Live Blogging the Inauguration

Watching History So You Don’t Have To

Note: I’m reversing the thread here and posting newest info first. What was I thinking? This will make it easier to follow. Scroll down for old news.

11:30 AM EST Daughter Malia, lipreading here, says to dad, “That was a good speech. Good speech.”

11:20 AM EST Money quote from the speech “The question is not whether the government is too big or too small but whether it works.” Uh huh. He used the words “common good”. He gives a shout out to the world, “We (America) are ready to lead once more.” Oh, please. “To the Muslim world we seek a new way forward based on mutual goals and mutual respect.” Gah.

11:11 AM EST Barack Obama’s speech. “Know this America, they [our problems] WILL be met.”

Meanwhile, and I don’t know why this cracks me up, but Glenn Reynolds is a bloggin’ fool, like it’s any other day or something.

11:09 AM EST Barack Obama is stumbling over the oath. So, maybe he is nervous. He’s the 44th President: President Barack Hussein Obama. Listening to Hail to the Chief.

12:05 AM EST Music by John Williams. A sad theme underlying the composition. It’s getting peppier now, but still. YoYo Ma is having a great time. Itzak Perlman is a delight to listen to. Wow. Their hands must be freezing. Here comes the sad theme again. Beginning and ending on a conflicted note?

12:00 AM EST Joe Biden taking the oath of office. So hard to take him seriously.

11:55 AM EST Go Aretha! “My country ’tis of thee” sang with soul. Cool.

11:50 AM EST Diane Feinstein blabbing. Talking about civil rights, “future generations will mark this morning as a time of real and necessary change”.

Here comes Rick Warren. Crowd doesn’t know whether to clap or not. People clapping during the prayer. This prayer seems overwrought. I want it to stop. Ugh.

11:45 AM EST Various descriptions of Obama’s face “smug”, “young”, “confident”, “like he’s suppressing a smile”.

11:43 AM EST Here comes Biden looking cheesy as ever. Crowd is wild. Flag waving. Obama is coming. He’s carrying his head that way, nose up that is so annoying. President Elect Obama is “walking very sober like the weight of the world is on his shoulders” says Juan Williams. I think Brit Hume nails it more accurately when he says that Obama is “supremely confident”. That’s what I see. The man doesn’t know enough to be afraid.

11:40 AM EST Hail to the Chief playing for George W. Bush one last time. Crowd is relatively quiet. Bush is all smiles. Everyone is joyous.

11:30 AM EST Obama kids so adorable. Malia reportedly tells dad,”First African-American president. Better be good.” Juan Williams talking about how good it is for black community to see a black husband and father as leader. Hillary Clinton looks the best of anyone, actually.

Moving trucks at White House. Moving Obamas stuff in. Crowd starting to shout, “Obama! Obama!”

11:22 AM EST Here come the old Prezes. “President Clinton always seems to be searching for the right expression to put on his face”–Brit Hume. George HW and Bill Clinton, buddies. The older Bushes wearing purple scarves. Looking happy and enjoying themselves. In stark contrast is Al Gore who always looks like he’s passing gas.

Here comes Hill-n-Bill. The crowd goes wild. Juan Williams is getting a chill up his spine “wow,” he says, “the American people…these are our guys.”

10:50 AM EST Wow. As good as Ted Kennedy looks, Dick Cheney looks bad. What haven’t we been told about his health condition?

Laura Bush could not have picked a more bland outfit for the inaugural. I wonder if she and Michelle discussed it. Michelle Obama is wearing shimmering gold and Laura Bush wears gray.

Here come President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. We are lucky, people, to live in a country that transfers power to gracefully. This is not the norm in most parts of the world.

10:45 EST Ted Kennedy is looking better than he has in ages. Lost weight. I wonder if the tumor has forced him to stop drinking. He looks much, much better. And boy, those Kennedys sure have a look about them. Caroline looks just like Uncle Ted, except skinnier and long hair.

10:10 EST My Co-Blogger John Hawkins talks about the expectations for Obama:

As a matter of fact, that may be underselling expectations a bit because Superman couldn’t possibly achieve what many people seem to believe Barack Obama is going to accomplish in a few short years. He’s going to unite the country, create a post-racial America, get the economy humming, reduce the deficit, fix the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, get Osama bin Laden, win the war on terror, close Gitmo, keep us safe from terrorism, end global warming, stop Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, make the world love America, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. No wonder people compare Obama to Lincoln: if he could actually do everything his supporters seem to believe he will, it would probably make him a better President than Lincoln.

I’m wondering if people really expect all that. I think what people were after in electing Obama was the symbolic satisfaction of having elected Obama. Their job, and his, is done. The next four years will be all about hope. Change? Come on. No one really likes change anyway.

9:58 EST You know what I’m waiting to see? I’m waiting to see Obama salute for the first time. Remember how uncomfortable Clinton was with saluting? Watching the Bushes greet the Obamas. The Obamas look cold. The Bushes are just so gracious. Michelle Obama looks Jackie O today. She looks radiant. Obama looks a bit nervous. Former Pres Bush and President Obama in the White House now.

9:45 EST Ann Althouse says this and it’s worth noting:

8:21: An experiment with biological/chemical weapon goes gruesomely awry for al Qaeda. Yes, laugh all you want and speculate about whether this will make al Qaeda fans think maybe God’s not on their side, but this is a glimpse of what they mean to do to us. George Bush did whatever he did to protect us from those devils, and some people fail to appreciate it when nothing happens. To make this properly part of this inauguration live-blog, do I need to add some message to Obama? I think the message is too obvious to need stating.

9:36 EST I would be remiss if I didn’t include @newsmediajim as a person to follow during the inauguration. He’s a pool cameraman and always has good behind-the-scenes info. Also, David Almacy @Almacy is going to Andrews AFB to say good-bye to President Bush. Also, you might want to follow Greta VanSustern at @Gretawire to get the latest, too. Also, Fausta will be live blogging at RealClearWorld. Check it out.

So far, I know that Ann Althouse and Steve Green (whenever he gets his drunk butt outta bed) will be liveblogging the inauguration.

I will be doing updates throughout the day. Maybe not liveblogging exactly but certainly staying up-to-date. So far, it’s a snoozefest. Maybe I should watch CNN for once in my life in the spirit of butt-kissing adoration. Might as well go all the way. You might also want to consider streaming Strategy Room on Fox. It’s a fun show and if you don’t have access to cable or whatever you can watch it. Also, Joost will be having the inauguration live and that’s on the computer.

As of this writing, just wide vast shots of zillions of joyful people, interspersed with close up shots of freezing, snuggling black people.

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