English I know it as Lord of the Dance, anyone?) I also loved the last jive about Black, Brown, Yellow and White.

YES:

Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.


And perhaps a very inspirational part...

They cut me down and I leapt up high,
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.


While the melody might have been composed by someone else as cited above, the hymn with the same melody is awesome.

It's a great day, God Bless you Barack!!! Let's do this!
posted by JoeXIII007 at 10:55 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


[Krrrlson, BP, cut the shit or take the day off.]
posted by cortex at 10:56 AM on January 20, 2009


Here in the UK we have been watching with tears in our eyes and hope in our hearts that the USA will fulfill its self-proclaimed manifest destiny

Yeah, that reall-- Wait. You what??
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:56 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Damn, that's awesome. Thanks CunningLinguist.
posted by sperose at 10:56 AM on January 20, 2009


It's the Obama depression, Thistledown. Didn't you get the memo?
posted by empath at 10:58 AM on January 20, 2009


@ tomcooke: I don't think it was just the BBC. I was watching it in the U.S. on, I think, MSNBC, and...

THIS ISN'T TIWTTER
posted by delmoi at 10:58 AM on January 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


hope in our hearts that the USA will fulfill its self-proclaimed manifest destiny

>Yeah, that reall-- Wait. You what??


You lock the doors, I'll seal the windows! Someone turn Canada's lights off!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:59 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Obama and Robers should have rehearsed that shit.

It's really quite obvious that Roberts used the wrong lines and Obama noticed and paused waiting for him to fix it, which he failed to do.
posted by odinsdream at 11:00 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


the Republican idiocy machine...

Limbaugh: ‘I Hope Obama Fails’.

Shut up, you fat, drug-addled, irrelevant fucker.
posted by ericb at 11:00 AM on January 20, 2009 [26 favorites]


It's the Obama depression, Thistledown. Didn't you get the memo?

So they're doing this shit on purpose? Damn....
posted by Thistledown at 11:00 AM on January 20, 2009


snif.
posted by liza at 11:00 AM on January 20, 2009


He actually mentioned data and statistics in the inaugural speech!

And SCIENCE. He mentioned SCIENCE!
posted by ericb at 11:02 AM on January 20, 2009 [16 favorites]


I wanted to jump up and clap when Bush got on the helicopter, but I was showing it to my students so I held it in.

So does anybody have this where I can download it for later viewing, as a standalone file? I have an inaugural party tonight and we want to rebroadcast it.

I would check torrents but they're blocked at work.
posted by mecran01 at 11:03 AM on January 20, 2009


This video of the former Air Force One carrying the Bushes off into the distance reminds me of the footage they show when the Space Shuttles take off and head out into space.

If only.
posted by cashman at 11:03 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


not quite a "I didn't stumble, I'm kissing the earth of the England I will conquer" save.

Where's that line from?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:05 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


So did anybody else watch Fox News today?

I almost feel sorry for them.
posted by empath at 11:05 AM on January 20, 2009


My God, we have a smoker for a President. What is the world coming to?!

I cannot say what the future holds for you, nanny-state-lovin', anti-smoking Nazis...but I can say this...

...you'll all be sorry

*lights up*
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:06 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here in the UK we have been watching with tears in our eyes and hope in our hearts that the USA will fulfill its self-proclaimed manifest destiny.

Fine, fine. C'mon, y'all, let's go invade Mexico.

Also: wasn't Lowery's reference to the Big Bill Broonzy song "Black, Brown and White"?

(I recognized the reference, but didn't know the artist until Hugh Janus pointed it out in an inauguration thread on MetaChat, so props and credit to Hugh.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:07 AM on January 20, 2009


The helicopter is actually Marine One - Air Force One is the jet. Can't let the Air Force get all the credit!
posted by macfly at 11:07 AM on January 20, 2009


Was the train Amtrak One? Deep question.
posted by smackfu at 11:07 AM on January 20, 2009


Omg, now can we please talk about how cool Michele's dress/coat was? The color of the dawn, golden and limpid. I love that she sensibly layered, too! And shout out to Aretha, who knows when to compensate with an awesome hat!
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:07 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


(Oops, I mean, WOULD it have been Amtrak One. Since he was not the Prez yet.)
posted by smackfu at 11:08 AM on January 20, 2009


is that jquery

It is. But it's just 1.2.6, not 1.3. Is this change we can believe in?
posted by weston at 11:09 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


So where does Malia Obama fall in the line of succession, because she kicks ass. what an awesome kid.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:11 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks for discussing what caused the oath "misstep". It didn't sound like a conventional stumble to me, but the stuff you've pointed to confirmed my suspicions.

Also, "restore science" to its rightful place = awesome. Up yours, Bush.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:11 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fine, fine. C'mon, y'all, let's go invade Mexico.

Couldn't we just have tacos and not pay, instead?
posted by jonmc at 11:11 AM on January 20, 2009


So Limbaugh hopes Obama fails. I hated Bush, but I don't know that I went as far as hoping he would fail, considering I, among many, must live with the consequences.

But he and his followers should be called on this. It sounds as if they would consider another terrorist attack a gift. These guys seem to love America the same way OJ loves his wife.
posted by troybob at 11:12 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks orthogonality, I didn't know that. Still didn't like it, though.
posted by brandman at 11:12 AM on January 20, 2009


Now I remember what Cheney in a wheelchair reminded me of.
posted by empath at 11:12 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank you, adipocere. That made my day.
posted by Thistledown at 11:13 AM on January 20, 2009


It validates!
posted by cgomez at 11:13 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


not quite a "I didn't stumble, I'm kissing the earth of the England I will conquer" save.

Where's that line from?


I believe that was William of Normandy, October of 1066.
posted by grubi at 11:14 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


My favorite word in the speech was "swill."

Also can someone please introduce Obama's web team to png's?
posted by swift at 11:15 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


So this is, what? Some new Apple thing?
posted by boo_radley at 11:15 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


My God, we have a smoker for a President. What is the world coming to?!

The former first lady is a chain smoker. I'm sure she's showed him all of the places he can sneak a cigarette.
posted by Zambrano at 11:16 AM on January 20, 2009


I loved the fact that the John Williams (original) compostion was based on a traditional Gaelic air (in English I know it as Lord of the Dance, anyone?)

That melody, from the hymn Lord of the Dance (as noted above), is also known as 'Tis a Gift to be Simple (aka Simple Gifts) -- a Shaker tune. American composer Aaron Copland used the melody as a main theme throughout his ballet score Appalachian Spring.

Today we heard John William's arrangement Air and Simple Gifts, performed by Itzhak Perlman (Violin), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Gabriela Montero (Piano), and Anthony McGill (Clarinet) -- video [04:16].

BTW -- Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and Lincoln Portrait (with narration by Tom Hanks) were performed on Sunday at the We Are One concert at the Lincoln Memorial.
posted by ericb at 11:17 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Every time I see the Obama kids I'm just amazed. My two oldest boys are the same age and I know what a battle it can sometimes be to keep them killing each other for an hour, let alone behaving so completely perfectly.
posted by DU at 11:18 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah thanks, grubi.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:18 AM on January 20, 2009


I love how Drudge changed 'Obama flubs oath of office' to 'Obama and Roberts flub oath of office.'...

Actually I think that's accurate. Obama jumped the gun on the first line, starting to repeat "I Barack Obama" before Roberts said "do solemnly swear," and Obama had to repeat himself to get the whole line in. Then Roberts flubbed the next line. I felt sorry for both of them (and Michelle, standing behind--ack!!). But oh well, it was all beautiful nevertheless.
posted by torticat at 11:19 AM on January 20, 2009


So, this summer, after I get a job and get my finances back in order, anyone care to join me down by the gulf for some inaugural luncheon seafood stew? The recipe is making my mouth water.
posted by robtf3 at 11:19 AM on January 20, 2009


Thanks for clearing up that Yellow/Red thing, orthogonality.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:20 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, Michele Obama is a beautiful woman. The dress, not so much.

I thought W looked like a man heading to his own execution, as he walked through the capital on his way to the inauguration. I hoped that was the case. Still, his flight to Texas can be diverted, on Presidential Orders, from President Obama.

I picked up very clearly, President Obama wanted to get to his office ASAP, after the oath. He wants to work.
posted by Goofyy at 11:20 AM on January 20, 2009




The new President's first 100 minutes in office, according to Mad Magazine.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:21 AM on January 20, 2009


May Dick Cheney's location never be disclosed again.
posted by Flunkie at 11:22 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


cashman writes "This video of the former Air Force One carrying the Bushes off into the distance reminds me of the footage they show when the Space Shuttles take off and head out into space."

Any way to track Dumbass's journey home?

And fuck, why didn't he take those asshat Republican "pundits" with him? Same idiots and tired Clinton re-treads "interpreting" the news on CNN.
posted by orthogonality at 11:22 AM on January 20, 2009


Flunkie writes "May Dick Cheney's location never be disclosed again."

May he fellate his Dark Master in Hell.
posted by orthogonality at 11:23 AM on January 20, 2009


Also can someone please introduce Obama's web team to png's?

Does it really matter? Their JPGs look fine.
posted by smackfu at 11:24 AM on January 20, 2009


TUrned on as they just sat down to lunch. Seating order- Mr O, Mrs O, Ms Pelosi, unknown gentleman presumably Mr Pelosi. So Mr Obama plumps himself down without so much as a glance at the Mrs. standing at his side. Mr. Pelosi, who has pulled out the chair for Mrs. Pelosi, looks over to see Mrs. Obama still standing there, still ignored by her now seated husband, and immediately moves over to pull out her chair for her.

It's the little things that are so telling.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:24 AM on January 20, 2009


Actually I think that's accurate.

Obama jumped the gun on the first line because Roberts inserted a pause at that point; I'm guessing that it had to do with the feedback/delay/echo issues with speaking on stage in front of a huge crowd. But I thought screwing up the order of the words seemed more nefarious for someone accustomed to public speaking. Were he to come out and cop to screwing it up I'd be more charitable, but something tells me he'll let his conservative blow buddies in the media have fun with it.
posted by troybob at 11:25 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or what ob said!
posted by ericb at 11:25 AM on January 20, 2009


"The robots.txt file on the newly-updated White House website contains two lines:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /includes/

Under the Bush administration, the list of disallowed assets grew to 2,319."


Via Matt Langer's tumblr.
posted by nthdegx at 11:25 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


grin :D
posted by lunit at 11:25 AM on January 20, 2009


I know what a battle it can sometimes be to keep them killing each other for an hour

Two new Yorkshiremen in the making.
posted by mr.marx at 11:26 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Congratulations America! You done good!
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:27 AM on January 20, 2009


So did anybody else watch Fox News today?

I had Fox News on briefly around noon. One peroxide bimbo "journalist" was standing in a throng of Obama supporters literally reporting that "she and her co-anchor were having an argument about whether or not someone would actually want to stand out here in the cold after Obama and Bush left!" then she goes into "I can't believe these people are still here chanting? Can you believe these people?"

Yes. Yes we can.
posted by plexi at 11:29 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]




Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


Essentially, as debated on metafilter on an earlier thread, one cannot execute as president without reciting the oath word-for-word. Obama voted against the supreme court nomination of Roberts, and this is probably he way of getting back at him. It couldn't have een that hard to read it correctly, he was reading it off a sheet of paper! This was probably to create illegitimacy in the president, but Oama, the constitutional scholar that he is, caught it and gave him a "WTF" look.


so then what does it mean that Obama, after pausing for correction, proceeded to recite the oath the way Roberts mistakenly recited it? As I see it, he was likely flustered after Roberts both recited the oath incorrectly AND ran over Obama saying "I, Barack Obama" at first. I'm just wondering, though, what this means legally. I can't imagine that any congress in the world would actually support the idea that this illegitamizes his inauguration.
posted by shmegegge at 11:31 AM on January 20, 2009


I was watching the online msnbc coverage of the inauguration and when Executive 1 (the helicopter Bush was in) took off, the crowd starting singing "na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na hey, hey, hey, goodbye." Awesome.

Also, here is a link to Rev. Lowrey's prayer on youtube. As always, don't read the comments.
posted by nooneyouknow at 11:32 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


“I'm hoping that the next four years will show that the U.S. is, in fact, "too strong to be kept down for long."”

Everyone falls. It’s whether you get back up.

“Why wasn't Darth Vader pushing Cheney's wheelchair?”

Because Dick Cheney is a fictional character.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:34 AM on January 20, 2009


Oh, no, my bad. I meant to say, George Bush is a fictional president.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:35 AM on January 20, 2009


Gah, ‘was fictional’ I mean.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


“and Obama had to repeat himself to get the whole line in. Then Roberts flubbed the next line. I felt sorry for both of them”

Of course Obama was skipping ahead, he’s got shit to do.
Roberts isn’t used to that. A lot of folks are going to have to snap out of the short bus world.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


does anyone know exactly what were the two documents that obama had to sign after the ceremony?

