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Democratic strategist Donna Brazile's inauguration view

January 20, 2009 | 11:44 am

Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile says she's on top of the world after witnessing the first African American president being sworn in to the highest office in the United States. Brazile told ABC that she had an optimum seat during the ceremony in the second row of the platform and was able to take pictures of about 400 dignitaries as they walked in.

Some of her other observations from her special seat:

"Clarence Thomas, wiping tears from his eyes, or maybe he was yawning."

"I was also sitting behind [U.S. Rep.] John Lewis, so I couldn't help but cry. It was wonderful. It was amazing. It was truly a moment that I never thought I would see and yet when I was sitting back there with the president of the NAACP and we were just sobbing. The music was tremendous."

"The president said hello and he smiled, and Joe Biden was so excited."

Then Brazile told a story of opening her front door at 5 a.m. and seeing 12 people walking down the street. "The buses were parked at RFK Stadium and I asked where they were from and they said 'Florida.' And I looked at them and I said, 'You all look good in blue' — because, of course, Florida went for Barack Obama."

"But this was a tremendous day, an emotional day, and yet I think it will take us perhaps days, months, years for us to really understand just how powerful this moment was for the country and the world," she continued.

ABC anchor Charles Gibson asked her if she could see Sasha and Malia during the ceremony.

"I told Malia to do well in school, and she looked at me like, You're not my mom," she said and laughed. "They were talking and chatting. Michelle kept looking at them. I caught a glimpse of Malia looking at George Bush, and he gave her that famous wink."

Then Brazile revealed that Obama left the blue blanket that each platform guest was provided, so she decided to take his.

Gibson teased her that he was going to call the police.

"We have a black president. This is free," she quipped.

— Maria Elena Fernandez