Today, President Obama will be sworn in for the fourth time. For those of us who worked on both campaigns, It's a time to look back and forward.
Do you remember where you were on this day in 2009? I certainly do. I can still feel the goosebumps, the sense of completion, the hope, the smiles that wouldn't fade. I thought back to 1993, and the inauguration of The Man from Hope (not yet Bubba the Big Dog). I had friends back then who had helped elect the first Democratic president for whom they had ever voted. (And they weren't that young.)
Today, I'll be enjoying the inauguration with something like 50 friends and compatriots with multiple TV screens. Others I know will be freezing in DC. I haven't seen the speech yet, but I'm full of goosebumps thinking about it. I hope it is forward-looking, with the promise of work on the important issues of gun control, jobs, immigration, education, climate change, and voter rights. It just shouldn't be so hard to vote. As an aside, that's on my mind a lot, given that the GOP here in PA is attempting to steal all the Democratic votes in 2016, but that's tomorrow's column.
What I remember most from four years ago was this line:
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
How far we had come that day. Our first black president. A woman Speaker of the House. A cabinet with women and minorities.
Newton's Third Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
And that we've seen over the past four years in terms of increased racism, homophobia, and other kinds of hatred from the remaining wacko right whites. And yet, despite the intransigence (and sedition) of the congressional GOP, and the growth of the teabaggers, we are emerging from the worst economy since the Great Depression. Led by our President and his team. I shudder to think what could have been had the McCain team been elected.
I will be joyous today. I will raise my glass and smile. It's not just the election, it's the governing. And I sleep better with Obama in the White House than I have since January 19th, 2001.
Enjoy the day.