He officially nominates his cabinet and appoints temporary agency heads. BTW, when Reagan did this, he also signed a federal hiring freeze.
posted by smackfu at 11:35 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


[Wasn't kidding there, Krrrlson.]
posted by cortex at 11:36 AM on January 20, 2009


droplet, thanks very much for quoting the old saying about racial hierarchy that inspired Dr Lowery's closing rhyme. Knowing that makes his humour even more pointed. What beautiful composition and delivery.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:38 AM on January 20, 2009


goddamn it I love America
posted by Damn That Television at 11:38 AM on January 20, 2009


Here's what I understand:

A Marine Corps aircraft carrying the President is called "Marine One".

A civilian aircraft carrying the President is called "Executive One".

How does a heli carrying George W. Bush on Jan 20, 2009 after noon, after Obama's oath get to be called "Executive One"?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:39 AM on January 20, 2009


I can't imagine that any congress in the world would actually support the idea that this illegitamizes his inauguration.

I wonder if Obama hasn't already said it again correctly today in front of a witness just to hedge against this kind of nonsense. There will be more than a few people who didn't give a damn about the Bill of Right for seven years who are suddenly deeply invested in seeing that the oath is taken with all the words in the right order.

If someone sues, claiming that Obama is not really the president, hopefully that will go all the way to the Supreme Court, where Roberts will have to recuse himself while the other eight spend a couple of minutes debating whether his blunder has any consequences. It would be kind of fun to see Limbaugh v. Obama.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:40 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brilliant speech, and I'm regretting not being able to have caught a live broadcast as I suspect it will be one of those resonating moments that people remember for a long time to come.
I'm a Brit, but this is the first time *ever* that I can honestly say that right now, I wouldn't be ashamed to be American - to have an intelligent, eloquent, knowledgeable leader who clearly thinks for himself, and isn't just going to be a puppet (fingers crossed!) must be a wonderful feeling, especially coming from the darkness of recent years.

There's only two regrets that I have:
1) No more Dubya jokes. No more Bushisms. No more Prof. Leibstrom.
2) I was *really* hoping for the first thing that Pres. Obama did after taking the oath to point to GWB and say "Guards - arrest that man!". Sigh. No such luck.

Good luck Obama, good luck America - I really hope that this is the start of a new era in pretty much everything, and sets the bar for other world leaders to try and live up to. *gives Gordon Brown the evil eye*
posted by Chunder at 11:41 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


does anyone know exactly what were the two documents that obama had to sign after the ceremony?

Also this I believe.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:42 AM on January 20, 2009


CNN reports Ted Kennedy collapsed at the Luncheon.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:43 AM on January 20, 2009


BREAKING: Democratic senator has collapsed. Either Senator Byrd or Kennedy collapsed at Inaugural Luncheon.
posted by orthogonality at 11:43 AM on January 20, 2009


I wonder if Obama hasn't already said it again correctly today in front of a witness just to hedge against this kind of nonsense.

Honestly, the Constitution doesn't say HOW you take the Oath. It just says you have to take it. Not a high bar:

"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:"
posted by smackfu at 11:44 AM on January 20, 2009


Ted Kennedy may have collapsed at the luncheon! Or it may have been Sen. Byrd! Eek! Per CNN.
posted by droplet at 11:44 AM on January 20, 2009


Was I the only nerd to notice another mistake in his inaugural address? The President said he was the 44th person to take this oath. This was incorrect.

While he is the 44th president he is in fact only the 43rd person to take the oath. Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th president.

Does anyone else think they administered the oath (correctly) after they got back to the capitol?
posted by Bonzai at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


BREAKING...

CNN is reporting that someone collapsed, and they're throwing out two possible names. This pretty much says it all about the integrity of their reporting these days.
posted by troybob at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


ABC is saying that Senator Kennedy is being taken away by ambulance.
posted by dejah420 at 11:47 AM on January 20, 2009


Klaatu barada nickle something something!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:48 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Presidental Aircraft Callsigns
Air Force One
Army One
Coast Guard One
Marine One
Navy One

and...

Executive One - the call sign designated any civilian aircraft when the President is onboard.
BTW -- National Geographic will be showing a documentary On Board Air Force One this coming Sunday.
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on January 20, 2009




I suspect it will be one of those resonating moments that people remember for a long time to come.

It's been almost 3 hours and I'm still inspired. I can't wait for Citizen Power!

/me stands in wheat field, gazes at horizon
posted by DU at 11:49 AM on January 20, 2009


How does a heli carrying George W. Bush on Jan 20, 2009 after noon, after Obama's oath get to be called "Executive One"?

Shouldn't have benn Executive One - is the news saying that? I had to turn off the feed once the address was over. The helicopter for the President is Marine One. When they departed with ex-president Bush they should have either been a Special Air Mission or their standard Marine call sign. HMX-1 is the Nighthawks but I don't know if they go by that when they're doing VIP missions.
posted by macfly at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2009


Been, dammit! I hate typos.
posted by macfly at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2009


What an amazing thing you have done America. After the years of darkness we need you now to lead us out into the sunshine once again.

Thanks to each and everyone of you.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 11:51 AM on January 20, 2009


Obama just confirmed it was Ted Kennedy.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:52 AM on January 20, 2009


Ted Kennedy has collapsed.
posted by orthogonality at 11:52 AM on January 20, 2009


It was Kennedy, the new President just confirmed.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:53 AM on January 20, 2009


Right after NBC News said it was Robert Byrd.
posted by smackfu at 11:53 AM on January 20, 2009


Thanks for posting the transcript of that poem, geos! I liked it, personally, even the delivery of it.

Rick Warren, on the other hand was a sophomoric, rambly, unpolished & messageless waste of time.

Cheney was monumentally classless for not honoring the guy being sworn in by even troubling himself to stand up for less than one minute. Asshole. Supreme, evil fucking asshole. That helicopter leaving was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

SO happy there's a guy with a brain up there now. He has an equally brainy wife, and his daughters are both adorable - Malia is going to be a beauty, especially.

Onward.
posted by yoga at 11:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love how on CNN, right after Obama confirms that it is Ted Kennedy, they put up a message on the screen "CNN confirms that Ted Kennedy has collapsed".
posted by troybob at 11:54 AM on January 20, 2009


I was struck by how well Kennedy looked earlier. I hope he's okay.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:54 AM on January 20, 2009


odinsdream: Did anyone notice whether they did a DNS or content switch?

Hard to determine, as it's hosted on Akamai. I'd suppose they did switch to new back-end servers along the way. Too bad it's running on ASP.net (per the .aspx extensions).
posted by lodev at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2009


Man, I hope he's okay.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2009


I was afraid, the way he started the sentence, that he was going to announce that Teddy had died. I think it's quite possible that Senator Kennedy has passed away, and they're holding an announcement until a doctor confirms it. Caroline Kennedy looked very distraught. I hope Kennedy is ok, he deserves to see this day...he was a huge reason that it could happen.
posted by dejah420 at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2009


I can't imagine that any congress in the world would actually support the idea that this illegitamizes his inauguration.

Yeah. It's hardly a magic spell, is it? He's president by fact of having won the election. I can recite that oath and not magically become president of the US, because I didn't win the fucking election. If people have a problem with how it was said, he can say it again. Of course, he could say it every morning on national television and it wouldn't satisfy some people.
posted by Jimbob at 11:56 AM on January 20, 2009


The only things that prevented me from blubbering like a mental case right in front of my students are that a) the Series of Tubes was so jammed with viewers that we had only the NPR audio and no video and b) we had time only for the oath, not the speech.

Science! Nonbelievers! Hey, world, America wants to be friends! What's not to love?
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:58 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fox is likely to start reporting that Obama crossed his fingers while taking the oath....
posted by troybob at 11:59 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was afraid, the way he started the sentence, that he was going to announce that Teddy had died. I think it's quite possible that Senator Kennedy has passed away, and they're holding an announcement until a doctor confirms it

They said he was still seizing as they took him away, so if he's dead it happened after he left and they likely wouldn't know.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:59 AM on January 20, 2009


Sincere question: What does "collapse" mean in american media speak? He died? Fainted? Threw up? Had a heart attack?
Wolf Blitzer seemed to start doing an obituary of Robert Bird at the first word of his collapse (which wasn't his) so I assume it means something serious.
posted by mr.marx at 12:00 PM on January 20, 2009


cnn.com just cut away from the prayer and moment of silence for Kennedy.

CNN you suck.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:01 PM on January 20, 2009


They just did a moment of silence for Kennedy.
posted by dejah420 at 12:02 PM on January 20, 2009


Today I sang along with the national anthem for the first time in eight years...and it felt pretty damned good.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:02 PM on January 20, 2009


Sincere question: What does "collapse" mean in american media speak? He died? Fainted? Threw up? Had a heart attack?

Yes. Apparently, it means anything from a hangnail to spontaneous human combustion. Now it seems it was a tag team event: Byrd had a "medical issue," followed by Kennedy having a full-on seizure.

My money's on bad shellfish.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:02 PM on January 20, 2009


What does "collapse" mean in american media speak?

Lost consciousness or fainted. It does not mean died or threw up.
posted by smackfu at 12:03 PM on January 20, 2009


Fox already speculating on air that Obama isn't really prezdint because of the oath mistake and predicting it will end up in court.


Crossing fingers for Kennedy and Byrd.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:03 PM on January 20, 2009


And interestingly enough, he wore what looks like a POW/MIA bracelet on his right hand when he got sworn in. Or maybe it's just interesting to me, since I sometimes wear one, too.
posted by willmize at 12:06 PM on January 20, 2009


In other news, Dick Cheney suddenly up from wheelchair, preparing for Dancing with the Stars.
posted by mr.marx at 12:07 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Probably this, willmize. Can't check video right now, but I'd be surprised if it's a different one.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:10 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


NBC just had video of Kerry, Dodd and Hatch escorting Kennedy's gurney to the ambulance. They seemed concerned but not wringing their hands or anything.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:14 PM on January 20, 2009


ZOMG BUSH JR IS NO LONGER THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA!!!!11!two!!

That just hit me right now. I need to go buy a bottle of wine.

Also: Hang in there, Teddy.
posted by LMGM at 12:16 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


And also: Sanjay Gupta on CNN speculating on the neural health of a man who isn't his patient and whom he has never examined medically. BAD DOCTOR. no surgeon-general for you.
posted by LMGM at 12:17 PM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yo! What about the Buddhists? I know he can't mention the Zoroastrians and the Wiccans and everybody else, but America has more Buddhists than Hindus. Non-believers: good for him.

Elizabeth Alexander is really a good poet. I don't know why she wrote such a lame poem this time around.

Obama's speech: one of the best. Let's hope all his war-mongering Wall-Street-loving appointees don't presage a long national letdown.
posted by kozad at 12:18 PM on January 20, 2009


Fox news is hell of covering Bush's departure. Breaking news: whobama?
posted by boo_radley at 12:20 PM on January 20, 2009


Yo! What about the Buddhists?

Obama figured they'd be pretty chill about the whole thing.
posted by cortex at 12:21 PM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Obama figured they'd be pretty chill about the whole thing.
Not read his Sri Lanka briefing yet.
posted by Abiezer at 12:23 PM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I wasn't expecting a halberdier in the troops that the President reviewed.
posted by Flunkie at 12:24 PM on January 20, 2009


I wasn't expecting a halberdier in the troops that the President reviewed.

Yeah, I noted that too.

I'm wondering (as a hobbyist reenactor) if the colonial company was a dressed-up military unit or if they were a company of Rev war reenactors.
posted by anastasiav at 12:26 PM on January 20, 2009


Fox already speculating on air that Obama isn't really prezdint because of the oath mistake and predicting it will end up in court.

Interestingly the presidential oath is very similar to the oath for Military Officers – the way they prevent any flubs in the spoken oath from counting is by having us sign the oath in addition to saying it. When I was first commissioned my sister said “Hey that sounds a lot like the President’s oath” to which I responded, “That’s because if enough people die, I could be president.”* My dad interjected, “If that many people die, you don’t want to be president!”
*Almost certainly not true, but it sounded good.
posted by macfly at 12:30 PM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


But were they even used in the Revolutionary War in the first place? They were a couple hundred years out of date by that point, I think.
posted by Flunkie at 12:31 PM on January 20, 2009


Elizabeth Alexander is really a good poet.

She was profiled this past Sunday on CBS Sunday Morning. BTW -- Obama selected her, since she is a friend/former colleague from their days together at the University of Chicago.

