Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

A few hours ago Senator Barak Obama was sworn in as our new President. I got sucked in, like thousands of others across the world, and watched the streaming video on CNN.com while sitting at my desk at work. I didn't plan to. I didn't vote for Obama, and I'm pretty unhappy about Biden being Vice-President. However, I was also worried that something might happen to him. It's been a long time - since Reagan- since someone tried to shoot a President, and I was worried that it might happen today. So I watched. Before it started I heard that outgoing Vice-President Cheney would be in a wheelchair because he hurt his back while packing and moving boxes. Cheney has had a long history of medical problems, but I was saddened to see him go out this way. It just didn't seem dignified.

I had also heard that there was controversy regarding the two clergy that would speak. One at the beginning of the ceremonies and the other at the end. While I listened I wasn't too struck by the first one, but I'd like to find a copy of the transcript and read it again. My apathy might have been due to background noise at work, or perhaps the man's deliverance of the words. The minister who spoke at the end got my attention more. I'd like to have a copy of that. The other speaker who got my attention was the poet. Her name was Elizabeth Alexander and she was only the 4th poet to ever speak at an Inauguration. Her delivery was a little tense, nervous maybe, but I liked her words. I really do want a copy of that. Obama's speech of course was inspiring. It did all the things a great speech is supposed to do, very charismatic. I doubt anyone will find fault with it. It was expected, and the audience loved it, no surprise there.

One thing that is bugging me though is that he is being referred to as the 44th President of the United States. He's not really. I think he's only the 43rd. Cleveland served twice, not consecutively so when listing the presidents chronologically he is listed twice. However, if you count bodies, then there have not been 43 bodies before Obama. There have only been 42, or maybe even less. I'm not sure if Cleveland is the only one who left office and then came back later.
Here's a link to the list of Presidents so you can see what I'm talking about

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