Today, on the 20th January 2009, Barack Hussein Obama was inaugurated into the Presidency of the United States of America. He is the 44th president of the United States, succeeding President George W. Bush who was, in the opinion of many, the worst president yet. There wasn’t exactly an abundance of sadness as President Bush left the stage.
Anecdotes are aplenty at grand occasions such as this – one of them going something like “It needed a Clinton (President) to fix up the mess left by President H.W. Bush – will it take another Clinton (Hillary) to cleanup after the latest President W. Bush?”
Much of this inauguration has an Abraham Lincoln flavour to it. Reference was made during President Obama’s speech, and even the menu at the presidential luncheon was slanted towards the tongue of the great man. Its no coincidence then that 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.
Interestingly enough, one of the most popular webpages was that containing the menu for the inauguration luncheon held in the Statuary Hall.
Senator Joe Biden first took his oath of office from Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
At noon President-elect Barack Obama became President Obama when Chief Justice John G. Roberts led him in the Oath of Office found in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Unfortunately Chief Justice Roberts stumbled through the leading of the oath, leaving Barack seeming nervous and missing his words. However he followed this up with a magnificent and powerful oratory, fluent and eloquent. Gone was the boyish, smiling, nervous fellow – here was a stern and determined man, hard and unlikely to take nonesense from anyone. Here seems to be the leader America has been calling out for.
See his full inauguration speech here.
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.