TIME magazine has a Q&A with her in this week's issue.
posted by ericb at 12:31 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I stand corrected: a Revolutionary War-era halberd
posted by Flunkie at 12:34 PM on January 20, 2009


Apparently, both Byrd and Kennedy had to leave. Byrd apparently fell ill even before Kennedy, but although he was taken away from the event, his office says he is fine. Kennedy appeared to have a seizure and was taken away by ambulance.

I'm watching continuing coverage on both CSPAN and Al Jazeera English via livestation.com, as I thought it might be an interesting perspective.

Good quality, no lag, though the video quality might be a bit better on Al Jazeera. This is probably because the CSPAN stream is a straight copy of their regular stream, which has lower resolution than what LiveStation offers with Al Jazeera English.

Livestation's video is supposed to be streaming p2p, so the more who watch, the merrier.
posted by markkraft at 12:35 PM on January 20, 2009




Getting back to the White House website, I was pretty impressed reading through what is posted about Obama's plans on civil rights. It's like a breath of fresh air after 8 years of choking on exhaust.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 12:36 PM on January 20, 2009


In 1960 I was very young and didn't really understand all the excitement around Kennedy's inauguration (I remember the tv showing the elderly poet in the cold and Kennedy shading his paper).

Today I think young people understand. There is so much they will remember in their later years. This 'moment' is going on and on and on.

I can't get enough of this day. We earned this moment; we paid for it in the pain and anguish of the past eight years. We can finally move on.
posted by Surfurrus at 12:40 PM on January 20, 2009


Sweet, Optimus! You're like our ambassador!
posted by troybob at 10:42 AM on January 20


I should point out that Federal Hall is this Federal Hall, 250 miles from the actual inauguration. There was a giant display and a huge crowd watching it.

And the reference to George Washington referred to the statue, not his reanimated corpse.

posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:41 PM on January 20, 2009


CNN has a Photosynth ting of the swearing in that you can eyeball.
posted by 6am at 12:43 PM on January 20, 2009


Several incoming cabinet members and such have already been confirmed. I am curious about those who have not (about the positions, that is, not the people).

For example, do we currently have a Secretary of State? If so, I assume it is Condi Rice?

And if we do not have a Secretary of State right now, is it because she resigned? Or was dismissed? Or is it that her office is defined as being over upon Bush's term being over, without need of her retiring or being dismissed?
posted by Flunkie at 12:48 PM on January 20, 2009


FWIW:
Sen. Robert C. Byrd's office says the 91-year West Virginian decided to leave an inauguration luncheon after Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was stricken, but not because of any medical problem of his own.

Spokesman Mark Ferrell said that Byrd was sitting at the Capitol luncheon with Sen. Kennedy when the Massachusetts senator took sick.

Ferrell said, "Sen. Byrd did not have a medical issue - he is just fine."

Ferrell added: "Sen. Byrd made the decision to leave the luncheon once Sen. Kennedy was being taken from the room by medical personnel. Sen. Byrd is currently in his own office in the Senate Hart Building and is doing fine, though remains very concerned about his close friend Ted Kennedy."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:49 PM on January 20, 2009


For example, do we currently have a Secretary of State? If so, I assume it is Condi Rice?

And if we do not have a Secretary of State right now, is it because she resigned? Or was dismissed? Or is it that her office is defined as being over upon Bush's term being over, without need of her retiring or being dismissed?


Yes. And sorry for jumping on the hypotheticals/contuinity of gov't OCD bandwagon, but what was with Roberts addressing Obama as "Senator"? He wasn't one at the time, right? It was mentioned briefly upthread but seriously, what gives?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:52 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


("Yes" as in good questions, not answering them)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:53 PM on January 20, 2009


Honestly, who gives a shit about the oath? Like him or not, this is a historic day. Roberts and Obama are both people and can make mistakes. I'm sure the nerves were running high...

No one who's not a wingnut actually thinks it will change the fact that he's "The Eagle" now.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:54 PM on January 20, 2009


Yes. And sorry for jumping on the hypotheticals/contuinity of gov't OCD bandwagon, but what was with Roberts addressing Obama as "Senator"? He wasn't one at the time, right?
No, he was not, but he was an ex-Senator, who are typically referred to as "Senator". Immediately after the oath, Roberts referred to Obama as "Mr. President".
posted by Flunkie at 12:55 PM on January 20, 2009


what was with Roberts addressing Obama as "Senator"?

Good catch! WTF Roberts?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:56 PM on January 20, 2009


Elected officials retain the most recent elected title as a courtesy until another elected title supercedes it. So not just Presidents, but also Governors, Representatives, etc can be called by their elective title even after leaving office. Therefore it was technically correct to call him "Senator" although it was kind of a dis if you ask me. Mr. President-Elect would have been classier.
posted by nax at 12:56 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd is thrilled about Obama.

They have set Barack Obama the mighty task of rebuilding the American economy and leading the recovery of the international economy: a great task for a man I believe to be a great man.
posted by b33j at 12:58 PM on January 20, 2009


Way to be a strict constitutional textualist, Justice Roberts.
posted by ijoshua at 1:00 PM on January 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Let's dance!
posted by droplet at 1:00 PM on January 20, 2009


That CNN photosynth thing is pretty cool. It does kind of appear, if you scroll up to the top of the podium area that you can see one of the snipers probably there to protect the president.
posted by dejah420 at 1:01 PM on January 20, 2009


Damn, I knew that, thanks Flunkie. Makes perfect sense. Apologies for the derail.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:01 PM on January 20, 2009


Therefore it was technically correct to call him "Senator" although it was kind of a dis if you ask me. Mr. President-Elect would have been classier.
I sincerely doubt that it was a "dis". If anything, I bet it was proper.

Audio of Dubya's first oath, in which he is referred to as "Governor". He was not a governor at the time.
posted by Flunkie at 1:02 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's walking down the parade route right now. I'm nervous as hell but he's smiling like a kid.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:06 PM on January 20, 2009


The Obamas are out of the limo...and may I just say, that for this weather, Mrs. Clinton made a much wiser clothing choice? Michelle must be freezing to death, poor thing.
posted by dejah420 at 1:06 PM on January 20, 2009


He's out of his motorcade, and walking the parade route. I don't believe it.
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 1:07 PM on January 20, 2009


I stand corrected, flunkie, but I'd rather hate on Roberts.
posted by nax at 1:10 PM on January 20, 2009


Back in the car. Phew. That was abrupt.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:11 PM on January 20, 2009


He's out of his motorcade, and walking the parade route. I don't believe it.

And he lived trough it. I was having palpitations.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:11 PM on January 20, 2009


GOD BLESS AMERICA!*

*Except California
posted by mazola at 1:14 PM on January 20, 2009


...not his reanimated corpse.

Sorry, Optimus....I read it too fast and thought you meant the Washington Monument, though of course I don't know what the line of sight is from there to festivities. But there's love enough for everybody, so cool that you represented somewhere!
posted by troybob at 1:18 PM on January 20, 2009


You people rock
posted by bonaldi at 1:19 PM on January 20, 2009


You retain your current title until you're sworn in. President-elect isn't a formal title because it is not an office.
posted by Miko at 1:20 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here we go again. At least he and Michelle are being cuddly.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:27 PM on January 20, 2009


Oh lord, they're back out of the limo... I worry.
posted by idest at 1:28 PM on January 20, 2009


Al Roker just yelled out to Obama and Obama yelled back that it was warm. Roker is freaking out all over the place. That almost made it worth the butterflies in my stomach.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:31 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't worry. It'll be fine. And I think it's quite important that the Obamas demonstrate the trust they have in the staff who are tasked with protecting the President.
posted by Miko at 1:32 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


They walk like New Yorkers.



Dow closed under 8k. Uh oh.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:32 PM on January 20, 2009


Honestly, who gives a shit about the oath?

Hell, there are people who are up in arms over the specific name of the document confirming that he was born. When you have people itching for a fight, they'll use anything.

...Honestly, sometimes I wish that all the people who were calling his election/candidacy/etc. invalid because of the exact wording of the oath/the exact nature of his birth certificate/the exact brand name on his underwear would just all flat-out drop the pretense and say, "you know what, fuck it -- we admit it, the real reason we object is that we don't want a black president. Hooray, we're bigots." I mean, it'd still be terrible, but at least they'd be open about their bigotry rather than trying to hide it behind these ridiculous and petty and transparent little excrutiating excuses.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:33 PM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


I think it's great that they were walking outside the limo. This whole thing is about undoing the fear and the ooga booga of the past 8 years. It's a great statement.
posted by cavalier at 1:46 PM on January 20, 2009


Bush taken into federal custody upon touchdown in Midland, Texas. To be sent to the Hague for the initiation of a formal war crimes tribunal.
posted by markkraft at 1:47 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


HOORAY!
I just had to get that out.
posted by orme at 1:47 PM on January 20, 2009


Honestly, sometimes I wish that all the people who were calling his election/candidacy/etc. invalid because of the exact wording of the oath...

Even if he had screwed up the oath royally, it wouldn't matter. He could still take it again, backstage, after the fact. You don't only get one chance to take the oath, and it doesn't have to be on live tv.
posted by crickets at 1:47 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


(Yeah, I know. Wishful thinking.)
posted by markkraft at 1:47 PM on January 20, 2009


Yeah, that's a pretty obnoxious way to link to that story. Which is not about Bush being prosecuted for anything.
posted by chunking express at 1:49 PM on January 20, 2009


It couldn't have een that hard to read it correctly, he was reading it off a sheet of paper!

Actually, he wasn't reading it from paper. Chief Justice Smartypants was reciting it from memory. Faulty memory at that. He has apparently taken responsibility for the flub.
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Talk about a misleading link. I almost had a heart attack out of sheer joy.
posted by lunit at 1:51 PM on January 20, 2009


For months I've thought about what I should do to celebrate the end of the boy king's regime. Looks like this post is the answer. Epic failure of imagination.
posted by wrapper at 1:52 PM on January 20, 2009


Ding Dong! The W's gone. Which old W? The Wicked W!
Ding Dong! The Wicked W's gone.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked W's gone. He's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked W's gone!
posted by caddis at 1:53 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I did a light transcription and on-the-fly Conversation Analysis of this morning's oath, for a Linguistics blog I run at school. Here is a snippet (the transcription) from the post (I'm not going to self-link to the post because I don't know if that's kosher here in this situation):
---
The official 35-word oath is written in Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution as follows:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Here is a shallow transcription of the oath, as stated this morning (delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts to Barack Hussein Obama at 12:00 pm, January 20th, 2009):
  1. Roberts: I, Barack Hussein Obama [do solemnly swear]
  2. Obama: [I, Barack]
  3. Obama: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear.
  4. Roberts: That I will..execute the office of President of the United States faithfully.
  5. Obama: That I will execute... (nods to Roberts)
  6. Roberts: the off– faithfully the Pres– office of President [of the United States.]
  7. Obama: [the office of President] of the United States faithfully.
  8. Roberts: And will to the best of my ability.
  9. Obama: I will to the best of my ability.
  10. Roberts: Preserve, protect, and defend, the constitution of the United States.
  11. Obama: Preserve, protect, and defend, the constitution of the United States.
  12. Roberts: So help you God?
  13. Obama: So help me God.
  14. Roberts: Congratulations Mr. President.
*Brackets "[ ]" represent overlapping speech. Parenthesis represent paralinguistic cues. Periods "." represent pauses. Hyphens "–" represent truncated speech.

The last 4 words "So help me God" are not part of the constitutional oath, and therefore optional. I find this interesting because this is also signaled with a change in deixis by Roberts. He asks Obama "So help you God," rather than "So help me God," signaling a change in style where Roberts is no longer requesting Obama to repeat his words, but rather asking him a direct question.
---
posted by iamkimiam at 1:54 PM on January 20, 2009 [27 favorites]


"Yeah, that's a pretty obnoxious way to link to that story. Which is not about Bush being prosecuted for anything."

Sorry for the big let down.
posted by markkraft at 1:55 PM on January 20, 2009


Even if he had screwed up the oath royally, it wouldn't matter. He could still take it again, backstage, after the fact. You don't only get one chance to take the oath, and it doesn't have to be on live tv.

*nods* Plus, I think I read upthread that he also has to sign it, and presumably that was printed properly so there you go.

No, I'm just frustrated with cases where people glom onto something small like that rather than waiting and seeing what happens. It's people who've already decided they want him out and they're just stalling until they can get something on him:

"He's not a citizen!....no, wait...uh...no, I have it, it's because he messed up the oath!....no? Okay, then, uh...he's....he...oh, I know he accidentally stepped on the puppy's tail!"

It's the scrambling for an excuse rather than having the stones to just say "no real reason, we just don't like him!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:55 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Team Obama-merica: Fuck Yeah!
posted by wowbobwow at 2:04 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


markkraft, you suck for the joyful leap of my heart and then the ensuing sickening thud.
posted by desjardins at 2:09 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ding Dong! The W's gone. Which old W? The Wicked W!

