20 January 2009

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Sloped off to the pub at 16:55 this afternoon with people from work to watch the inauguration, due at 17:00 London time.

The pub was pretty full (very unusual for a Tuesday afternoon) and the TV already turned to the inauguration. Everyone was watching.

Obama was sworn in and the whole pub (including the lawyers) clapped and cheered. None of us were American.

Obama's speech was watched with rapt attention and approving murmurs - the nod to non-believers (bunch of Godless Brits), the reference to science, the message (obvious but not explicit) that extraordinary rendition and internment must stop, the call to those who use violence to open their fists. Oh, and a ripple of amusement at the past reference (non-specific but obviously to the Founding Fathers) to the enemy at the gate, on the basis that the enemy in those days had been, er, us. *g*

Afterwards, general agreement that it had been a very impressive performance, not making light of the problems and acknowledging the difficulties ahead but most of all giving a sense of hope, of change. For the better.

Oh, and that Michelle looked lovely and had Bill (Clinton) been trying to peer down her dress! (Clinton remains very popular in Britain, BTW, so it was said with a wry acknowledgment of his foibles). Also, that Obama remains rather fanciable. *g*

Congratulations America on your new President.

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