Our patchwork heritage

Ok, I should be working on my first state supreme court brief, which the administration wants to see a copy of by Friday, but I can’t let too much time pass without comment on yesterday’s events. I don’t know if I’m the first to break the news or not, but yesterday was the inauguration at which President-elect Obama became President Obama. Shoot. I should have told you to sit down before giving you that news. Well, take your time to recover from it and then join me in sharing your thoughts on the speech, the invocation, the benediction, Feinstein having the “distinct” pleasure of introducing everyone, CJ Roberts’ attempt to sabotage Obama, and whether that lemongrass color was gorgeous or not.

Since the speech, I have heard a lot of talk from talking heads more learned than I that the speech just wasn’t that great. With that in mind, I humbly — the theme of this new era, perhaps — disagree. I loved it! I will be the first to admit that I am simply charmed by this family and Obama reading aloud classified ads would probably woo me, but I simply thought the speech was great. I loved the imagery of the “icy currents” and the “clenched fist.” I loved that we know our patchwork heritage is a strength and not a weakness. While that idea is certainly not new, it seemed spoken with such confidence that it felt new. I very much liked his note that people will judge their leaders by what they build, not what they destroy. On the flip side, I was not enamored with the line about we will move forward with government programs that work and abandon those that don’t. Not that that isn’t a worthwhile notion, but it seemed a rather pedestrian idea. [Note: one of my colleagues thought the whole speech was ‘pedestrian’ by Obama standards. Admittedly, he set the bar rather high, but really — pedestrian?]

I just think the whole of it was inspiring.  It reminded me that we are an awesome country with awesome responsibilities.  It did what I think he set out to do: reassure us, remind us there is a lot of work to do, and fill us with hope. 

Final note: all I want to see are pictures of Michelle.  Why a camera would focus on anything else but Michelle (and sometimes Malia and Sasha), I have no idea.  This morning I was watching a little of the prayer service at the National Cathedral and the camera was pulling away from Michelle.  What?  Cameraman: fired!

Ok, final final note: this.

And I now need to look at more pictures of that lemongrass dress er, I mean, work on my brief. 


12 Responses to “Our patchwork heritage”

  1. 1 Sarayu January 21, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Ok first off, that excerpt with Michelle and Obama from ’96 is just stunning. Tears, tears ,tears. I love them. Second, I agree I can’t stop watching Michelle and the girls. I adored her in the lemongrass dress and I love that she chose smaller designers, rather than big names. How cute is it the the girls were wearing JCrew jackets? Love that too.

    I thought the speech was just brill. I loved the unclenched fist/ open hand offer, the idea that we have struggled and risen and will rise again, and the reference to his own father who 60 years ago wouldn’t have been able to eat a meal in many restaurants. I found it uplifting, eloquent and surprisingly honest. I also really loved that he addressed “Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Non-believers.” I really love that he addressed non-believers.

    On the whole, I thought it was a great speech and excellent delivery, as always. I also liked the Rev. Lowery’s benediction, particularly the end bit.

    On a final note, even my mother was moved to have hope and believe in the future of America under Obama’s lead. For those of you who don’t know my mother, this shift is a lot like Scrooge’s final revelation in “A Christmas Carol.”

  2. 2 gracieandkate January 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Hee hee. Oh, Mama Rao. And she didn’t even vote!

    I liked the non-believers part, too. I was mentioning that last night — that seemed like a very new admission.

  3. 3 gracieandkate January 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Also, CONGRATULATIONS to Sarayu for booking a role on the NBC series ‘Life.’ YAY!!!!

  4. 4 rose January 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I found the use of the term “non believers” pretty funny. I was not offended nor do I particularly love that term (it’s slightly odd..no?) I wonder if it will catch on.

    Anyway–I thought Michelle’s inaugural dress was gorgeous as well as the white dress she wore later on. That was really stunning.

    I’m just so glad yesterday finally came…
    happy days!

  5. 5 Sarayu January 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Tee hee. Thanks Kate! Whoo hoo!

  6. 6 Kristin January 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I Just read the piece in the New Yorker that you posted and started crying all over again. Do we really have a president who said this about his wife? I still just can’t even believe it…

    And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.

  7. 7 gracieandkate January 22, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I know. Isn’t that something?

    I LOVED the white dress, too. STUNNING.

    Folks, Craptastic is leading the race…

  8. 8 gracieandkate January 22, 2009 at 10:49 am

    So, best picture nominees are:

    Benjamin Button
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Reader

    Hmm. Hmm. Of these, I still need to see F/N, the damn Button, and the Reader. I’m sure the Reader is good, but can we please put a hold on WW2 movies for a year or two? The best movie I have seen this year is Gran Torino. I’m disappointed it didn’t get a nod.

  9. 9 rose January 22, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    That piece is great!
    I have this sense of peace and relief that has long been absent.
    I just feel like saying ‘ahhh…’

  10. 10 Sara H January 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I enjoyed the speech. I thought it might have been a teeny bit unnecessarily snappish in places given the purpose/tenor of the day, but on the whole, good. I was kind of entertained that “out of an abundance of caution”, Obama re-took the oath of office today.

    I’m wondering if perhaps Michelle could be co-President. Or could she be the next Hillary? With better style? I like her.

    A Supreme Court brief? too cool!

  11. 11 gracieandkate January 22, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    She is so damn cool.

    I don’t know if I thought it was too snappish, but I agree that it certainly had lots of jabs. I would never be able to make a speech like that when the guy I’m talking smack about is two feet behind me. And actually, some of my fave pics — aside from the ones of Michelle — are of Bush & Obama. There’s a really cute one on the LA Times site where they are leaning into each other, across the aisle and laughing. Oh, who would have thought?

    I think the second oath thing is just so damn dumb. I guess it’s better to stave off those dummies who may have raised ridiculous concerns, but really. No more oaths! Get to work!

  12. 12 Sara H January 23, 2009 at 8:51 am

    I actually don’t blame him for the second oath. Certainly there are some nuts out there who might try some funny business! Although then I guess Biden would be president?

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January 2009

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