Ding Dong! The Wicked W's gone.
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on January 20, 2009


Simple Gifts: 1848
Appalachian Spring: 1944
Lord of the Dance: 1963

Just saying...it's like Minuet in G major vs. The Toys' "A Lover's Concerto." Of course...the melody to the Star Spangled Banner was written by a Brit, so it all evens out.

Simple Gifts was written by a Mainer. :) Yay state pride.
posted by lampoil at 2:12 PM on January 20, 2009


Dow closed under 8k. Uh oh.
posted by CunningLinguist


Eh, don't freak out, this is just a bunch of profit-taking and reaction to the profit-taking. A crapton of market participants could not shut up about the "Obama market rally" for the past few weeks, and whenever the market participants are that sure, it will always turn out to the opposite. The moment you see it on the front page of USA Today or Time Magazine expecting something in the market, it's pretty reliable to bet against it.

A better measure is the reaction to new news/rumors of the planned economic recovery package plan.
posted by amuseDetachment at 2:17 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's the scrambling for an excuse rather than having the stones to just say "no real reason, we just don't like him!"

Oh, they have a reason. It's because he's a...umm...y'know...a smoker.
posted by dersins at 2:17 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, Barack Obama could go a long way towards convincing me that all the talk about how we need to bring the country together, reach out, and invite Rick Warren to give the main invocation is for real and not just an excuse for backpedaling on any deep change with very little effort.

All he does is call up a few Fox News and other reporters who harp a lot on this misspoken oath bullshit and tell them to come for a specially invited appearance on his weekly Youtube video address. Then, after the main speech, he addresses them and the camera (more eloquently):

"You know I've said that as a nation we should work towards resolving our differences together rather than engage in self-righteous squabbling and pettiness. I intend to address this issue. Now, Mr. Blahblah, on the Blahblahblah News Hour you said, and I quote, 'Obama blah blah not the real president blah blah!' because Mr. Roberts and I flubbed a line in the inauguration, and Mr. C and Ms. D said similar things. I really have to ask you: Are you serious? In my view, the legitimacy of my presidency is conferred by the millions of Americans who voted for me, not how perfectly the oath is delivered. I think the only reason to focus on this stupid, completely unimportant issue is the sort of divisive sensationalist attention-seeking that our country cannot afford right now, and I'll kindly ask you to cut the crap and focus on matters of importance. Now I try to be a fair man, so I made sure I invited you here so that I could speak my piece to the country and you could speak yours."

Camera pans to priceless flustered silence and desperate spinning.

That would be some change I could believe in.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:21 PM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


This was my celebration, 4 years later than I'd hoped to do it.
posted by 6am at 2:29 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


and I'll kindly ask you to cut the crap and focus on matters of importance.

I'd rather he jump straight to this part and skip the rest. He has wars to finish and an economy to fix. If anyone is concerned about him saying the magic words in the correct order then they'll just have to wait.
posted by Gary at 2:41 PM on January 20, 2009


Holy shit. You guys know what this means, right?

It means that our country survived the Bush administration. I have to admit, all tinfoil-hattery aside, I did have my doubts at times.

Not to get all sentimental here, but I guess it just goes to show that it takes more then some penny-ante pissfuck tyrant to bring this country down.

Way to go USA!
posted by Afroblanco at 2:45 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Limbaugh: ‘I Hope Obama Fails’.

He doesn't matter any more.
posted by Mick at 2:48 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Smedleyman: "“ A lot of folks are going to have to snap out of the short bus world."

In the spirit of hope and change: can you please not use "short bus" as an insult?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:49 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Everything's so much better with the internet. In the Inauguration 2009 Flickr pool I found this nifty graphic rendering of the speech.
posted by Miko at 2:52 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


One of my favorite moments was when the Obamas arrived to meet the Bushes for coffee, and we had the CNN stool monkeys yammering on just to keep the audio moving: "And yes, now, the Obamas are having coffee with the Bushes as we speak. Although of course we don't know for certain if it's coffee, it might be tea, or possibly hot chocolate. But this particular phase in the transition is called having coffee, and so blah-dee blah-dee blah."

Also, that poem killed me. Some really, really great poets should simply not read their own material. It kind of clunked along for me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:52 PM on January 20, 2009


I'll actually read the thread, promise, but I wanted to comment on how I watched the inauguration.

I was working today, and the 2 1/2 year old girl I nanny for distinctly didn't want to nap at noon, so I told her we were going to watch the new President. I explained the inauguration as best I could to a two year old:

"Look! Everybody is so happy to have a new President!"
"Oh, now that woman with the big bow on her hat is going to sing a pretty song."
"Shhh. We have to be quiet now. That man has something very important to say."
"Everybody's standing! Let's stand up!"
"Ok, now he's placing his hand on a special book and promising he'll do his best at being President."

She got into it, as much as a 2 1/2 year old can.

It wasn't until an hour later, when I was helping in her in the bathroom - of all things - that I realized that in twenty years, this is really going to mean something to her. That when she becomes an adult, she will be glad to be able to say that she was there for this moment in American History and she saw it, even if her memories of it fade, she'll always have that knowledge.

I almost wish I could have gone to Washington, but I can't think of a better way to share this moment than to share it with that little girl.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:59 PM on January 20, 2009 [24 favorites]


markkraft said: "Bush taken into federal custody upon touchdown in Midland, Texas. To be sent to the Hague for the initiation of a formal war crimes tribunal."

Oh dude...that's just mean....getting my hopes up like that. By the same token, were it true, I might have just exploded with the sudden refill of my lost hopes and faith in the government.
posted by dejah420 at 3:00 PM on January 20, 2009


I guess being a community organizer is sorta like being the mayor of a small town, except you actually become president
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:07 PM on January 20, 2009 [51 favorites]


Currently, at 6:07pm Washington time, that lawnmower brigade from the Illinois is walking by Obama and THERE IS A PINK UNICORN ON A STICK.
posted by LMGM at 3:08 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, did anyone else notice that:

a) when the camera cut away from Obama making his speech, it was usually shots of the crowd, until he started essentially saying "we're not going to sacrifice our principles just to keep us safe" *BAM!* cut to Bush.

b) you could see Bush go "pfft" seconds later. Alright, maybe it wasn't a scoff, but a piece of pork rind caught in his teeth or something.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:09 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


To be sent to the Hague for the initiation of a formal war crimes tribunal.

I wonder if Obama will repeal Bush's Hague Invasion Act?

The new law authorizes the use of military force to liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied country being held by the court, which is located in The Hague.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:11 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


grapefruitmoon-

I stayed at home this morning and watched the whole thing with my 7.5 month old daughter for exactly those reasons.
posted by Big_B at 3:15 PM on January 20, 2009


"It means that our country survived the Bush administration."

Record deficit. Two wars demanding unaffordable government spending when we can least afford it. A real unemployment rate of 12.2%. A possible longterm economic depression tied to an emergent shortage of energy and raw materials. Global warming. The Middle East. Pakistan. Iran. Russia... and what oil price instability could mean to the stability and vaguely democratic aspirations of oil exporting nations facing a collapse in prices.

We're not out of the woods yet.

"There's a lot of ruin in a nation" - Adam Smith

So, is your glass 3/4ths empty or a quarter full?
posted by markkraft at 3:21 PM on January 20, 2009


Yeah, "scoff" assumes that he was both listening and paying attention. I'm going to go with the pork rind theory.
posted by Flunkie at 3:21 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd give my right arm to work for his IT operation. I bet there was someone with their finger over the enter key to make the switch as the oath was sworn.

According to ABC News, the switchover occured moments *before* the oath was sworn. That was their criterion for *when* Obama was *officially* president. And they announced it right as Justice Roberts took the stage, that noon had passed in the East and the website was changed, so he was AT THAT MOMENT President Obama.

(Senator Obama, my tit.)

As to the John Williams song, I know the Simple Gifts song and the Lord of the Dance song... and it definitely sounded like YoYoMa had just proclaimed that Barack Obama is LORD OF THE DANCE.

Was it charlemagne who didn't wait for the pope to coronate him, took the crown, and crowned himself?

It was Napoleon. Unless Charlemagne did it too, but I KNOW it was Napoleon. There's a rather famous painting of it - I believe I stared at it for hours in the Louvre while bored out of my mind with a bunch of German tourists. I know I've stared at long enough on art history slides to be reasonably sure it's by Jacques-Louis David.

My God, we have a smoker for a President. What is the world coming to?!

The world finally resembles GOOD TV. Instead of some kinda sci-fi shit, we've got The West Wing. JED BARTLET, FTW.


Yo! What about the Buddhists?
Obama figured they'd be pretty chill about the whole thing.


As a Buddhist, I'd like to say that none of this, in any way harshed my mellow.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:24 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I kept my girls (almost 6 & 10) home from school until it was over, so I could watch with them. I was not the only parent who was dropping their kids off at school when it was over either. I wouldn't have done it any other way.
posted by susanbeeswax at 3:27 PM on January 20, 2009


"It was Napoleon."

Yes, but not exactly. Pope Pius VII was in attendance during the crowning of Napoleon, and took part in the general ceremonies. Napoleon crowned himself because he wanted to do so.

It's good to be emperor, dammit.
posted by markkraft at 3:31 PM on January 20, 2009




Yo! What about the Buddhists?
Obama figured they'd be pretty chill about the whole thing.


Yeah, I'm fine with being lumped in with the non-believers. Or whatever. I really don't care.

/sits down on zafu
posted by desjardins at 3:33 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


he was AT THAT MOMENT President Obama

Amusingly he was was President but he can't "execute" the office until he says the oath (see: the Constitution). So a President in title only.
posted by smackfu at 3:35 PM on January 20, 2009


According to ABC News, the switchover occured moments *before* the oath was sworn. That was their criterion for *when* Obama was *officially* president. And they announced it right as Justice Roberts took the stage, that noon had passed in the East and the website was changed, so he was AT THAT MOMENT President Obama.


What smackfu says. I saw it on ABC News too, but they were misinterpreting. It's just a website, and the President is not President, until the oath is complete.
posted by Miko at 3:39 PM on January 20, 2009


the President is not President, until the oath is complete

Well, I think that's debatable at best.

AMENDMENT XX
Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.

Section 1.
The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:43 PM on January 20, 2009


Hmmmmmmm...you may be right. Actually I bet you are. Either way though, it wasn't the website going live which made that the case, though ABC News kind of implied that.
posted by Miko at 3:45 PM on January 20, 2009


Hmmmmmmm...you may be right. Actually I bet you are. Either way though, it wasn't the website going live which made that the case, though ABC News kind of implied that.

My understanding of it, watching it, is that the website going live was the SIGN that he was officially President, not the other way around.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:48 PM on January 20, 2009


"Obama gives the hang loose sign"

Oh, come on. Everyone out there knows that's not really the hang loose sign...
posted by markkraft at 3:51 PM on January 20, 2009


On the ABC broadcast, the reference to the website going live was that the transition had officially occurred between Bush and Obama under the amendment. I.E., the fact that Obama's team was now in charge of the website was proof of this transfer having happened. The commentators did say that it was still a matter of debate among some Constitutional scholars whether Obama was officially president after 12 noon, if he hadn't recited the oath yet.
posted by Atreides at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2009


Hell no, he was just asking me to call him.



LOVE the NASA float!
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2009


The two best things I've ever seen in my life back-to-back:

President Barack Obama giving the Inaugural Address, and...

All the doors on the helicopter that escorted George W. Bush away from power closing.

I LOVE MY COUNTRY.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:59 PM on January 20, 2009


Limbaugh: ‘I Hope Obama Fails’.

He doesn't matter any more.


Every year I think I'll never print another batch of Will Kill Rush Limbaugh For Food[SL] shirt, and then he goes and opens his mouth.
posted by nomisxid at 4:00 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


All the doors on the helicopter that escorted George W. Bush away from power closing.


Apparently there was a mass bird flipping at the chopper from the mall.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:03 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


OH yeah, was that back wheel of the chopper really supposed to stay down? Wasn't that weird?
posted by smackfu at 4:05 PM on January 20, 2009


Here on Key West today, I dressed up as funky Uncle Jam and just walked around the island, waving and shaking hands, and greeting everyone with a happy grin and a cheer-filled, "Happy New Year!"

So, from me to you, mefi America and world, Happy New Year! In the words of Kilgore Trout (Hi Kurt!), if this isn't nice, I don't know what is.
posted by humannaire at 4:07 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Hell no, he was just asking me to call him."

Maybe it was Obama Girl... she and Barack could be hookin' up tonight, as they will both be at the Hawaiian Inaugural Ball tonight... and of course, there's their new duet.
posted by markkraft at 4:09 PM on January 20, 2009


Oh Obama Don't Break My Heart
posted by Ira_ at 4:17 PM on January 20, 2009


Oh, no, my bad. I meant to say, George Bush is a fictional president.

Is it true that you always continue to call past presidents "Mr. President"? I thought that was kind of silly, if true, but now I think it presents an excellent opportunity for continued shaming -- either followed by laughter, or a sad, sad shaking of the head.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:27 PM on January 20, 2009


omgadorablesasha!
posted by desjardins at 4:29 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh Obama Don't Break My Heart

Surely you mean "Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Barack"?

(self-link)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:38 PM on January 20, 2009


We'll see, and hope for the best.
posted by winks007 at 4:46 PM on January 20, 2009


Ted Kennedy appears to be doing better according to CNN and is expected to leave the hospital tomorrow.
posted by Gary at 4:57 PM on January 20, 2009


Ah, now caught up in the thread, so my question is moot.

Congratulations everybody. :)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:59 PM on January 20, 2009


I pretty much don't like kids, but Malia and Sasha are completely adorable and watching them today made me smile just a little bit bigger.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:08 PM on January 20, 2009


What was funny was the BBC commentary about Sasha & Malia in the White House (while their parents were on the parade IIRC) and wondering whether they were jumping on the beds. That made my day (among exactly one hundred other things).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:15 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I was watching the online msnbc coverage of the inauguration and when Executive 1 (the helicopter Bush was in) took off, the crowd starting singing "na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na hey, hey, hey, goodbye." Awesome.

Anyone have a link to video of this? My wife (a US ex-pat) weren't willing to go to bed (~4am here) until she'd finally seen the back of that guy. No singing on the version we saw though. :)
posted by adamt at 5:31 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gobama!
posted by quadog at 5:43 PM on January 20, 2009






Nate Silver on the couleur locale in DC:

All of the sudden, as we're just meters away from the station, the conductor announces cheerily: "Sorry, L'Enfant Plaza is now closed. The next stop is Pentagon". So this train full of people, thinking they are heading to L'Efant Plaza so that they can walk over to the Mall, are instead hurtling at 60 MPH toward Virginia, where they very much don't want to be going.

When the train arrives at the Pentagon station, there are huge lines to get up the escalators toward the shuttle buses they have waiting outside. So someone gets the bright idea to begin walking up the down escalator ... and dozens of people start following him. Before long, there are two think columns of people -- black, white, the young, the old, the healthy, the frail -- marching up the down escalator, as couple a police officer looks on haplessly and helplessly. And the people are chanting, quite naturally, "Yes we can!".

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:55 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


He blinded me with science!
posted by bwg at 6:11 PM on January 20, 2009


Crowd boos Bush at inauguration

Boo-urns! Boo-urns!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:13 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


> America's back world... please give us one more chance.

no, bardic. you haven't been paying attention.
those days aRe over.

it's time for you to give the rest of us a chance.
... yes YOU can.

also: congratulations america.
welcome to the real world.
posted by de at 6:16 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a huge relief to have those assholes out of power.

There is still a mountain of wrong left to deal with. I hope the Obama administration is successful in dealing with it all. IMO, it's still pretty touch-and-go as to whether the USA is going to be able to pull out of its tailspin.

I hope the Bush administration is made to pay for their crimes.

And I hope Americans have learned a lesson about the importance of choosing actual qualified, good people for positions of political power. The country, and the rest of the world, really does not need another colossal beat-down like the one we've experienced the past eight years.

Asshole electorate.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:19 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Asshole electorate.

How about you deal with Harper and his buddies, before you call us assholes. Fix your own country, first.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:22 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


A few nits to pick:
The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart…
No, sorry: the success of the US economy has depended on fucking-over third world nations and its own lower-class citizens.
We will not apologize for our way of life…
The American way of life is one of overconsumption, greed, and violence. I suggest there is a helluvalot of apologizing to be made.

Those two things aside, he does go on to explain himself far better later in the speech, and essentially retracts his misstatements by clarifying America's role in its dealings with the greater world.

I hope we start seeing the first world nations work together to regulate the grostesque levels of consumption within themselves, so that third world nations might get a chance to gain a better standard of living.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:32 PM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]




Caption, anyone? I'm too optimistic to snark right now.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:40 PM on January 20, 2009


^^"Your daddy's going to look like me in eight years, Sasha!" *Sasha squeals*
posted by MegoSteve at 6:50 PM on January 20, 2009


Heck yeah. I actually think Sasha won the election for her dad by the way she said "I love you daddy" to the video image of her father when Michelle and the kids came out on the third night of the dem convention.

I love how they seem to be fully acting like kids, not choreographed little accessories. They are becoming princesses *for real,* from the perspective of a little girl. They have every right to be having a freaking blast. And they seem to be.

Just beautiful kids. Just a beautiful day.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:59 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I had work this morning and today, but PBS re-ran the whole shebang around 7 or 8 hours later, which really helped.

Anyway, whatever to the drama and the politics. I was here.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:00 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay! America is awesome again. Fuck yeah!
posted by cazoo at 7:01 PM on January 20, 2009


Caption, anyone?

Sasha: "Mom, why does the scary man's breath smell like Grammy's rum cake?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:08 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Caption, anyone?

"you won't forget that legacy list, will you"
posted by de at 7:15 PM on January 20, 2009


We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

So Jihadist. Love it.
posted by gman at 7:16 PM on January 20, 2009


He inaugurated the shit out of it!
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:17 PM on January 20, 2009


Here's another thing that impressed me about the speech. Ever since Obama was elected, people have been asking about his plans for foreign policy, which he seemed to be steering clear of, instead talking about the economy.

Well, today he articulated a vision for his foreign policy. No specifics yet, but what he detailed is a complete reversal of the Bush years, and a vision of America as a partner in world affairs and a global leader in issues of international social justice and aid. That was an astounding thing to hear after eight years of America being the biggest bully on the block. And the fact that many of these comments were addressed to the Muslim world, not as our enemies, but our future partners, was nothing less than extraordinary.

The more I think about it, the more impressed I am by the speech, in a large part because these were not campaign promises meant to make people happy and then be forgotten. Many of these positions are not going to be popular, especially among those people who think small government, isolationism mixed with a weirdly contradictory neo-Imperialism, deregulation, and greed are our founding principles.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:20 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


ricochet biscuit: "I have little doubt that the sharp-eyed critics who will take him to task over the oath will soon also point out that in the second paragraph, the president revealed he cannot count:

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

And Grover Cleveland was two of them.
"

No, President Obama was just counting Taft twice.

Oooooooooooooooo
posted by internet!Hannah at 7:26 PM on January 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


Heh, bit of a critque of the site over here, which gives an overview though IMHO is more than a little over-picky. Via Slashdot, who are naturally having a tiz over the asp.net thing.
posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on January 20, 2009


Bush didn't issue any last minute pardons. I'm surprised.
posted by bardic at 7:46 PM on January 20, 2009


holy shit you guys i just realized that a liberal black guy named barack hussein obama is president of the united states

also he reads and writes books

holy shit
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:02 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO KNOWS WHAT THE INTERNET IS.

Yay!
posted by mmoncur at 8:10 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Heh, bit of a critque of the site over here, which gives an overview though IMHO is more than a little over-picky. Via Slashdot, who are naturally having a tiz over the asp.net thing.

Best part of the above link is the last line, "Finally, remember that the administration and President Obama were not the ones who wrote the code here."

LOL!
posted by vac2003 at 8:12 PM on January 20, 2009


TO METAFILTER PEOPLE IN SEATTLE:

It's Obama Party Part II.

Cal Anderson Park. NOW.

Heard a ton of noise outside my apartment, searched on twitter. This is waht it looks like now:
http://twitpic.com/15e4o
posted by amuseDetachment at 8:28 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dude's getting a blowjob tonight, that's for damn sure.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:44 PM on January 20, 2009


Monica is back?
posted by caddis at 8:57 PM on January 20, 2009


I love how they seem to be fully acting like kids, not choreographed little accessories. They are becoming princesses *for real,* from the perspective of a little girl. They have every right to be having a freaking blast.

Malia and Sasha -- along with kids of White House employees -- watched the movies "High School Musical III" and "Bolt" while Mom and Dad are/were making appearances at the various Inaugural Balls.
posted by ericb at 8:58 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back from checking Cal Anderson park, it's definitely died down now, wasn't nearly as festive as election night, singing the national anthem was a little forced, less than 100 people there now.
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:00 PM on January 20, 2009


Every time I see or hear the phrase "President Obama," I keep thinking I'm going to wake up.

Nobody pinch me.
posted by oaf at 9:04 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obama took a break from the partying and issued a suspension of the Guantanamo trials as he prepares his decision about the facility.
posted by myopicman at 9:05 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]




See, this one is easy:

Caption, anyone? I'm too optimistic to snark right now.

Dubya: Tell your daddy that...
Sasha: Good riddance, you lousy motherfucker.
Malia: Swirl.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:10 PM on January 20, 2009


> DADDY MAKE THE BAD MAN GO AWAY
posted by Soliloquy at 9:29 PM on January 20, 2009


More on the Roberts *uck-up - there's a reason why Obama startd talking "early" despite Roberts still saying the Oath - the oath is supposed to be recited in small chunks - alwas has:

"I ", "I ", "do solemnly swear", "do solemnly swear", etc...


Roberts just jumps ahead - quickly saying nearly half the oath before stopping... Totally out of tradition - watch bush in '05:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2B8-RME13I
posted by jba at 9:42 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


In a bizarre reversal of all those Americans who claimed they would move to Canada because of Bush/ the possible election of McCain, my (American) dad was finally sworn in as a Canadian citizen, after 30+ years of living in that country as a PR and 5+ years of dealing with his citizenship application, one hour after Obama took his own oath. One could see it as poor timing; I choose to think that Obama really knows how to get things done, even in Canada!

An excellent day of swearings-in, all. Such fun to watch it on campus.

One thing I find really interesting about this whole business is how crowds pronounce his name in the inevitable rhythmic cheering. It's not "o-BA-ma" like it's generally pronounced, but instead "o-ba-MA." What struck me about it is how much it sounds, not just like enthusiasm, but more like a scared child crying for its mother. (This is helped in part by the sound "MA!") Particularly at the inauguration today, it seemed to carry a plaintive air.

Which, to be honest, I think is rather telling (or confirming/representative?) of the psychology of many Americans right now. Nothing we don't already know, of course, but intriguing.

Of course, this is on later reflection, as my main thought process during the event was a high-pitched mental squeal of joy...
posted by ilana at 10:20 PM on January 20, 2009


Yes.
posted by dcams at 10:23 PM on January 20, 2009


Ok, scratch 'short bus.'
(got an autistic cousin. No offense meant. But offhand no concise metaphor for the GWB admin's poverty of intellect comes to mind, much less a better one for expressing both GWB's puerility and singular idiocy. 'Stupid' just ain't enough sometimes)

Here is a shallow transcription of the oath, and the thoughts of the two men (Chief Justice John Roberts and Barack Hussein Obama) at 12:00 pm, January 20th, 2009):

Brackets "[ ]" represent thoughts. Hyphens represent overlapping speech.

1. Roberts: [Don't say the 'N' word. Don't say the 'N' word. Don't say...] I, Barack Hussein Obama -do solemnly swear-

2. Obama: [I, Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.] - I, Barack - [wait, what? he didn't just screw that up, did he?]

3. Obama: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear.

4. Roberts: [What's this n...guy's problem? This is the one job I have today. It's mine.] That I will..execute the office of President of the United States faithfully.

5. Obama: That I will execute... [Oh, c'mon, don't tell me he doesn't know this. Did he get liquored up last night or what? Maybe it's Listerine.] (nods to Roberts)

6. Roberts: the off [FUCK!].. faithfully the Pres [FUCK!] office of President [FUCK! National T.V. FUCK!] -of the United States.

7. Obama: -the office of President- [I really should just do this myself] of the United States faithfully.

8. Roberts: And will to the best of my ability. [Vote against me huh?]

9. Obama: [Finally] I will to the best of my ability. [Let's see Washington had Livingston & Cushing; Adams had Ellsworth; Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Q. Adams, and Jackson had Marshall; Van Buren & Harrison had Taney; Tyler had Cranch; Polk and Taylor had Taney again; but Fillmore got Cranch; then back to Taney with Pierce, Buchanan and Lincoln the first time; Lincoln's second time was Chase who also did Johnson and Grant; then Hayes got Waite twice along with Garfield; Arthur got Brady then Waite again, and again with Cleveland; then Harrison got Fuller, but Cleveland came back with Fuller and so did McKinley and Roosevelt, but Roosevelt had Hazel the first time; and it's Fuller with Taft; Wilson and Harding had White; Coolidge was sworn in by his dad, and then Taft, as was Hoover; Roosevelt had Hughes for three, then Stone; Truman had Stone, I think, then Vinson, and so did Ike; then Earl Warren twice, and once for JFK; Johnson had Hughes and Warren; Nixon had Warren and Burger; Ford, Carter and Reagan had Burger; then it was all Rehnquist. And I get Flappy McStutterpants. Oh, wait, he's started talking again.]

