It’s Inauguration Day! I am such a sucker for pomp and circumstance and tradition and democracy and America! My goodness. How wonderful and great (however, I was a little disappointed to learn yesterday that Barack Obama was already sworn-in to office, but we can’t have everything all the time).
If you watched the Inauguration ceremony, you’re probably sitting at home right now toasting your forefathers and the framers of the Constitution. I am too. If you didn’t get to watch the Inauguration (probably because your company doesn’t support Martin Luther King, Jr., which is terrible), then I have my list of the top moments. Read this, and you’ll be able to join in all the intellectual conversations people start with you today. You’re welcome.
1. Sasha Obama: There was a moment after yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony where Sasha hugged her dad and said “you didn’t mess up.” Well, today it became even more apparent that this girl has extremely high standards for being impressed because she yawned her way through the entire ceremony. She is by far my favorite Obama.
2. Interesting Camera Angles: I watched the Inauguration on ABC, and whoever is working the production crew for them today needs an Emmy. It was as if the Capitol balcony was the Beverly Hilton ballroom during the Golden Globes. Justice Sotomayor trying to avoid an awkward side hug from some acquaintance. Chrissy Teigen having a conversation with Hillary Clinton (someone mic this please). And Paul Ryan standing behind Jay-Z while walking off the Capitol dais. That was extremely jarring for the American audience. Or just me.
3. The Supreme Court: Furthering my suspicions that Supreme Court Justices have to wear their robes AT. ALL. TIMES., the justices were cruelly put out in the bitter January cold with nothing more than their black robes and what I can only assume is underwear underneath. If I am ever nominated for a seat on the bench, I will only accept if someone says it’s ok for me to wear my North Face Sleeping Bag coat on top of my robes on Inauguration Day. Maybe it’s not dignified, but Antonin Scalia had a black chef’s hat on during the entire ceremony in an effort to keep warm. So, I think we can do better by them.
4. The Music: An all-star line up of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, the Marine Corps Band, and Beyoncé really made this Inauguration an event. When James Taylor is your most-lukewarm performer, you know it was a good day. And when Inauguration Day is just your warm-up for the Superbowl Halftime Show, your know you’re having a good career. Beyoncé is America.
5. Inside Jokes: After the ceremony, the President went into a secret room and signed some important papers. This “ceremony,” included Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. When President Obama signed the last few documents, which included his nominations for head of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, he said something to the effect of “I’m sure these will be confirmed really easily.” And I swear to God, John Boehner threw up his hands like, “dude, seriously? Today?!” Four more years, you guys.
6. The Luncheon: I’m now watching the luncheon in the Capitol (again, very much like coming back from a commercial during the Golden Globes), and Chuck Schumer (who is apparently the master of ceremonies for life) just asked a waiter how he’s supposed to calm down the crowd so he can start making his speech. I think ABC is working with extra powerful mics today.
7. The End: The most poignant moment of the entire Inauguration Day was at the end of the ceremony when President Obama reached the top of the Capitol balcony steps after processing out with his family. He turned around and said to his girls “Let’s look at this one more time.” And he stood and gazed out at the grounds of the Capitol for a minute, taking in the hundreds of thousands of Americans before him, and the rest of Washington, D.C. laid out behind them. It was a beautiful moment, because it was both historical and monumental, while at the same time being perfectly human. It was American.