(AP) – AP National Political Editor Liz Sidoti closes Inauguration Watch by summing up the day’s events and what they might mean.
No, this wasn’t the euphoric celebration of 2009 that mesmerized a hungry nation clinging to promises of hope and change. Those times are long past.
But the inauguration of 2013 was history-making in its own right. It opened a new chapter in America’s story _ and Obama’s, too.
We saw a confident president again promise to lead the nation. Only this time, as he took the oath of office, he was speaking to a country filled with fear and anxiety. Many Americans worry that we are in a state of perpetual decline. Many despise the fact that our politics have become so polarized and partisan. And many fear the country will slide back into recession because of it.
We saw Republicans _ for one day, at least _ choose not to fight with the president. Rather, they joined him in celebrating _ through, gritted teeth, perhaps _ this uniquely American day.
We saw Vice President Joe Biden take his turn at glad-handing the parade crowd, sharing the spotlight with the president and, perhaps, setting the stage for his own presidential run in 2016.
We saw Michelle Obama look radiant in a custom-made Jason Wu gown to the inauguration balls. The ruby-colored, velvet and chiffon evening dress was her final outfit of a day that began with her in a Thom Browne navy-silk, checkered-patterned coat and dress. And her new hairstyle: bangs or, as they are often called today, fringes.
We saw Malia Obama, 14, and Sasha, 11, at turns poised and playful as they embarked on their dad’s second term as young ladies, the bulk of their childhoods now behind them.
We saw only half as many people show up to see Obama’s inaugural address as in 2008. Somewhere between 800,000 and 1 million came to National Mall, compared with 1.8 million four years ago. We saw Washington turn into Hollywood and a music mecca, for a few hours at least as celebrities swarmed the city. We saw that it’s possible to hold an inauguration in above-freezing temperatures, an anomaly for January in Washington.
And we saw that even in the most divisive of times, even amid the harshest of words, the house that our founding fathers built more than two centuries ago still stands tall, no matter what kind of politics the moment might hold.
_ Liz Sidoti _ Twitter
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier