As I shivered on one of the railings of the World War II Monument this morning, I had the distinct feeling that I was participating in history. And not just the largest-gathering-in-U.S.-history kind of history, but the bigger-than-everything kind of history. I spent 2 hours walking into the District this morning and sat waiting for hours to see the two people I voted for take the Oath of Office. I watched the boys and girls choirs sing, the million processionals of Senators, Representatives, Governors, family members, members of the Cabinet, and what seemed like every fucking person with political connections to Washington… By the time the former Presidents and First Ladies came parading out, my mind was going as numb as my fingers. Just get to it already, I was impatiently thinking. “Welcome the 39th President and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter” (yay, wild applause). “Welcome the 41st President and Mrs. Barbara Bush” (polite golf clapping)… They continued on, but I had snapped back to attention— Where was Nancy Reagan? Not gonna lie, I wanted to see her in action- and what she would wear. I understand that Former President Reagan has passed away, but does that mean that the Former First Lady can no longer be honored for her service to our country? Talk about insult to injury: Sorry Lady, your husband’s dead, so we won’t be needing you to attend. After all, you were only the First Lady– and if your husband isn’t going to be in attendance, a lone female will just make everyone uncomfortable… (it makes me think of The Starter Wife…) Nancy Reagan, while I disagree with her on a lot of things, has had a prolific political life- stumping and hosting debates during this campaign (albeit for the other side) and advocating for stem cell research since Reagan’s death, all in the face of her own declining health. Was she invited and declined– or not invited at all?
This puzzled me, and slightly angered me, but I tried not to let it taint my excitement for what was about to take place. Very shortly, after the musical treats of Aretha Franklin, Izhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma, among others, and the swearing in of Joe Biden, Obama became our 44th President (hallelujah!) and delivered a speech that had the crowd around me cheering and applauding. Read the full transcript here. Hell yes that’s my President! Check out some of my pictures from the day after the jump.
And if anyone knows anything of the mysterious absence of Mrs. Reagan, please fill me in!