Second time even sweeter, Obama fans say

2013-01-22 08:11
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Inauguration quirky moments

2013-01-22 08:46

From Beyonce's earpiece mishap to a protester up a tree, there were a few delightfully oddball moments at Obama's second public inauguration. Watch.WATCH

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now

Washington - Forget about déjà vu or old hat as Barack Obama, America's first black president, was sworn in again. For some in the sea of humanity watching, cheering and shivering, the repeat was even sweeter.

Yes, the crowd was smaller and the number of celebratory balls was slashed. Obama will be a lame duck, barred from seeking a third term. Compared to 2009, even the January cold that tested the mettle of Obama fans was less intense.

Still, for the crowd that roared when Obama stepped onto the VIP podium on the steps of Congress, one message was clear: His first win back in 2008 was not just some fleeting blip or anomaly amid a long stream of white presidents.

"I am very excited. I feel like the second time around is better," said Jessica Austin of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who travelled to Washington for the inauguration.

"It is worth even more, that he did it again," said Austin, an African American, like a clear majority of the crowd thronging the National Mall.

Indeed, said 25-year-old Washington law student Max Etin, who is white, this time may be less frenzied in terms of enthusiasm but the deeper significance of Obama's win last November speaks volumes.

Festive atmosphere

"I think it is still exciting for some people to show it wasn't like a fluke, you know? That really America is behind him and America is a changing country and he kind of embodies that," said Etin.

A festive atmosphere engulfed the city, one often given to snotty political bickering but owned utterly for a day by the Obama buzz.

From the steps of the Capitol, atop which the majestic white dome stood out against the gray, low-hanging sky, a speckled and colourful carpet of hundreds of thousands spilled out along the huge green lawn known as the Mall.

Nearby, a lone saxophone player played Dave Brubeck music.

Picnics were eaten. Boy scouts squatted on the grass to munch on box lunches. One woman, wrapped in a red plaid blanket and leaning against a tree, hugged a concealed bump that concealed a future child.

After the inauguration, Obama had lunch in the Capitol with congressional leaders and took a slow ride down Pennsylvania Avenue, home to the White House, on his way to view the official inaugural parade from glass encased VIP stands.

One million people

At two points along the way, Obama and his wife Michelle got out of the Cadillac presidential limo and strolled, at times hand in hand, smiling broadly and waving to the crowd on either side of the broad avenue.

The first lady wore a high-waisted flared blue coat. The crowd yelled enthusiastically at the presidential couple. Some had been waiting for the moment up to six hours.

Inaugural officials estimated the crowd - from the Capitol stretching down the Mall and along Pennsylvania Avenue - at one million people.

The parade itself featured eight official floats and 60 groups including marching bands, mounted units and military people.

During the Obama motorcade part in the run-up to the parade itself, the crowd screamed its delight as Washington police rode by in Harley-Davidsons with sidecars and revved their mighty engines.

Back at Capitol Hill, people had run in place to keep warm as they watched large screen TVs showing the arrival of politicians to the VIP podium on high, cheering ones they liked and booing some others.

'There is my baby'


Etching their taste of history in digital memory, people posed for photos holding their admission ticket - green, yellow or orange depending on where they were assigned to stand - with the Capitol as the backdrop.

The wardrobe protecting against the damp cold was as varied as the crowd, from full-length fur coats to clusters of college students wearing bright yellow inaugural hoodies to goofy panda-head hats.

At one point, as a motorcade sped by on its way up Capitol Hill, people whooped, believing it was Obama, the man himself. Nobody knew for sure.

Still, one lady shouted out, and drew laughter: "There he is, there is my baby."

Justin Mausel, a 35-year-old government employee, agreed the electricity that was in the air four years ago - he attended - wasn't there this time, or at least not as patently crackling.

Nevertheless, this was huge stuff: America's first black president, re-elected, wiping away any question of legitimacy.

Beginning of a goodbye

"I think it is just as historic," he said, his 16-month son Mijan squirming in a harness on his chest. "It is still very exciting."

Austin, the Alabama advertising employee, said there was also a sort of bittersweet element, as if it were the start of a farewell. She and others wondered aloud when there might ever be another African American president.

But at the same time, she said, it is a chance for Obama - his plate full with a sputtering economic recovery and looming international crises - to get things done, and better.

"It is the beginning of a goodbye, and hopefully we can do better the second time around. It is the second chance to start over."

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
  • Saturday Constantia - 07:19 AM
    Road name: Rhodes Drive Both Ways
    ROAD CLOSED between Constantia Nek and Canterbury Road until 1300
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.