Inauguration Day, January 20

Are you inspired, hopeful, ready to work? I watched the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama today on a TV in the lobby of the House of Representatives, and I've rarely been more hopeful of our potential as a nation and as a government. Maybe it was that we've come down a steep slope to this point, with fiscal troubles, international diplomacy to fix, a domestic future to work on, but today, I'm steadied, encouraged, and absolutely determined to do all I can to improve our lot.

From President Obama's speech (boy, it's nice to say that--President Obama), a number of points settled deep:

- That power doesn't give us permission to do what we want; instead, we need to work to be respected.

- It's not whether government is too big or too small, but whether it works.

- That our next generation shouldn't have to lower its sights.

- Our country has done great things when we've matched our imagination to our determination. (Didn't all of us think of Kennedy promising we'd go to the moon in a decade?)

- That we've tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and today, a man whose father would not have been served at a lunch counter takes the oath of office of the highest office in the land.

- That America will extend a hand if others will unclench their fists.

All of this spoke to us on a level we've not heard for a while, and I do believe that we can be better if we're not selfish. President Obama hearkened back to what the Greatest Generation accomplished, with little or no fanfare or glory for oneself. We need that again. I'll fight for it, alongside you. Let's do it.

And Aretha, NICE HAT!


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