This morning at 7:30 I left the house and went into town, because the inauguration was being simulcast onto the big screen at our local theater. One of those old-timey, grand theaters with red velvet seats. A big place, and every seat was taken.
It was so much fun to watch in a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. People jumped up spontaneously and started clapping, there were people swaying and singing and generally being demonstrative. The crowd was very mixed, A lot of couples with young children, college students, old folks, and a lot of women my age. That was probably the biggest group. And they said he couldn’t win over women voters. Who exactly came up with that piece of faux-wisdom?
I found Obama’s acceptance speech to be … well, everything it should have been, and more. Because of his own history as a public speaker the bar was set high. I have read that he writes his own speeches, which doubles the burden. But he rose to the occasion. It was poetic and full of strong imagery, it was hopeful and inspiring with a good dose of pragmatism. I personally was surprised and pleased that when he mentioned various religions he also mentioned my crowd. He called us unbelievers, but hey, there are worse ways to phrase it.
The only sore point was the prayer led by the homophobic — outspokenly homophobic — born again preacher. I closed my ears. Normally I don’t mind listening to prayers, even if I’m not on the same bandwagon. But that guy, I can’t give him the time of day. I don’t even want to put down his name. Obama bent over backwards to make everybody feel included, and I suppose this particular preacher did draw in a lot of hard right wing types. I like the fact that Obama is being consistent about his stance on bipartisanship, even if I don’t like the form it takes.
The only thing that made me a little weepy was watching the daughters. Those little girls are in for a ride. It won’t always be easy, but they are going to have the time of their lives. And for some reason I love the idea that Michelle’s mother is moving in with them. I’m really glad for Michelle and the girls that she’ll be there.
Those are my rambling thoughts. I’m putting them down mostly for my own reference, down the line.
We are afloat in goodwill and cautious optimism.