It's a fresh new year in a time of massive change - filled almost at the same time, with anxiety and optimism. Anxiety over the economy and international events - such as the carnage in Gaza and, before that, the bombings in Mumbai. Optimism, however, is in the air over the inauguration of the 44th President who promises change and hope.
Laura and I just spent the weekend in Washington. In a perfect metaphor, the "limo" driver who picked us up is moonlighting from his daytime job as....a real estate agent!! I absolutely had to admire his sense of hard work and dedication to overcoming the current real estate meltdown.
Volunteering for the Inauguration
Over 60,000 people had applied to be volunteers on the Inaugural events, and between 12,000 to 15,000 were selected, including yours truly. So this past weekend, they already put Laura and me to work as well as put us through an orientation session. However, as one of the rules of the Inaugural Committee is not to blog on the specifics of the experience, I will refrain from saying anything about it. I'm certainly looking forward to the Inauguration.
When I mentioned to some people that I was going to be a volunteer, their reaction was interesting. They automatically assumed that I must have been "Obama'd". Actually no. While I admire his accomplishment and his campaign, along with his message of hope, I am really going to experience a truly historic moment in history. I mean, will we ever see something as seismic in change that his election represents? It says a lot about the American people and their willingness and capacity to change.
Marine One Sighting
As we drove by the White House, Marine One, the Presidential helicopter, was returning to the White House with President George W. Bush returning home from the aircraft carrier christening ceremony in honor of his father, Bush 41, in Norfolk VA. As it was his last trip as President on board, it lent a certain touch of melancholy to the sight.
Mr. Burris Goes to Washington
Speaking of the capacity to change, how about that 180 degree turnaround on the seating of Roland Burris as the new U.S. Senator from Illinois? Only a day after the sad spectacle of Mr. Burris being turned away at the door to the Senate, the back-pedaling by Senate Democrats hit record speed. It was a classic PR move that framed the debate as an effort to keep what would have been the only African-American out of the Senate. Ouch!!!
Well that wacko Jago seems to be more clever than we gave him credit for. Who would have thought that any appointee of his would have been given any credibility? Wonders never cease in the political world - especially in Illinois. By the way, Gov. Blagojevich's hair still remains unindicted! After that latest pathetic 'news conference' with the carefully orchestrated line-up of the disabled, the people of color, the poor and the dispossessed behind him, he expressed 'no surprise' at the House impeachment vote. Turns out they always wanted him out because of all the good he has done for the disadvantaged of Illinois. Who knew?!
[By the way he has ruined Tennyson for me for life!]
"Come my friends, 'tis not too late to seek......a new Governor."
Until next time.... all the best for a great 2009!