Open thread: Obama inauguration

posted at 11:01 am on January 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Today will likely be a slow news day, except for the one big event taking place in Washington DC today — the ceremonial inauguration of Barack Obama for his second term as President.  Four years ago, nearly two million people crowded into the Mall for President Obama’s first inaugural address.  Today, organizers are trying to manage expectations for a much lower turnout.  How much lower?  Fox’s Carl Cameron reports that organizers predict a falloff of as much as 75% from the first inauguration:

“They expect that in fact it could be significantly smaller,” said Fox News reporter Carl Cameron. “Instead of 1.8, four years ago, They have actually lowered their crowd estimates. Originally they were saying, 600 to 800,000. Yesterday we were informed organizers think maybe closer to 500 to 700 [thousand]. Perhaps only a quarter of the size of four years ago.”

I suspect that the crowd will be a little larger than that.  This sounds a bit like sandbagging, a way to claim later that the crowd exceeded expectations as a way to pump up Obama’s standing momentarily. However, since Obama has already taken the oath — yesterday, as required by the Constitution — perhaps this will seem even more anticlimactic than it already is:

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Obama takes the oath of office at 11:55 am ET, according to the schedule, but there are plenty of events already taking place, so tune in right away if you want to catch, say, Chuck Schumer deliver opening remarks at 11:30. (Interesting program note: They’re giving James Taylor five minutes to sing “America the Beautiful.”) If you want to watch this live, CBS News has an embeddable video stream, posted below. If you want to watch it without commentary, I’d suggest C-SPAN.

If you find yourself unexcited by all of this, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Even Dana Milbank is unenthused about this “tepid rerun”:

Four years ago, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the capital, sleeping on floors and lining the streets so that they could be part of history: the inauguration of the first black president, who had the promise of being a transformational figure that could bring hope and change to a broken political system.

That messiah never came, and a sluggish economic recovery overshadowed his term. Obama was reelected less because he inspired the nation than because he discredited his opponent. Most Americans still think that the country is headed in the wrong direction, and just one in five trust their government to do the right thing.

Much of this says less about Obama than about the times. But the president manages to make his own presidency seem smaller by his frequent invocations of our greatest president. Obama, who launched his first presidential campaign in the place where Abraham Lincoln delivered his “House Divided” speech, will place his hand Monday, as he did in 2009, on the Bible Lincoln used for his 1861 inauguration. …

Lincoln’s second inaugural had the lines many Americans still know by heart: “judge not, that we be not judged,” and “fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray,” and, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Talk about managing expectations ….

Inviting comparison to that moment inevitably makes Obama’s second-term program, as he outlined it last week — “making modest adjustments to programs like Medicare” and “closing loopholes in our tax code” — seem little. At his news conference Monday, Obama vowed: “I intend to carry out the agenda that I campaigned on — an agenda for new jobs, new opportunity and new security for the middle class.”

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Another speech from the Vacuous POTUS. Mindlessly intoning the words, with the help of his teleprompter, written by men of far more intellect although no less of an ideologue than he. The Vacuous POTUS presumes to lecture the nation on his greatness and his intention to preserve the welfare state at any cost even while the nation is at the breaking point due to his unparallelled spending and the never ending taking from her by those who offer NOTHING in return. All men are indeed created equal Mr. President, but after creation begins the journey through life that defines them, that determines whether they contribute to and help build the world into a better place or merely siphon off of it. At that point equality becomes moot as each individual is no longer an equal, as some work, educate themselves and create, while others, unwilling to dirty their hands or exercise their intellect chose to become wards of those who pay the bills and thus through their sloth contribute nothing. The professional baby makers, the generations of do nothings, the disability income claiming con artists, who demand equal outcomes, are no longer equal rather are parasites dragging down the country that is a beacon to freedom and opportunity. This Vacuous POTUS named all the minorities, except the one he has created, The American Taxpayer! Don’t Tread On Me!

ConcealedKerry on January 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM

So today, being a Monday, I left early to make sure I had a decent parking spot. Imagine my surprise on finding ample places to choose from. Not dwelling on it further, I ascended the thirteen steps and kicked Monday off.

