Mitchell: The second time around is still pretty good — and just as emotional
BY MARY MITCHELL email@example.com January 21, 2013 7:20PM
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: People gather near the U.S. Capitol building on the National Mall while attending the public Inauguration ceremony on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama was ceremonially sworn in for his second term today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Updated: February 23, 2013 6:37AM
As singer-songwriter Sade said so famously: “It’s never as good as the first time.”
That’s probably true, except when you are President Barack Obama. The nation’s first African-American president was sworn in for a second term on Monday before a sea of admirers that filled the National Mall. While many speculated that there were fewer spectators than four years ago, a presidential inaugural official estimated that one million people turned out to see Obama take the oath of office. With that many people, the lines to catch a cab in front of Union Station, or to catch a train at the Metro Station were as atrociously long as they were in 2009. Only then it was a frigid 28 degrees, prompting strangers to huddle with strangers. Ironically, our shared misery helped create the sense that we were one big, happy, family celebrating a new beginning. And no one moved an inch from the inaugural staging area until the entire ceremony was over. This time, however, having Beyonce belt out the National Anthem at the end of the event, rather than at the beginning, proved to be a logistical error since a lot of people started heading for the exits before the first family could depart, believing they had already missed the superstar’s performance. Unfortunately, an unrestrained protestor with a loudspeaker also marred the event for the people who were seated in the back rows of the VIP section. But for many of the people who came to witness the swearing-in, the repeat was no less emotional than the first time. “It was the most amazing experience in my lifetime. I felt I was here representing my parents,” said Servelure McMath Bostick, trying to stop the unexpected flow of tears. “They never even dreamed of the possibility of this moment, and I stand here knowing this is a God moment. This was ordained. It was bigger than us,” she said. Jasmine B. Harris of Plano, Texas, a suburb of Dallas admitted that she was “pretty pessimistic” about Obama’s chances for re-election. But her skepticism made attending the president’s second inauguration even more important. “This is a chance for me to show my sons history in the making,” she said. Harris and her husband own two daycare centers in Plano. Her 12- and 6-year-old boys were seated nearby. The inaugural celebration included a “Kid’s Concert” that proved a huge success, but did spark controversy since one of the headliners was singer Katy Perry singing lyrics such as “let’s go all the way.” With Malia now a teen, and Sasha soon to become one, the Obamas aren’t immune to these pitfalls. Supporters have watched this family grow in the White House. Knowing the Obamas will be the first family for four more years gave some a second chance to be part of a great American journey. “This is something I did not think I would see in my lifetime four years ago, and I certainly didn’t think he would be re-elected. I’m excited,” Harris said. Lorraine Bradley of Cleveland, Ohio, predicted that Obama would be “stronger than ever. ” “He’s not going to take people trying to hold him back,” she said. The Inauguration of 2013 also turned the streets of Washington into a fashion runway. It didn’t seem that first lady Michelle Obama could top her unique style in her second term, but she gave it a shot by unveiling a new hairstyle that includes bangs. The balls and endless rounds of parties gave women such as Mary Moore of Chicago a chance to do some profiling of their own. Moore, whose long locks were intricately braided, stood out from the crowd in a whiskey-colored fur jacket. She whooped it up when Obama was introduced. “This was an emotional, exciting moment for me because we worked so hard to get him re-elected,” Moore said. “It was a collection of ethnic groups that got him elected. It was a tough fight. It was scary, but we pulled it off,” she said. Now, of course, comes the hard part.
And no one moved an inch from the inaugural staging area until the entire ceremony was over.
“This is a chance for me to show my sons history in the making,” she said.
Lorraine Bradley of Cleveland, Ohio, predicted that Obama would be “stronger than ever. ”
“He’s not going to take people trying to hold him back,” she said.
The Inauguration of 2013 also turned the streets of Washington into a fashion runway.
Now, of course, comes the hard part.