Every obnoxious security officer, crowd crush, and queue will be worth it to witness Barack Obama taking of the Oath of Office.
I’m packing my bags for
It promises to be a journey of security headaches, queues, hours in the cold, supreme tests of patience and more queues. It begins with this strange procedure at the
Hiring a taxi to ensure there is a way to make it from Washington National (aka Reagan) airport into the city has been fun. Gone are the usual $50 fares. In respect of the auspicious nature of The Inauguration, the best fare when booking from
We’re staying with friends, so have avoided taking out a mortgage to secure a hotel room, which given proximity to the epi-centre of the housing crisis could have been insurmountable anyway.
And then there will be the queues. We can not say we have not been warned. More like terrified as I read stories about how many millions are descending on
As for the cold, we have also been warned, but for once living in a
But whey even bother going? Why not sit at home in the hermetically sealed, double-glazed comfort and warmth and watch it all on the HD?
The answer is simple really. We’re going because, well, yes we can.
Being just a baby at the time, I don’t remember where I was when JFK was shot, but I sure remember watching on a scratchy telly at school when Nixon resigned. Come over-officious security or freezing temperatures, I want to be in that crowd when Barack Hussein Obama takes the oath of office.
The clichés and superlatives and flowery rhetoric evoking history and unity and nationhood and hope flow ever so easily in all that is written about this week’s event because they are all applicable. Even the most cynical of hacks will attest to that. Hell, even Republicans agree, and not all begrudgingly.
As the man considered by many the most useless of US Presidents hands the baton to the first African American President, it will be of world-wide significance because George W. Bush has, to put it politely, ballsed up so much of that world and is leaving it to Obama to clean up.
The hurdles that this journey will involve are of course excruciatingly trivial when compared to those of many of the guests who will gather outside
The irony is that the actual inauguration will be inside the Capitol – a building built by slaves, and most gathered outside will be standing and sitting and queuing and waiting on grounds that were once slave markets. Such symbolism will escape no-one.
It is the expression of just that belief that billions around the world will be watching for on January 20. He is no stranger to oratory and crowds hang on every word. The question is what will emerge as the defining catchphrase of Obama’s inaugural address? It is not an overstatement to credit this speech as carrying more importance than any other such address in living memory.
He inherits a “to do” list from hell, but he will tackle it with the strength of his own convictions and the goodwill of millions.