"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath." Inauguration speech in full
A rather strange experience for me today. I got invited to an Obama Inauguration lunch at the Elbow Beach Hotel
hosted by the US Counsel General to Bermuda Gregory Slayton
, which was very nice.
However I was astonished by the reaction of the Bermudians in the audience of about 100. They were absolutely besides themselves and were in awe of a man, who is not (sadly) their countries leader. I know around the world the election of Obama has been widely acclaimed and I feel a little bit of added affinity with him because of my Chicago connections, but blimey you should have seen these people, calm yourselves down I was thinking, it was truly incredible, even more incredible when one considers Obama has indicated he will close tax loop holes for American companies doing business with Bermuda.
We were invited by two Long Islanders from New York, two of only a few American's I would say in the audience, and rightly it was a very proud and historic moment for them. Over a million people gathered in the National Mall and the scenes were poignant and joyful. If you have never walked from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument to Capitol Hill, I would urge you as it is a very stirring experience
Thankfully the door has now closed on the catastrophic Bush era and Obama's time has come. For a man which such oratory he fluffed his lines a little as he was sworn in, but his inaugural address had all the trademark mantras and dynamism, although hinged with a sombre realism of what he has inherited.
The 44th President often sat with his eyes closed during the whole Inauguration event and I tried to imagine what he was thinking. Soon we will know.