10. Roberts: Preserve, protect, and defend, the [thing in the way] constitution of the United States.

11. Obama: Preserve, protect, and defend, the constitution of the United States. [M_4(n)=1/2n(n^4+1), so for n=1, 2, ..., 1, 17, 123, 514, 1565, 3891, ...]

12. Roberts: So help you God? [Say it. Say 'Allah' you dirty son of a]

13. Obama: So help me God. [Wanted me to say 'Allah', didn't you?]

14. Roberts: Congratulations [Don't say it] Mr. President.

15. Obama: Thank you. [Man, I'm glad I voted against him]
posted by Smedleyman at 11:01 PM on January 20, 2009 [65 favorites]


Roberts clearly says (0:28) "...President to the United States faithfully..."

The "to" is worse, from a legal wording standpoint, than transposing "faithfully".

At this point Obama gives him a little nod, as if to say, "Wanna back up and try that again?"
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:25 PM on January 20, 2009


what was with Roberts addressing Obama as "Senator"?

Thought it was him trying to be all cute and emphasise the sheer awesomeness of him administering a powerful oath; Obama was a senator before the Oath, but a President only after. Of course, Roberts flubbing the oath completely renders all his apparent awesomeness moot, as also the whole shtick of having a time-bound switch-over for presidency (CNN said that the President-Elect becomes the President at noon of Jan 20th with or without an oath).

I find this to be a rather fascinating contrast with how we do things in India; little known fact, but no government in India ever lasted a full five years to the day, even between successful consecutive re-elections. The Election Commission _always_ makes sure the term of a government is a little less than five years, not including caretaker modes. The oath, therefore, becomes rather crucial for us; it was once administered rather dramatically at midnight, without any audience.
posted by the cydonian at 11:46 PM on January 20, 2009


watch bush in '05:

Yeah, no thanks. Once was enough...
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:00 AM on January 21, 2009


Cheney needed to save his strength for closing the Bailey Building and Loan.'

benji beat me to it. And well said! When I first saw Cheney in his wheelchair on NBC, my first thought was the resemblance between him and Mr. Potter in his wheelchair, in the "Wonderful Life" film. I searched Google Images and Yahoo but can't find any pic of Barrymore in the chair, just this. Two crochety, old bastards that seem so much alike. Thanks benji.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:45 AM on January 21, 2009


From Mombasa's Coastweek, a Kenyan view of the inauguration. Not exactly a newspaper of record, but it has a certain homegrown charm.

(posted in full as the site doesn't seem to archive its content)

Millions of Kenyans have gathered in various towns and cities on Tuesday to watch as Barack Obama is being sworn in as America's 44th president and its first African-American leader. Thousands of people braved a scorching sun and swirling dust in Kenya's Kogelo village to celebrate President Obama's inauguration. Emotions ran high and villagers danced to the beat of drums as the village where Obama's father grew up joined the world in witnessing the historic event.

The festivities begun early in the morning in the east African nation as they count down the hours before "their son" becomes the 44th president of the most powerful country in the world. National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende announced that parliament will be adjourning at 17:30 (1430 GMT), about three hours earlier to allow lawmakers join the rest of the world in watching Obama's inauguration ceremony.

Kogelo, the hometown of the father of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, is normally a sleepy village of 5,000, but has become a riot of color and sound.

"I am from Kogelo and this is a happy day. This is an incredible opportunity for us, because a lot of investment will come and already a number of tourists have descended in this tiny village," said 21-year-old Celestine Atieno. "It's already thanks to him we have electricity and water."

Revellers engaged in traditional dances from Obama's Luo tribe as others waved U.S. flags. The tiny village in western Kenya has never slept for the past four days as locals jammed a local school named after President- elect Obama to rehearse about Tuesday's night event.

By 15:00 local time, five bulls, ten goats and 50 chickens had already been slaughtered as some villagers put on the image of Obama on the cloth, worn naughtily around their waists so that when they dance, he appears to be dancing too. Excited villagers sang in praise of President Obama, describing him as "our hero."

The multitudes estimated at over 5,000 were due to spend the night at the school field to watch President Obama's speech live from Washington.

"Today is my happiest day. The waiting is over because God is great," said Milka Atieno, 36.

Scores of men are also sporting traditional dress with some putting on an elaborate feathered head dress and dances with a traditional spear. Several tourists changed their safari plans to be in Kogelo, where the crowd outnumbered the revellers who had gathered for Obama's Nov. 4 election victory against John McCain.

"The atmosphere is so colorful, it's like Christmas has come to Kogelo a second time," said Dominick Omollo, who works in the village.

Obama's step grandmother Sarah and most of the new U.S. president's other close relatives still living in the village are in Washington for the historic inauguration. In major cities across the country, Kenyans will follow the inauguration ceremonies on giant screens placed in strategic places and in entertainment spots. In the coastal town of Malindi, the local brew (Mnazi) went out of stock at the nearby Mbuzi Wengi center.

Residents of Kisumu Ndogo village were in upbeat mood as they waited enthusiastically for the ceremony.

"We are so excited because we know it is Kenya taking over America. Our own Barrack Obama is becoming the most powerful man on earth. Isn't that something worth celebrating?" posed Stephen Ogalo from Watamu village.

In Kisumu, a group of comedians staged a mock inauguration of President Obama. The Big Tyme comedians lined up a team that stood in for Obama, his wife Michele and grandmother Sarah Obama.

Nairobi residents say they are proud of the first black man ever elected president of the United States, and many stop to speak about the man they consider a native son.

"I am happy, I am looking forward to a better kind of world through Obama's presidency," said a woman, Margaret Atieno, who carried her infant child on her back.

posted by Rhaomi at 2:25 AM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


So the people that are in a tizzy about the oath being misspoke and claiming that it invalidates the Presidency are exactly the same people who were totally cool with having a President that wasn't even elected the first time, and elected with compelling evidence of fraud the second time?
posted by Shepherd at 2:45 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everyone, just chill out.
posted by jbickers at 3:02 AM on January 21, 2009


Took a casual survey of the usual right-wing foam-at-the-mouth bloggers (littlegreenfootballs, malkin, etc) and they seem much more restrained, almost ... civil. Almost like grown ups. They've taken on-board these new presidential values despite them being the polar opposite of what they endorsed only days ago. Maybe their ad companies see the mood changing; they're still have the bankers to unite in hate against, at least, I suppose.

What puppy did they get then?
posted by davemee at 4:04 AM on January 21, 2009


Took a casual survey of the usual right-wing foam-at-the-mouth bloggers (littlegreenfootballs, malkin, etc) and they seem much more restrained, almost ... civil. Almost like grown ups.

Go check out worldnetdaily.com. It will restore your faith in the foam.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:18 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Late to the party, haven't managed to watch any of the video yet, but lord, I feel such a relief that the past eight years are just that: past. Yeah, the heaping piles of shit that Bush has left us with are big, and they've got to be dealt with, but we've got someone competent to deal with them. Someone who realizes that science isn't the devil, that agnostics and atheists can be Americans too.

I'm feeling pretty fucking great.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:57 AM on January 21, 2009


One of the best parts of the speech, other than being refreshingly adult, is its total rebuke of W and the republican way of doing business over the last eight years. Every one of their major policy initiatives was called out as being foolish, childish or worse. It's a major FU to all of those folks, but Barack worded it nicely.
posted by caddis at 5:07 AM on January 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Say it with me people,

Rule of Law!
Rule of Law!
Rule of Law!
posted by tommasz at 5:26 AM on January 21, 2009


Echoing Ghidorah, let me just say...whew, it's been a long 8 years. Thank the gods it's over.
posted by snwod at 5:28 AM on January 21, 2009


Here is a shallow transcription of the oath, and the thoughts of the two men

Shit, I'm just grateful Roberts didn't say "execute the President of the United States in his office," which is also probably what he was thinking.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:05 AM on January 21, 2009


I was there and I offer this poem of my own composition for the occasion.

HELLO, WHAT IS UP.
WE HOPE
YOU LIKE AMERICA.
SO WE PUTS OME AMERICA
BACK IN YOUR AMERICA
SO YOU CAN HOPE
WHILE WE HOPE
AMEN
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:17 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would have loved a:

Roberts: So help you god?
Obama: No, I'll be fine, thanks.

But the "non-believers" was a good second.
posted by Skyanth at 6:42 AM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


FTFM.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:18 AM on January 21, 2009


holy shit you guys i just realized that a liberal black guy named barack hussein obama is president of the united states

also he reads and writes books

holy shit


And he collects comic books and watches STAR TREK and knows what "All your base are belong to us" means and -- actually, this last one is more important -- he actually seems to have a mutha-fukkiin' sense of humor.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:27 AM on January 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


And he's smarter than just about all of us.
posted by Artw at 9:27 AM on January 21, 2009




I loved Cheney as an early version of Davros.
posted by juiceCake at 9:56 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Roberts just jumps ahead - quickly saying nearly half the oath before stopping... Totally out of tradition - watch bush in '05:

Actually, 2005 is the year that broke from (recent) tradition. The first line is up until "solemnly swear" and the rest is broken up in various ways.

Bush could manage it in 2001.

Clinton in '97 and '93.

George HW Bush in '89 (he also jumps the gun at the beginning like Obama).

Reagan in '81 and '85.

Carter, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman.

Franklin Roosevelt did the entire thing at once.
posted by Gary at 10:13 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]




It's not "o-BA-ma" like it's generally pronounced, but instead "o-ba-MA." ...like a scared child crying for its mother. (This is helped in part by the sound "MA!") ...
Which, to be honest, I think is rather telling (or confirming/representative?) of the psychology of many Americans right now.


The much more likely explanation: that even cadence has been ground into us by the insistent chants of "USA! USA! USA!" we've been hearing for the last eight years. I for one much prefer the new version.

Though keeping the emphasis on "BA" is much swingier.

If there's psychology involved, it's most likely it's musical thinking, not childish longing.
posted by Miko at 11:06 AM on January 21, 2009


gman: the links to newspapers are from Newseum. For today, you can view the real page (think the link won't work after the 21st as it's the current day's paper), which lets you download frontpages as PDFs to be able to read the text, as well as sort only by Non-USA sources:

Newseum list of Front Page newspapers outside the USA
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:38 AM on January 21, 2009


Can anyone figure out how to download all those front pages at once? I can only make downthemall pull thumbnails from the newseum site.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:02 PM on January 21, 2009


I don't think DTA would work - the thumbnails link to a separate page, not just a larger image.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:11 PM on January 21, 2009


I pronounce it GO BAMA!
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on January 21, 2009


Crimson Tide fan, Artw?
posted by dersins at 12:20 PM on January 21, 2009


I can't claim credit - I have a 2 year old, she feeds me all my best lines. Yesterday was Gobama! Gobama! Gobama! day at our house.
posted by Artw at 12:25 PM on January 21, 2009


My wife and I say GOBAMA! too. Not sure where we heard it first though.
posted by chunking express at 12:32 PM on January 21, 2009


I was just googling around to see if the much-anticipated flood of pardons by Bush for his cronies materialized and I can't get past the wall of opinion. Did he pardon a bunch of people yesterday?
posted by Rumple at 1:00 PM on January 21, 2009


Oh, and Ford's oath for completeness.
posted by Gary at 1:03 PM on January 21, 2009


Seems like he didn't. I am puzzled by this.
posted by Artw at 1:03 PM on January 21, 2009




Looks like he pardoned two texas border agents but no one else noteworthy. Not even Scooter Libby.
posted by Gary at 1:06 PM on January 21, 2009


Just the Lou Dobbs guys then?
posted by Artw at 1:07 PM on January 21, 2009




Looks like he pardoned two texas border agents but no one else noteworthy.

And not quite pardoned, but commuted, which means they get out of jail but still have a felony conviction on their record. And actually still have probation / supervised release.
posted by smackfu at 1:29 PM on January 21, 2009


Well, that’ll keep Dobbs in work then, until the day that the attempted extrajudicial murder of Mexicans is made completely legal.
posted by Artw at 1:39 PM on January 21, 2009






These photos are so fantastic they probably deserve their own FPP.

Man, the Globe's "Big Picture" thing is one of the best things on the web. Put together by a mefite, too.
posted by dersins at 3:15 PM on January 21, 2009


"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency"
posted by Artw at 3:15 PM on January 21, 2009


Wolverines!
posted by homunculus at 3:34 PM on January 21, 2009


CunningLinguist, I saw those photos earlier today and you picked the one that also knocked my socks off. Just, god. Wow.
posted by rtha at 3:36 PM on January 21, 2009


Here are some nice behind the scenes shots, from Time.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:36 PM on January 21, 2009


These photos are so fantastic they probably deserve their own FPP.

