Inaugurating the President

Welcome back everyone!

What a fabulous time!
Laura and I got back Wednesday night from Washington and the entire Inauguration truly was an experience of a lifetime.

Waiting for the Inaugural
We arrived at the security gatepoint at 7:45 a.m. at 7th and D. Two hours later we got onto Pennsylvania Avenue. Somehow it was colder than Ottawa! How could that be? The limo parade of SUVs came by with President Bush and President-elect Obama on their way from coffee at the White House to Pennsylvania Avenue. A nice hors d'oeuvre before the main course.

Rather than joining the long line trying to get into the Newseum (where we had our tickets), we waited until it cleared, and went right in. So we ended up experiencing most of the Inaugural speech from Pennsylvania Avenue as well as on the huge screen in the warmth and comfort of the Newseum. 

Our Volunteer Experience
We left at 2:30 and after a quick bite with friends arrived at our designated volunteer site - just across from the Washington Convention Center. Still not sure what we were going to be specifically assigned to, Laura and I, along with two other volunteers were told to go the VIP check-in at the 7th and M Street entrance.
Laura & I wait for the ceremony [top]  Staffing the VIP check-in....

 So not thinking much about it one way or the other, we arrive to discover that our role was to 'meet and greet' and check the credentials of all the Senators, Congressmen, Mayors and celebrities coming to one of the six official Presidential Balls taking place in the Convention Center that night.

So Laura and I met the VIPs on the way in. The Secret Service were with us and away we went for the next eight hours. The first celebrity in was Sheryl Crow, and then in short order, came Queen Latifah (who was hilarious and a lot of fun); Sting, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ray Romano and Mariah Carey. Jamie Foxx (who was fascinated that Laura had "come all the way from Canada?!"). Oprah (who on the way out went up to Laura and ran her fingers through her fur collar saying, "I just gotta feel this!"). Denzel Washington (who spotted my (baked) potato chip bag and asked if he could have a few. I said, "take the whole bag" and that set off a fun exchange and a photo op. A very nice guy for sure!

Governor David Paterson was totally warm and engaging. If he's blind, you could fool me! He makes up for his loss of sight with incredible interpersonal skills, charming everyone.
I could go on, but you get the gist of how the evening went. The Obama family came by in three busloads and they couldn't have been nicer. [Although the Prez came in by a special entrance.]

No 'Celebrity Attitudes'
What really impressed us, though, was that there was no 'celebrity attitude' to deal with. The folks who paid the money for their tickets were all in a great mood and were not putting on airs of any kind. They were just celebrating a moment in history that they did not believe would happen only a few short years ago.

We were honored to be a small part of it. Here are a few more photos from our experience at the 2009 Inaugural.

Laura with Leonardo [top] Denzel drops by for some potato chips.

The Morning After the Night Before
The next morning CBC Radio interviewed Laura and me about our experience, exploring the theme of 'could such an inaugural event happen in Canada?' If you would like to hear it, click on here, select 'Play Part One' and the item starts at 4:28: Barry and Laura on CBC Radio's 'The Current'
The President and the Media
The President is clearly on his honeymoon with the press, but if you watch this clip of the President dropping into the White House press room on Thursday, you will see that he wants them to play by his rules. Check out how he bristles when a reporter 'breaks the rules' and dares to ask him a question about a serious issue. It won't always be this easy Mr. President.

And now for something completely different... introducing our new website!!!!
At last....our new website is up and running. Yes we will be filling in some areas as we go...but we are saying goodbye to our old website....www.ceo.tv. The main reason we did it was because people didn't automatically link in their minds the website url to us [and why should they?], so we decided to match our website with our company name....Duh..... 

Hey it's 'change you can believe in' [to coin a phrase]. However, for those of you who have not copied our new website address into your contact list [and we sincerely hope you do] the old site will remain 'pointed' to McLoughlin Media for the next number of months. So we hope we don't lose any of you! I will also be incorporating this blog into that site shortly as well. 

Check us out now at http://www.mcloughlinmedia.com
ENTER OUR CONTEST - if you go to the new website and email me [comment on  the new website, just say hi, or cruise our seminar offerings] at barry@mcloughlinmedia.com , you will be eligible to win a 2009 edition of my Encountering the Media pocket tips book in a random draw. [10 winners will be chosen]

Until next time...keep those emails, or snail mail coming in! [1875 I Street NW, Suite 500 Washington DC 20006-5425 or 200-130 Albert St. Ottawa ON Canada K1P 5G4]

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Did you guys ever luck out big time - great fun!