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Mary McNamara's highs and lows of the inauguration

January 20, 2009 |  5:21 pm


1. Malia Obama and her ever-present camera. At 10, she’s already on her way to a book deal.

2. Sasha Obama and her coat. Tangerine never looked so good; watch for it on a red carpet near you.

3. George H.W. Bush’s yellow turtleneck. It takes a world-class preppie to wear yellow to an inauguration, but he looked great.

4. The aerial shots of the Mall. Now, that’s a lot of people. And what do you see when you look at the shapes?

5. The noon crawls/interruptions announcing that Obama was officially president even though we were still listening to Yo-Yo Ma and company.

6. The Rev. Joseph Lowery’s benediction. Someone had to give voice to the joy of the occasion, and Lowery did.

7. The second marching band that played “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours.”


1. The loud and sustained boos from the crowd when the image of then still-President Bush preparing to enter the staging area flashed up on the many screens throughout the Mall.

2. The omission of the invocation from Rev. Eugene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, from HBO’s coverage of the “We Are One” concert.

3. The inaugural poem. Poets should never read their own work — and Tom Hanks was sitting right there.

4. Bill Clinton’s strangely glum face. Yes, Bill, it would have been nice if she had won, but aren’t you happy there’s a Democrat in the White House again?

5. All those SUVs. Really? No one went for the symbolic gesture of a black Prius?

6. The third marching band that played “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

Tell us yours!

— Mary McNamara