Let's begin with some fanfare:
Washington ceremonial music is usually lame stuff magnificently performed by the Marine Band, but I think that this fanfare tune was wonderful. Anyone recognize it? If you do, tell me what it is because I've been looking all over for and can't find it.
That thoughtful, sober inauguration speech is worth listening to again, a sweeping rejection of the previous 8 years with a clear declaration of basic principles for going forward. It's so refreshing to be spoken to as an adult again.
Here's the rest of it:
Obama made clear from the very beginning that he plans to govern from the center and by as much consensus as possible. Progressives like myself will inevitably be disappointed that some of his policies do not go far enough, and others go astray. There is also a certain ruthlessness behind his calm cerebral demeanor. He didn't get to where he is now by being a marshmallow. No one succeeds in politics by being a Sunday school teacher; it's a rough and very worldly business.
However, I couldn't be happier. The long dark night of the Bush administration is finally over; the lies, the corruption, the stupidity, and the power grabs. Obama's election is a dramatic sea change in our politics. Vietnam and the 60s are finally finished as political issues. The Culture War played anything but a decisive role in this election and may be coming to an end. A campaign that made brilliant use of technology to connect with constituents and voters promises a whole new way of governing, and of government accountability. For the first time since the days of JFK, the young are stampeding to government and public service. Washington is swamped with resumes from the under 40 folk. We now have a brilliant, thoughtful, and conscientious man in the White House better prepared than any president in memory to steer the country to a new and more promising direction. After the worst presidency ever, things can only get better.