Barack Obama was inaugurated as our 44th President today. Tonight he's been partying it up, and deservedly so, but tomorrow he begins his first day on the job, and the question remains: how good will he do?
But today was special, amazing, intense, and it blew me away. I was stirred in many ways as I sat at my desk at work, and watched and listened at the CNN box in the corner of my screen while I lettered the final issue of Nightwing. A coincidental beginning and ending there for sure, but the theme wasn't lost on me as George Bush had coffee with Barack, and honorably passed the baton over to him. It left me wondering about Bush, what has transpired over his time in power, and what Barack will do with his time.
It made me realize that both of these guys are human, and that we may be expecting too much out of Barack. Bush, on the other hand, seemingly lowered the bar very low, so anything Obama does that is viewed positive will be made out to be a miracle. I do give some credit to Bush, however, he did keep us safe after 9/11, and say what you will about the Wars, and a lot can be said, mind you, but it's kept Al Qaida on the run and off of us. I will never question Bush's heart and love for this country and what it stands for. What Obama does to continue keeping us safe will be one of his administration's defining factors.
The economic crisis will be another, but just as important. I think it's safe to say on some level or another everyone fears for their jobs. After the massive stock market drops, every part of our lives are being affected in one way or another. I'm not silly enough to think that Barack's inauguration will magically change anything, but I do think the shift in power, and the hope that it brings will make everyone feel better, and that, in itself, might spur a change in our economic woes.
Today really was amazing, though. Obama gave an incredible speech, although I kept waiting for a great punchline! He instead delivered a nice sustained speech that really hit many levels of emotion. I choked up when he talked about how he's the son of an immigrant, much like myself. I understood when he said there are many challenges ahead, but he confidently intends to meet every one of them. And I applauded when he said he'd extend a hand to those unwilling to unclench their fist. It's a bold proposal, but one that has to be met with respect.
I'm impressed with Barack Obama, our newest President, he's exactly what the country needed, but I am realistic enough to know he's going to need a lot of time to accomplish what needs to be done. Luckily, he's instilled a sense of hope in me, and for now that's most definitely enough.