Okay. Strolling through those gave me goosebumps and many made me tear up.
posted by ericb at 3:39 PM on January 21, 2009


*Scrolling*
posted by ericb at 3:39 PM on January 21, 2009


Here are some nice behind the scenes shots, from Time.

And here are some from Newsweek.
posted by ericb at 3:40 PM on January 21, 2009


Too bad James Brown is dead; I'd have preferred watching him sing Living in America to Aretha Franklin's performance.

I feel good!
posted by bwg at 3:57 PM on January 21, 2009


US Democracy Server: Patch 44.0
posted by EarBucket at 4:56 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]




But now you can tell conspiracy theorists that he's actually double-president.
posted by Artw at 5:44 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the record for those stilling following this thread Obama re-took the Oath Of Office in The Whitehouse.
posted by vac2003 at 6:04 PM on January 21, 2009


TOCT: You seem unduly wrapped up in symbolism that means almost nothing. None of your suggestions so far seem to have anything to do with policy.
posted by empath at 6:07 PM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seriously, this photo speaks volumes to the difference between the two men: Obama is beautifully composed and the other is Jokey W. McFuckstick.
posted by crossoverman at 6:57 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ants on the sidewalk.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:40 PM on January 21, 2009


I'm somewhere not far behind the people in this picture which was included in the set CunningLinguist linked to earlier. The picture looks like it was taken right to the left of the jumbotron that we were watching the ceremony on. I'd say we were less than 100 feet away from the screen. So close.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:59 PM on January 21, 2009


Here is a picture that I took as we tried to exit the Mall. I think it was my favorite shot of the day. And this is a picture taken from where we were standing for reference.
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:08 PM on January 21, 2009


vac2003 writes "For the record for those stilling following this thread Obama re-took the Oath Of Office in The Whitehouse."

From the article: "The president said he did not have his Bible with him, but that the oath was binding anyway."

Holy crap. Let the drama begin.
posted by mullingitover at 8:14 PM on January 21, 2009


No, that's OK. The Constitution doesn't require a Bible or any other specific book. TR didn't use one and I just read that someone else (Truman maybe?) was sworn in with his hand on a book of law.
posted by Miko at 8:20 PM on January 21, 2009




My suggestion has to do with getting America's sad, sad, excuses for journalists to finally shut the fuck up about flubbed oaths, lapel pins, secret Muslims, etc. and maybe cut through bullshit instead of adding more. It's a symbolic act, but one that I think would have a real effect. If you need a meaningless symbolic act, try the freeze on pay raises for top White House staff that's being played up right now - that's actually going to cut the federal budget what, a few hundred thousand dollars?

Why should President Obama have taken the oath again? Doing that has the implication that these reactionary nutjobs maybe had something on him, which is just ridiculous, because everyone, including those spouting this crap, know that claiming the Obama presidency is fake is completely absurd.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:51 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but Executive Order 13233, issued in November 2001 to restrict access to the records of former presidents, was revoked today.
posted by teraflop at 9:13 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


ToCT: Maybe it'll help if you think of it as the quickest and easiest way to make the idiots out there STFU, so that he can get some real work done. Far better he spend five minutes putting this bullshit to bed, than spend four years battling the dipshits.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:37 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


claiming the Obama presidency is fake is completely absurd.

True. But the Constitution says what the text of the oath is, and Obama didn't say that. So clearly that's a grey area, and there's an easy way out of that, and I don't see anything wrong with doing that. It seems like you think the oath is just symbolic and meaningless or something.
posted by smackfu at 9:37 PM on January 21, 2009


Do-Over: Obama Retakes Oath of Office.

Not the first time this has happened, either. Both Coolidge and Arthur apparently had issues with their oaths.
posted by Malor at 12:34 AM on January 22, 2009


This one especially, of the 1968 Olympians and their wives, really got to me.

every day of high school, my train passed a mural - to and fro - of the podium of those '68 Olympians, with the caption "three proud people".

so yeah, that photo had me bawling my eyes out: "OMG IT'S THOSE GUYS FROM THE MURAL!!!" :)

the other guy on that podium was an aussie, by the way.

Nearby, on a main traffic route, here's a big famous one, at least locally.

i like to think that this kind of art, over time, really ingrains itself in the people's psyche.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:00 AM on January 22, 2009


ToCT: Maybe it'll help if you think of it as the quickest and easiest way to make the idiots out there STFU, so that he can get some real work done. Far better he spend five minutes putting this bullshit to bed, than spend four years battling the dipshits.

To me, though, that's honestly like how the quickest and easiest way to make the bullies go away is to have your lunch money already out and counted.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:03 AM on January 22, 2009


Why should President Obama have taken the oath again?

Because the Constitution specifies the oath the President must take, and once you say "Well, it doesn't matter if he says the oath exactly the way it's written," you open a can of worms. What if a future president-elect wants to leave out some words, or add some, or swap some clauses around?

This was Roberts' mistake, but Obama did the right thing by making sure all the i's were dotted and all the t's were crossed. I know complaining about the wording of the oath sounds like right-wing noise machine bullshit, but there actually is a constitutional issue there, even though Obama's legitimacy was never going to be seriously questioned.

Presidents don't just obey the Constitution when it's convenient to do so right this very minute. At least this one doesn't.
posted by EarBucket at 5:19 AM on January 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


"On CNN, Wolf Blitzer said, "'John Roberts had one job to do today and he sort of screwed up.'

A Bush appointee screwed up? I am SHOCKED. Heckofajob, Roberts!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 5:40 AM on January 22, 2009


getting America's sad, sad, excuses for journalists to finally shut the fuck up about flubbed oaths, lapel pins, secret Muslims, etc. and maybe cut through bullshit instead of adding more.

Journalism worked here. I watched the inauguration with 800 people - everyone chuckled and started to buzz about Obama's "flub." Immediately, the ABC news reporters pointed out that it was Roberts' flub. People who didn't hear that were talking about it everywhere - it was water-cooler post inauguration talk. The media was on this story rather quickly to clarify (what the constitution actually says about the oath), provide context (give examples from history where there were irregularities in the oath), and document early stirrings of concern among both wingnuts and responsible people who wanted to dismiss with any questioning of the oath immediately. We all know about it, why it was important, and we all know the outcome. It stopped a train of bullshit from coming down the tracks. +1 media. It's easy to image what would have happened had no reporters spent time on it and had it continued to snowball in the circles of the stupid and uninformed.
posted by Miko at 5:40 AM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


New staff find White House in tech Dark Ages -- "'It's kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari,' an Obama aide says."
posted by ericb at 5:58 AM on January 22, 2009


Thanks for the link, ericb. I love this: In addition to having their own cellphones, they set up Gmail accounts, with approval from the White House counsel, so they could send information in more than one way.

GMAIL ROOLZ. I love that it was specifically Gmail. I guess there's been too much hacking of political Yahoo accounts.

EAT THAT, YAHOO.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:13 AM on January 22, 2009


It's easy to image what would have happened had no reporters spent time on it and had it continued to snowball in the circles of the stupid and uninformed.

I'm surprised, Miko, you seem to have even less faith in the intelligence of the American people than I do. It's my belief that only negligible numbers of the populace (probably the same people who think the government will let them get away without paying any income taxes if they find the right error in legislative formalities) are so stupid and uninformed enough to think there's any sort of meaningful question about Obama's presidency, and that almost all people discussing this as a serious issue are fully aware they're making disingenuous attacks, and frankly, many of them probably just need something else to say because they can't say "He's a nigger!" in public these days.

Really, what do you imagine would have happened. Obama's presidency revoked? Widespread consensus that no one has to listen to anything he says? In my opinion Obama and any sensible journalists could have completely ignored the whole story or quickly dismissed it as the rank idiocy it is and you'd hear nothing of it after a few days when the bullshitters realize that no one was paying attention anymore and their fail troll is fail.

It's like training a puppy or small idiotic child. A bunch of people just pissed on the nation's good carpet, and Obama responded by giving them just the attention and reward they hoped for.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:40 AM on January 22, 2009


Really, what do you imagine would have happened.

Someone gets convicted based on a law that Obama signed. Appeals it because Obama doesn't have the power to execute the duties of the President including signing bills because he didn't take the oath.
posted by smackfu at 6:53 AM on January 22, 2009


The editorial in this months Harpers is good. Touches on the idea that Americans are still dumbaclots.
Although the guard at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has indisputably changed, although the new boss is not the same as the old boss, I’m less certain about us. I’d like to believe that we’re a different people now; that we’re more educated, more skeptical, more tough-minded than we were when we gave the outgoing gang of criminals enough votes to steal the presidential election, twice, but it’s hard work; actual human beings keep getting in the way.
...
I was raised to be ashamed of my ignorance, and to try to do something about it if at all possible. I carry that burden to this day, and have successfully passed it on to my children. I don’t believe I have the right to an opinion about something I know nothing about—constitutional law, for example, or sailing—a notion that puts me sadly out of step with a growing majority of my countrymen, many of whom may be unable to tell you anything at all about Islam, say, or socialism, or climate change, except that they hate it, are against it, don’t believe in it. Worse still (or more amusing, depending on the day) are those who can tell you, and then offer up a stew of New Age blather, right-wing rant, and bloggers’ speculation that’s so divorced from actual, demonstrable fact, that’s so not true, as the kids would say, that the mind goes numb with wonder. “Way I see it is,” a man in the Tulsa Motel 6 swimming pool told me last summer, “if English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for us.”
...
In American politics, as in the cafeteria, the crowd sets the tone. It doesn’t know much, and if you want in, you’d better not either. Should you want out, of course, all you have to do is inadvertently let on—for example, by using the word “inadvertently”—that you’re a reasonably educated human being, and the deed is done.
...
For starters, consider how easily things might have gone the other way had the political and economic climate not combined into a perfect political storm for the Republican Party; had the Dow been a thousand points higher in September, or gas a dollar cheaper. Truth is, we got lucky; the bullet grazed our skull.
...
Praise me for a citizen or warm up the pillory, it comes down to the unpleasant fact that a significant number of our fellow citizens are now as greedy and gullible as a boxful of puppies; they’ll believe anything; they’ll attack the empty glove; they’ll follow that plastic bone right off the cliff. Nothing about this election has changed that fact. If they’re ever activated—if the wrong individual gets to them, in other words, before the educational system does—we may live to experience a tyranny of the majority Tocqueville never imagined.
posted by chunking express at 6:54 AM on January 22, 2009 [4 favorites]




I don't need to have faith in the intelligence of the American people. I prefer a healthy fourth estate, and I prefer clarity and accurate information over rumor, confusion, and uninformed dialogue.
posted by Miko at 6:54 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]



Do-Over: Obama Retakes Oath of Office.

Not the first time this has happened, either. Both Coolidge and Arthur apparently had issues with their oaths.


and the subsequent Drudge headline: "NO BIBLE USED AT OBAMA RE-SWEAR"

Drudge can be such a twit, not as bad as the big fat phony who wants Obama to fail though.
posted by caddis at 7:00 AM on January 22, 2009


I don't need to have faith in the intelligence of the American people. I prefer a healthy fourth estate, and I prefer clarity and accurate information over rumor, confusion, and uninformed dialogue.

Honestly, please let me know the fourth estate you have, because the one I've seen has been spending a lot of time recently telling me that Michelle Obama's choice of dress is for some reason a matter of import. I would be sincerely grateful to read a newspaper or see a TV report that doesn't seem to assume I'm a moron, because that's the feeling I always get from TV news and almost always from newspapers. (Magazines, and not that many magazines, are the only place I ever hope for intelligent journalism anymore.)

Clarity and accurate information is "This issue is idiotic and Barack Obama is DEFINITELY the President."

Someone gets convicted based on a law that Obama signed. Appeals it because Obama doesn't have the power to execute the duties of the President including signing bills because he didn't take the oath.


And the judge says "STFU or I will just make it worse on you" like he would say to someone claiming the court was invalid because of the wrong fringe on the flag or some Rastaman claiming freedom of religion for his pot habits.

Talking about the importance of checking all the legal minutiae and consulting professors of law fails to acknowledge that there is a huge body of unwritten or implicit laws and practicalities which at times overrides the written, "official" law, and which in this case overrides any doubt over Obama's presidency being real. For example, American religiosity is going to keep In God We Trust on the money for some time, regardless of separation of church and state. In fact, the legal rationalization for allowing it to remain is pretty much "It's just ceremony, doesn't really mean anything," which would also work just fine regarding the delivery of the oath if someone actually filed a challenge to Obama's presidency. Or if the news really finds legal minutiae and nitpicking so important they should have held off on declaring an Obama victory until the Electoral College met.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:31 AM on January 22, 2009


I’ve yet to see a situation in which the suggested response to a situation from angry-guy-off-the-internet would have worked better than Osama’s, TBH, and I suspect this will continue to be the case.
posted by Artw at 8:41 AM on January 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


if the news really finds legal minutiae and nitpicking so important

I find it pretty important after eight years in which the Constitution was thoroughly disregarded.

they should have held off on declaring an Obama victory until the Electoral College met.

