It's official, friends and family. Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America:
January 20, 2008 marks an instrumental day in our nation's history. I, for one, will always treasure and remember this day. Definitely in my heart and mind, but also in poster and t-shirt form. : ) I couldn't help but purchase the newest Shepard Fairey poster and Zac Posen t-shirt design a couple of weeks ago:
I'm sure you've all feeling saturated with images from Inauguration Day, but I wanted to share a collection of pictures I came across while perusing various newspaper websites.
The Capitol steps, all decked out for the big day, was quite a sight to behold:
Even more amazing was the enormous crowd that filled the Mall (approximately 1.8 million!) that showed up for the swearing-in ceremony, even with the frigid weather:
As cold as it was, I only wish I could have made the time to trek down to D.C. to just be in the thick of things! The mass of people looks amazing:
This is actually one of my favorite pictures from the day. I found President Obama's short moment of solitude before stepping out for his swearing-in extremely touching. Even he needed a moment to compose himself before it all started:I love Sasha and Malia. They seem like such precious little girls. Now that the inauguration is over, I'm going to try to stay away from media coverage of them. I hope they are able to hang on to some semblance of a normal childhood, even under such intense scrutiny:The big swearing-in moment (although a bit marred by Chief Justice Roberts' line-feeding snafu, later given a do-over opportunity):
President Obama then gave his much-anticipated inauguration day speech. Although there are many critics of his speech (expecting something bigger, more epic, I suppose), I was moved and inspired by his speech --- even with his bleak description of the current state of the union and how far we have to go. Some of my favorite parts were (a) the rejection of feeling forced to choose protecting our country's safety at the expense of holding true to our country's ideals; (b) our need to lead once again by also remembering the importance of injecting humility and restraint into our actions; (c) descriptions of our nation's "patchwork heritage" and the importance of every piece; (d) the line " . . . we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist"; (e) historical references . . . . okay I'll stop there. You've all seen the speech, I'm sure. Yeah, I cried at parts.
And one of the President's most important critics, Sasha Obama, apparently loved the speech too:Soon after the swearing-in ceremony, the Obamas and Bidens escorted the Bushes to a helicopter that would take them to the plane that would ultimately bring them back to Crawford, Texas.
Keeping in mind the celebratory mood of the day, I will respectfully decline to provide any other commentary on the Bushes' departure. Except to say that the above picture is awesome. : )
Parade time! I didn't see this, since I actually had to get some work done --- but I'm impressed by Michelle Obama's ability to rock Isabel Toledo without an overcoat. The woman really is Chi-town through and through! (By the way, Barney's re-did their windows as soon as they saw that Toledo did Obama's day look --- pretty cute!)
I caught the highlights of the many inaugural balls the morning after the inauguration. Wow, did the President and First Lady look gorgeous, or what?
I thought Michelle Obama's choice of this decadent, fairy-tale Jason Wu number was exquisite. I'm sad to see how many people are so mean about some of her fashion choices (ahem, NY Post). Although I am *crazy* about fashion, one thing I've vowed to do now that the the big to-do is over and the Obamas are officially in the White House ---- no more commentary on Michelle Obama's clothes. I think she dresses in such a fashion-forward way and with such a great sense of what works with her proportions. But: The woman is a Princeton University and Harvard Law School educated woman who has juggled an extremely successful career and her family. No more commentary and judgment on her sartorial choices (for good or for bad!) from now on. Only commentary on her policies, ideas and service to our country. The substantive stuff.
My second favorite moment of the day was the First Couple's first dance of the evening at the Neighborhood Ball. Beyonce rocked the song "At Last" --- I love her expression at the very end of her performance. Even Sasha Fierce herself was moved that night and seemed to have a sense of awareness about the amazing moment in history that she was a part of.
Nick and I did our part to celebrate that evening by attending the Think Blue Inauguration Party at the Tribeca Cinemas Gallery.
We met up with a friend of mine from work and his lovely wife.
There were many festive folks who joined us at the sold-out party:
My Asian glow was provided by unrestrained joy from the day, along with a heavy contribution by the open bar (and its numerous gin and vodka tonics):
Next step: The celebration is over, it's time to get to work. My thoughts and prayers are with the Obama administration. We're in a big mess, but we've got some amazing talent leading our country now. Here's to better days ahead for everyone . . . .