A New President

It’s difficult to have missed the sense of excitement that surrounds the inauguration of Barack Obama as the President of the USA. I am addicted to The West Wing, so it takes on a bit of additional resonance. And it’s such a momentous event that even a blog about cycle tours is allowed to mention it.

Two of our Chain Gang regulars were at the inauguration as volunteers, Gary Ford and Lisa Taverna. Here’s the two of them wrapped up in about 73 layers of clothes against the Washington winter, but still looking cheerful enough.

Two volunteers at President Obama's inauguration

I remember so well the wave of optimism that accompanied the election of Tony Blair in the UK in 1997. Needless to say, every single little drop of that optimism is gone. Fingers crossed that Gary is right, and that President Obama is a ‘once in a lifetime leader’.

We should remember that the trade cycle, recessions, and recoveries are all about expectation and sentiment. It’s way too much to ask that President Obama be the spark of positive expectation that begins our recovery from this dreadful economic downturn. But there will be a recovery, and it will be based on a critical mass of people and businesses thinking that ‘things will get better soon’.

So who knows? It might seem unlikely today, but it’s just possible that it started yesterday.

One thought on “A New President

  1. Gary Ford

    That picture was taken at about 7:00 just as it was getting light after we had been at our security gate station for an hour or so. By 6:30 a.m. there were 10,000 people in line to get on the parade route at our one station and there were several other entry points (we were “line 11″) although the parade wasn’t scheduled to start until 2:30 p.m. (and actually didn’t start until 4:00 because of Kennedy’s seizure).

    Security opened about 7:30 a.m. and our line didn’t diminish until 3:30 p.m. Unlike for the inauguration ceremony itself, everyone got through the metal detectors and bag searches and got to see the Obama family walking down Pennsylvania Avenue on their way to their new home.

    People stood in line for hours at our site but stayed (mostly) in good humor and it was a joyous day all around. One writer described the event as, “Woodstock without the mud” (or perhaps more accurately “Woodstock in the winter”).

    We don’t know what the future holds, but on this day optimism, enthusiasm and the “can do, git her done” spirit, reigned supreme.


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