Later in the day I noticed on the breakroom TV the President and all of the hooplah surrounding the Inauguration. Okay, back to the salt mine.

Later at lunch I was reconciling my check book when I noticed a substantially lower deposit this check than the last. Sometimes at the end of the year the last check is skewed for whatever reason, so I went back to December 15, November 30,and November 15, and found nearly identical deposits through last month. The outlier was January 15. Ah, so it finally hits home. “You can keep your health insurance if you like it, and most people won’t see their health care costs go up.” Thank you Mr. President.

Then on the way by the post office to drop off a package I realized today is Martin Luther King Day. So all of those open parking spots belonged to people that took today off to drive 700 miles to be at the Inauguration. Good for them. Hope they don’t cause a recordable with the lack of sleep from driving back tonight.

Thinking about the check, and how much I will for evermore have withdrawn form my check to pay for someone else’s benefit, I recalled the President’s impetus to channel Abraham Lincoln. I have read and heard of several references he has made to Lincoln speeches and writings, but one comes to mind I do not believe he has repeated, or possibly even heard.

“Property is the fruit of labor. Property is desirable, is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.”

“Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”
Yes, Mr. President, Abraham Lincoln spoke those words.

Instead, from you, we get,” My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody … I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Barack Obama

I am sad for you Mr. President, and I am sad for this country. What history will record as the accomplishments of the first black President of these United States decades from now will be much different that the soaring eloquence and platitudes not only from yourself, but your serfs, and your media.

Martin Luther King himself surely is rolling over in his grave thinking of the opportunity we had as a nation at this juncture, only to elect nothing but a Chicago thug and union organizer.

What could have been…..

Tenwheeler on January 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM

I wonder how many trillion he plans to spend over the next four years? I wonder how much his future vacations are going to cost us. I wonder how many times Michelle will roll her eyes at those bourgeois conservatives? I wonder how many lavish parties we’ll have to fund for celebrities who campaigned for the president? I wonder how much his new health care laws are going to cost people, and whether or not they’re even going to help anyone to a better life. I’m so sad for my country.

scalleywag on January 21, 2013 at 7:38 PM

I like your questions and comment.

metroryder on January 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Tenwheeler on January 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Very, very well composed

metroryder on January 21, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I made my first million when I was 29.
LOL. Were you the dog or the top hat? I like the race car.

lostmotherland on January 21, 2013 at 7:15 PM


HiJack on January 21, 2013 at 8:08 PM


HiJack on January 21, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Why, because its a left on left insult?

Bmore on January 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Memory refresher for you dear.

It must be Groundhog Day for attention whores.

SnarkVader on March 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I look forward to your suicide on November 6th.

SnarkVader on March 19, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Maybe Bristol should try an aspirin between her knees next time.

SnarkVader on March 19, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Bristol’s life is in peril from who?? Reality??

SnarkVader on March 19, 2012 at 7:08 PM

It’s a personal vendetta against intellectual dishonesty.

SnarkVader on March 19, 2012 at 9:45 PM


Bmore on January 21, 2013 at 8:27 PM

I just hope someone managed to barf in all the port-a-pottis.

viking01 on January 21, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Bah, humbug. Imperial Coronation of the soon-to-be-must-be Impeached Barack Hussein Insane Obama.

Who is John Galt on January 21, 2013 at 8:50 PM

scalleywag: great narrative!
May I add: I wonder how many solar companies he can lavish on his cronies, flushing tax payer dollars down the toilet.

Belle on January 21, 2013 at 8:53 PM

I heard that out of the 500,000 who attended the inauguration, only 6 missed work.

Machismo on January 21, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Is dog on the menu?

tommy71 on January 21, 2013 at 9:04 PM

This is the most lame, hyper-partisan, and low class Inauguration I’ve ever witnessed in 40 yrs.

1. The spectacle of a vacuous, ignorant Inaugural Address more suited to a campaign stump. Didn’t vote for me? Here’s a poke in the eye while I kick you in the nads.

