I had to step back from blogging for a while - partly because I've been decompressing since the election and partly because the holidays swept me up in a tornado of family, responsibilities and friends. In my absence, some awesome friends have started writing their own blogs!
But it's time to get back to it. The day of relief has finally come after eight long, terrifying years for our country and frankly, the world. I have many a bitter Facebook friend that were very upset about the Inauguration yesterday and couldn't stop themselves from updating their status every five minutes as a reminder. Someone asked if we had been that bad when Bush was re-elected. I can tell you we certainly were - but the NewsFeed wasn't operational waaaaay back when and you didn't have to be confronted with every bitter thought in real time.
Such as it is, my conservative friends seemed to be complaining that the Liberal Media (tm) wasn't being critical enough of Obama. On inaguration day. Literally 5 hours into his presidency. Now, clearly I'm baised, but isn't that a bit of a rediculous expectation? Granted, W had one foot out the door these past few months, but are you really wanting an expose into hard hitting inaguration-day issues?! Expose on the marinade used at the Hometown Ball? Concerned editorializing about the trashed left after 2 million people left the Mall?
Let's be real. No one who was eleated about yesterday's events thinks Obama should have a free pass. I want to hold him accountable to ensure he is the president I voted for. But to ask for one day to celebrate the peaceful transfer of power and we're already bitching and moaning about... nothing in particular? Deal with it for one day.
Moving on before I get more high-falutent and self-righteous. Some thoughts from a G-chat conversation this morning:
What I learned from the transition and Inauguration festivities:
1) John Legend is super hot and smart.
2) I really wish Whitney hadn't smoked so much crack because it should have been her singing "America" at the We are One concert
3) Vis-a-Vis Item #2 I HATE BOBBY BROWN FOR RUINING MY WHITNEY
6) Old Man McGee needs to give the benediction at any major ceremony I attend
BONUS SEGMENT: Fashion with Laura and M.S-S:
M. S-S: did you like michelle's ball gown?
me: ... no
But it's Michelle
so I semi-liked it
I'm not a rosette person
and i thought it almost made it look like eyelette
making it look too casual for a ball
M. S-S: it did look like eyelet
me: Michelle Obama: Our Prairie Home First Lady
what did you think?
M. S-S: thought it was to die on her
but for me not so much
me: I liked the bodice and the skirt separate from each other
but together it was just too much for me
how adorable are they?
M. S-S: sooooooooooooo cute
i was watching cnn coverage of the parade
and he butt bumped her
project rungay got on Michelle about her matchy matchy cardigan for the swearing in outfit
And as a cardigan person, i was ready to fire off a bitter comment
M. S-S: pshaw
i liked it
me: it's like you said
could I pull off that ensemble?
not at all
but on her
the color and the detailing were amazing
M. S-S: yeah she can do almost anything
she's tall and thin with dark hair
show me something that won't work on her
me: with a slammin' body, too!
My thoughts on The Speech:
Actually, they can pretty much be summed up by one of my favorite writers, James Fallows at The Atlantic.
Several of Barack Obama's big rhetorical performances have been recognized as hits from the minute he stepped off the stage. His 2004 Democratic convention speech is one example. His Philadelphia speech on race, which quelled the Rev. Wright controversy last spring, is another.
In many other cases, especially late in the campaign, the red-hots among his supporters thought he had "underperformed" or been "just so-so" immediately after an event, only to see the days-later and weeks-later reaction to the performance turn much more positive. The clearest example was his first debate with John McCain, where supporters thought he had missed chances to go in for the kill -- but over time it was clear that he had established his steady, gravitas-worthy persona.
I think his inaugural speech will be in this second category. Now that I have a chance to look at some blog-world commentary, I see that some is underwhelmed, as after the first debate. I think that the speech was in fact very well-pitched to this moment in history and the messages Obama wants and needs to send. That is, both artful and useful.
If I had to pinpoint my favorite part of President Obama's (!) speech, it would be what should have been a statement of our basic values. Of course, since we have muddied the waters so much with the past administration, it was downright inspirational to hear our country committed to true justice:
As for our common defense, 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. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.
Let's make sure he follows through so that we can continue to hold our heads high.
You know I can't resist Kanye, especially when he opens with my favorite song at the Youth Ball!