I missed President Obama’s inaugural address yesterday, but I caught the last part of the event and was excited and uplifted.
Indulge me in a few reflections and observations, if you will:
:: One of my foremost impressions of the inauguration was that it probably will be a long, long time before the nation sees a couple as handsome and appealing (appealing from the standpoint of vigor and well being) as Barack and Michelle Obama.
The day’s events were a photographer’s dream.
And how about Michelle? Wow, that woman knows how to dress! A fashion critic was quoted by CNN as saying her style is “ladylike with a twist.” The twist is that she always adds her own distinctive touch to her outfits.
My favorite photo, which appeared on the front page of Tuesday’s New York Times, was this one by Times photographer Doug Mills…
It perfectly captured the joy and celebration of the day.
…I know. You Republican readers are probably curling your upper lips and muttering uncharitable things about now. But how could anyone say that the first couple and their daughters Malia and Sasha did not emanate vigor and electricity?
:: Unfortunately, the inauguration wasn’t authentic from start to finish. I was shocked and appalled to learn Tuesday that a performing artist committed felony fraud.
I can almost always tell when a performer is lip-syncing, but I’ll be damned if Beyonce (accent aigu over the final “e”) didn’t slip one by me. And by almost all other viewers, I’m willing to bet.
At the end of her stirring rendition of the National Anthem, I was on my feet singing with her, just not quite as beautifully.
And then I learned today that she did, indeed, lip-sync.
What a chicken shit!
Kudos, however, to Kelly Clarkson, “American Idol” star, for her outstanding rendition — SUNG LIVE — of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Her performance prompted Sen. Chuck Schumer, master of ceremonies, to say, “WOW!”
(Also, who can forget Aretha Franklin’s rendition of the same song four years ago at Obama’s first inauguration? And, yes, she sang it LIVE.)
As for Beyonce (accent aigu over the final “e”), I never heard her sing and never paid any attention to her before yesterday, and she’s now won a spot in my personal trash bin of overhyped musical artists.
:: I’ve got to give credit to our hometown Kansas City Star, too, for the way it played the inauguration. A photo of a smiling and ramrod straight President Obama taking the oath of office, with Michelle holding two historic Bibles in her gloved hands, swept across the front page, down to the fold.
Good call at 18th and Grand. Surely, a lot of Democrats who don’t subscribe bought copies when they saw it in the newspaper stands.
:: A couple of weeks ago, a commenter to my blog predicted that Obama would go down as “the most hated President ever.”
I replied, “More hated than Nixon???”
And now, as the nation embarks on four more years under Barack Obama, I’m going to predict that he will be long remembered for, among other things, his achievements, his even temperament, his judicious choice of words, his humanness and, finally, for bringing us the finest first lady we could possibly ask for.