2. A president chomping on gum during the parade for hrs on end because he’s jonesing for a cigarette.

3. Using our military as campaign props at an Inaugural Ball and then not even knowing how to dance – making an utter fool of himself.

matthew8787 on January 21, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Machismo: “I heard that out of the 500,000 who attended the inauguration, only 6 missed work.”.

Feeling such despair over the most liberal President this country has ever had, your statement had me laughing…thanks! Of course the liberals will say it was MLK holiday, so of course they wouldn’t work.

Belle on January 21, 2013 at 9:10 PM

When he’s not busy, vacationing, undermining American interests, or persecuting American citizens, he’s giving empty speeches and strutting around for the cameras.

claudius on January 21, 2013 at 9:18 PM

It’s not shouting. Obama Lil’ Black Hitler is the most gifted orator of this generation. He speaks with a emotional cadence that moves and instills hope and inspiration! All Hail!

nonpartisan on January 21, 2013 at 12:11 PM

S. D. on January 21, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Ha, ha, Michael’s on, he has a sound he plays for Boehner, the sound of ice clinking in a glass “that’s the sound of the republicans, the opposition”.

Belle on January 21, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Swimmin’ in crissy wit a dukey rope while de dogs git nothin’.

IlikedAUH2O on January 21, 2013 at 10:04 PM

The country’s got a feevah, and the prescription is a massive carbon tax. I think the media are actually going to try to sell that to the country. There will be countless man on the street interviews with no-longer in the workforce types who think that is what the country needs. It’s about the children!

An Objectivist on January 21, 2013 at 10:36 PM

So is this the term he cuts the deficit in half?

tom daschle concerned on January 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM

O/T: For those who don’t know, I wrote a blog calling Hillary a liar, and chump’s panties remain in a wad about it.

So, being the Liberal idiot that he is, he attacks my Christianity.

kingsjester on January 21, 2013 at 12:28 PM

No, kingsjester you attacked your Christianity by bearing false witness against Mrs. Clinton and refusing to man up. In fact, you’re proudly defiant about your sin.

I enjoy pointing out that you are a typical Christian hypocrite. You could at least display a little embarrassment that I have to school you in your own religion.

chumpThreads on January 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

kingsjester on January 21, 2013 at 12:28 PM

chumpThreads on January 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

I wasn’t party to kingsjester‘s original blog, so “no comment”.

listens2glenn on January 21, 2013 at 11:01 PM

JPeterman, apparently it’s a hoax.

Schadenfreude on January 21, 2013 at 11:09 PM

lol How have I not heard that one yet? Barack Insane Obama. Perfect.

Murf76 on January 21, 2013 at 11:30 PM


You poor little baby.

Bmore on January 21, 2013 at 11:47 PM

What’s really depressing is that I finally understand why the Japanese called it a “lost decade”, or even the “lost two decades”. Here we are, four years in… and facing another four of the same. And we don’t get those years back. There’s no force in nature that can accomplish it. They’re just gone. We don’t get a do-over. No chance to relaunch our kids into adulthood the way it ought to have been done. No chance to relive the peace of mind we should’ve had. Just years more of scraping by and waiting for the other shoe to drop. And who knows if another four will even be recoverable in our lifetime? There might not be enough economic freedom left to start over. Who knows?

I never thought I’d live to see the day when America was no longer “exceptional”. But now, it looks like all those guys who paid for our liberty with their lives back in the Revolutionary War died for nothing. We’re a larger, and somehow more grotesque, European socialist state. Maybe if we ask nicely… England will take us back. At least we’d have the cool accents. Either that, or we could just find some tightwad and make him KING. Then we’d only have ONE guy enriching himself at our expense, rather than the whole of Washington. {sigh}

Murf76 on January 21, 2013 at 11:51 PM

All will be righted in due course.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 12:17 AM

chumpThreads on January 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Oh Look! Its chumpThreads, the notorious slime-wad Trig Troofer.

SparkPlug on January 22, 2013 at 2:59 AM

chumpThreads on January 21, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Vince Foster remains unavailable for comment.

Now, about your “Dear Leader’s” Coronation”: My take.

kingsjester on January 22, 2013 at 6:54 AM