Watching Obama's Inauguration
With great anticipation and excitement, I went into watching Obama's inauguration. I must say I've never been this enthused about the political agenda in American politics.
I also must tell you I was glued to the TV for the better part of the week before the inauguration also.
There was even a concert I missed with headliners such as Usher, U2, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder that I caught clips of on YouTube. I imagine the whole concert will be available after the flurry of the inauguration is past. Herman found a complete streaming download of the concert on www.hbo.com and I watched the entire concert for nearly two hours. Part of the reason so many TV shows follow the inauguration and millions are going to Washington, D.C. is because of the entertainment value of the whole country coming together for one big party. And truth be told, from my perspective as an actress who pursued an acting career, it's nice to see Obama's career and efforts being recognized. According to Chris Matthews on "Hardball," most of Obama's money came from his literary efforts before being elected president.
Herman and I listened to Obama read his two books-"The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams of My Father," and I have to say he is both a great writer and reader of his writings. And as you all know from watching him on TV, he is a great orator.
I watched approximately eight hours of his inauguration Tuesday, and I found myself transfixed on ABC news on (Channel 10 locally) with the great Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos commenting for the network. I must say I still do miss the previous host of World News, Peter Jennings. I would have liked to see his reaction to the first African American president. But that’s not here nor there.
I was surprised that the whole inauguration kept my attention for the full eight hours I watched. Even Herman came home early, around noon, to see Obama’s swearing in and acceptance speech.
What struck me most abnout the speech was his reference to at one time not being able to be served in a restaurant in Washington, D.C. and now being sworn in as 44th President of the U.S.
One of the performances I really loved was the great Itshak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma playing a specially composed piece by John Williams for the occasion. Perlman was a favorite of my Dad and I was lucky enough to see and meet Perlman at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center when he was there a few years ago.
One of the best speaches, in my opinion, was the benediction from Rev. Joseph Lowrey. He achieved fame by co-founding with Dr. Martin Luther King the Southern Christian Leadership Conference which carried forward King’s “dream” and was finally fulfilled in the inauguration of the first African American President.
Ironically I was watching an archival recording of King speaking in 1965 about there being the possibility of having a black president someday, possibly in the next 20 to 25 years.
It took a bit longer but we saw history made that day.