In very brisk and usual January Washington, D.C. weather attended by an approximated 800,000 people at the National Mall, Barack Obama was today sworn in as the Nation’s 44th. President in the Nation’s 57th. inauguration ceremony.
Had Obama not been re-elected, his election in 2008 would have seemed like an accident: America’s window dressing to the world, trying to show the world that racism is no longer the order of the day.
Now, clearly this Nation has made history, and Obama has a clear and decisive mandate to be his own man and shape his legacy.
Watching today’s inauguration was instructive: some, simple yet important gestures to note.
Taking the oath, the President repeated his name, not spelling out his middle name “Hussein”, but said ” I, Barack H. Obama.” Interesting, indeed.
Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in by Obama’s first ever Hispanic appointee to the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Seated right behind the presidential party, and in front of senior Senators were Civil Rights and Union Leaders. Two core groups that were instrumental in Obama’s election and re-election.
And never before had a President mentioned gays in his inaugural address: a clear indication that Obama has civil rights on his mind.
And yes, Obama re-assured the Nation that a decade of war is coming to an end. And it is about time.
All said and done, Barack Obama’s legacy, like all second term presidents, is going to be shaped by his foreign policy, and God knows he has enough on his plate to deal with. But Obama has a clear and decisive mandate, and he is a good and decent man who is destined to re-shape America.
The 800,000 estimated people were a representation of average America — not the rich and powerful. A hopeful and touching gesture of what Obama’s presidency and re-election stand for.