They did, actually, point out that he was just thre presumptive President-Elect until that happened.

Anyway, your arguments fail to sway me. Sorry you're bothered by journalism and its place in a fact-based public discussion about matters of interest to citzens. If you're to content swim around in a sea of opinion and rant without any pesky factual reporting getting the way, please continue - it'll always be an option.
posted by Miko at 9:04 AM on January 22, 2009


Sometimes you have to go above the written law, eh Fawn TheOnlyCoolTim? EarBucket already explained this to you. What part of that explanation did you not understand?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:07 AM on January 22, 2009


I don't know, the whole oath flub seems like a non-story blown up into something more. Who really cares that he took it again, so long as he did? There was honestly nothing more important to spend time covering? I don't think TOCT is saying, "Obama can ignore the constitution, he's Obama!", he's saying, "this is a stupid news story." And it is. Because really, if idiot Joe at LGF doesn't think Obama is president that really doesn't matter. At all.
posted by chunking express at 9:19 AM on January 22, 2009


A New Day at the State Department: A Raucous Welcome for Hillary.

Wow. What a breath of fresh air. I don't recall Colin Powell or Condi Rice getting such a reception.
posted by ericb at 9:29 AM on January 22, 2009


The Constitution is clear, he was the president at 12 Noon on the 20th.

Obama didn't have the power to execute any powers as president, until he said the oath, however.

The way I see it, if this ever came up on the Supreme Court with any challenges, they'd have to resolve:
A) the notion of having a title without powers
and/or
B) whether reciting the oath in spirit is sufficient

... but by the way the description of the necessity of oath in the Constitution, "A" would be pretty hard to argue, but "B" would be a lot easier (provided that one doesn't take a strict constructionist interpretation of the constitution — yeah I had to get that snark in ;-)
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:49 AM on January 22, 2009


Obama didn't have the power to execute any powers as president, until he said the oath, however.

This actually isn't clear either. George Washington didn't take the oath until seven weeks after he took office, and nobody argued that he didn't have the powers of the presidency in that time. It's a bit of a murky area, constitutionally speaking; all the more reason to err on the side of caution.
posted by EarBucket at 9:53 AM on January 22, 2009


There was honestly nothing more important to spend time covering?

This, basically. Sure the legal discussion is "fact-based," but it really sucks that pointless facts make headline news while the news didn't bother too much reporting important facts about Bush's lies during the lead up to the Iraq War.

And if Obama had, say, at the moment or right after just said, "You know, we screwed up the Oath, let's do it right," that would be inconsequential and appropriate. But doing it in response to petty baseless attacks on the legitimacy of his presidency sends the message that pettiness like this is acceptable and effective. Basically, he let them win and that's bad for America in its tiny little way, and I see no good reason not to ignore or challenge this idiocy. Hell, if he wanted he could have both retaken the oath and then said "By the way, this whole issue was some stupid bullshit and you should be ashamed of making me waste time like this."

Also, if it's very important that the Oath be delivered unmodified, "So help me God" isn't in the Constitution. Maybe it doesn't matter when you change the end rather than the middle? Or, we could note that the Constitution says "swear (or affirm)" and Obama just said "swear" rather than literally reading the parenthetical. They both make as much sense as worrying about a meaningless blooper.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:59 AM on January 22, 2009


Also, if it's very important that the Oath be delivered unmodified, "So help me God" isn't in the Constitution.

I actually enjoyed that Roberts, instead of saying "So help me God," said "So help you God?" It felt like a way to distinguish that sentence from the constitutional oath.

As far as adding words go, that sentence dates (apocryphally, at least) back to Washington's inaugural, and there's just no way a modern president is going to leave it out, ever, ever. It's a good example of why the unmodified oath is important: it's very hard to put that kind of thing back in the box once you've codified it into tradition.
posted by EarBucket at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2009


But doing it in response to petty baseless attacks on the legitimacy of his presidency sends the message that pettiness like this is acceptable and effective. Basically, he let them win and that's bad for America in its tiny little way, and I see no good reason not to ignore or challenge this idiocy.

By taking less than a minute to just do the oath smoothly, as opposed to giving troll food to those idiots, wasting time and money in possible legal challenges? I think he made the right choice here.

I could understand your argument if there was some super-long, complicated process he needed to go through to appease this crowd, but no. It was a very brief formality that the Constitution appears to be pretty clear on. It shouldn't matter who brings that up or why. It's done. Now we can move on.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2009


I think (A) would be very easy to argue, since the Constitution is specific about the requirement for the oath before executing any duties, and the intent of the drafters can be clearly seen in the fact that they went so far as to enclose the oath in quotation marks. I would be very concerned to see a Supreme Court judgement that reciting the oath "in spirit" was sufficient, because then the oath could lose all shape. What if the next President 'forgot' the word "preserve", in a bid to claim constituion-changing authority? Would that be "in spirit" too? The constitution says only that the old terms end and the new terms begin at noon. The language of "execution" is handled separately - in the oath.

The idea that Obama couldn't execute any decisions in the interim before the oath seems well supported - Wikipedia on the subject says:
In 1916, the State Department determined that "there is no interval between the term of one President and the beginning of his successor, although there may be a slight interval when the executive power is suspended." Therefore, a delay in taking the oath of office would not leave a hiatus in the office of the President, but the new president would not have the constitutional power to perform any executive function until the oath of office was taken.[2]

Such finding was based on a 1821 ruling by Chief Justice John Marshall opining that it was "inevitable" the existence of a short "interval in which the executive power is suspended" because "the Constitution only provides that the President shall take the oath it prescribes 'before he enters on the execution of the office'." Marshall then referred to the interval between the midnight of the 3rd of March, when the presidential term started, and the noon of the 4th, when the oath of office was taken, as it was the practice at that time, saying that "there has been uniformly and voluntarily an interval of twelve hours in which the executive power could not be exercised." Marshall further notes that the law was silent on the exact time the oath should be taken, leaving it "at the discretion of the high officer", who could decide to take the oath on the first hour of his term in an emergency, or could defer the taking of the oath until the next day, if more convenient (for instance if inauguration day fell on a Sunday); neither timing would be deemed improper, though it is reasonable to take the oath "as soon as it could be conveniently taken" so to shorten that time interval.[2]

With the enactment of the 20th Amendment, the moment when one term ends and another begins was changed from the midnight of the 3rd and 4th of March to noon on January 20th, but the amendment only dealt with the beginning and end of the presidential term, not with the moment when the new President actually enters in the execution of his office. All Presidents inaugurated after the enactment of the 20th Amendment have continued to take the oath of office before they enter in the execution of the office, but the inauguration ceremonies now coincide with the beginning of a new term, avoiding the twelve hour hiatus, since presidents usually take the oath of office at noon. The issue of suspension of executive power, however, is still relevant when a Vice-President succeeds to the presidency, since there can be a larger hiatus between the death or resignation of one President and the swearing-in of the successor, and when there is a delay in the swearing-in of a new President on Inauguration Day. Since the enactment of the 20th Amendment, the hiatus between the beginning of the term of a new President and his taking the oath of office has not been completely eliminated, since some Presidents, such as Bill Clinton in his first swearing-in, have taken the oath of office a few minutes past noon, due to slight delays in the inauguration ceremonies.
I agree that this didn't become a big deal right now, thanks largely to Obama's good judgement and "abundance of caution," but I reject the idea that it shouldn't be a big deal. Evidently it was a big enough deal for an article in the Constitution, several Supreme Court decisions, and a 20th-century Constitutional Amendment to have something to say about it. I'm also glad that its appearance as a news topic has helped me learn a bit more about the structures of our government and the potential pitfalls they are intended to address.
posted by Miko at 10:16 AM on January 22, 2009


It's looking like the first WH briefing will be dominated by oath questions. Gibbs is in the weeds.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:49 AM on January 22, 2009




People can talk all they like about how this was some sort of constitutional crisis. Where was the media when Bush was wiping his ass with the constitution. Or maybe those situations were too complex, while this is simple and easy for the American public to digest. I think that's key for a successful news story in the US.

The dude is shutting down secret prisons and Guantanamo, but people are still talking about his oath. Seriously?
posted by chunking express at 11:07 AM on January 22, 2009




Obamas
posted by gman at 11:16 AM on January 22, 2009


The dude is shutting down secret prisons and Guantanamo, but people are still talking about his oath. Seriously?

Par for the course, really. Any charismatic and wildly popular president has had every blemish, real and imagined, put under the microscope by his detractors while ignoring his accomplishments.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:16 AM on January 22, 2009


Any charismatic and wildly popular president has had every blemish, real and imagined, put under the microscope by his detractors while ignoring his accomplishments.

I know! It's like Bush with that whole WMD thing.
posted by gman at 11:29 AM on January 22, 2009


Don't you guys remember when Bush was elected? How, as the day he would take office got closer, you kept hoping for something-- ANYTHING-- to come along that would invalidate his Presidency and end the nightmare? Like, hoping that just three Electoral College members would change their vote at the last minute, making Gore the winner? Or hoping that there WAS something to that "Bush and Cheney were from the same state, so they can't run together" thing?

That's how these Oath people are feeling right now. Poor guys.

It feels good to be on the winning side.
posted by Laen at 12:13 PM on January 22, 2009


Instead of organizing against Obama's recent executive orders/cabinet-noms/etc., they're too caught up bitching about the Oath and complaining (with no constitutional implications) about how he didn't use a bible the second time around.

Fantastic! Let the conservatives continue talk about this, and Obama can make real change in the meantime.
posted by amuseDetachment at 1:17 PM on January 22, 2009


He retook the oath at 7:35pm, got a nice sound-bite out of it and got on with his day. I don't think it was necessary, but having a President admit he made a mistake is a nice change of pace.

(Yes, even if it was Roberts' fault. But helping Roberts make up for it is a nice gesture as well. Obama doesn't have to agree with him to do something nice for him. That's also a good thing.)
posted by Gary at 2:03 PM on January 22, 2009


I’ve yet to see a situation in which the suggested response to a situation from angry-guy-off-the-internet would have worked better than Osama’s, TBH, and I suspect this will continue to be the case.

I trust the "Osama" is a typo.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:23 PM on January 22, 2009


Heh.

See? Fox news vindicated by my slippery fingers!
posted by Artw at 5:28 PM on January 22, 2009


See? Fox news vindicated by my slippery fingers!

Screw 'Slippery Fingers.' What about 'Frigid Fingers?'

Frigid Fingers Were Live but the Music Wasn’t
"It was not precisely lip-synching, but pretty close.

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.

The players and the inauguration organizing committee said the arrangement was necessary because of the extreme cold and wind during Tuesday’s ceremony. The conditions raised the possibility of broken piano strings, cracked instruments and wacky intonation minutes before the president’s swearing in (which had problems of its own)."
posted by ericb at 8:00 PM on January 22, 2009




A Special New Season of The West Wing.
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on January 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


A Special New Season of The West Wing.

*hugs ericb really hard*
posted by rtha at 4:31 PM on January 23, 2009


Eric, that was awesome.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:00 PM on January 23, 2009


I suspect this is what some on the left are afraid of.
posted by Rumple at 12:51 PM on January 25, 2009


Frank Rich: No Time for Poetry
posted by homunculus at 2:25 PM on January 25, 2009




>

Afraid? I'll say... that guy in the middle is pretty damn handsome. He'd win the vote for sure.
posted by adamt at 7:48 PM on January 25, 2009




Limbaugh: ‘I Hope Obama Fails’.

Conservative Clash: Bennett Slams Limbaugh For Saying He Hopes Obama Fails.
posted by ericb at 2:51 PM on January 26, 2009


It sounded like Bennett was just saying "Too soon". Although I do agree with him that Obama mentioning Rush Limbaugh at all is a bad idea, let alone engaging his statements. Bennett was absolutely right in saying, "Clinton talked about Rush all the time. It didn't help Clinton much, but it certainly helped Rush."

Remember when Rush was babbling about having secret operatives who were going to cause chaos at Democratic primaries, who would be able to communicate with Rush and each other through some sort of clandestine techonology that only Rush knew about? These are not the words of a man enjoying a growing listenership. Rush is the final season of Married: With Children - long past his shelf life, grasping for any conceivable gimmick to get important people to pay attention. This is not a man whose remarks you, as president of the United States, even dignify with a response.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:00 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


What Would Molly Think?
posted by homunculus at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2009


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