Awaiting the Obamapotheosis, the massive crowd on the mall has broken out into chants of “Obama! Obama! Obama!”
But remember: It’s not about him.
11:43am Eastern. Obama is announced: “The president of the United States, Barack H. Obama.”
Chanting in full force now: OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA!
11:50am Eastern. Rick Warren gives the invocation prayer. No audible boos, smattering of applause. People cheer during the prayer as Warren praises the first African-American president. He prays for “humility.”
Humility and the Obama administration do not compute.
11:56am Eastern. Ok, Aretha Franklin just melted my heart. Truly transcendent rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”
Oh, no. Back to the Democrat leadership.
Wonderful performance by Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, and quartet members.
12:06pm Eastern. Obama bungles the oath. The visible nervousness is humanizing.
(Update: Justice Roberts flubbed, too.)
Obama takes the podium. Again with the “humble” stuff.
He thanks President Bush for his service to the nation. Scattered applause.
He’s back in his rhythm with help from the teleprompter.
12:15pm Eastern. Obama calls for “remaking America.” Chill up the spine.
“Transform” this and that. Wallet feeling emptier by the second.
12:19pm Eastern. And again with the “humility” thing.
Obama says he’ll leave Iraq, win in Afghanistan, AND defeat the terrorists: “You cannot outlast us and we will defeat you.”
How? By relying on the diversity of America, of course! Obama gives shout out to Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and non-believers.
Speech fizzles out.
12:33pm Eastern. Poet Elizabeth Alexander does a poor Maya Angelou imitation.
Reminder: She’s the magic vagina poet.
3:00pm Eastern. Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy both taken away from inaugural lunch for medical reasons. Byrd for eating problems. Kennedy with convulsions.