Inauguration photos

It is a difficult thing to describe. I was among the million in the crowd, and had a front row seat to history being made. Among the highlights though were the reaction of the crowd to George Bush – wholescale boos. This was followed by everyone singing “na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye”.

After Obama became president, the music started – hail to the chief came on and the people around me began dancing. People smiled and danced with strangers, the atmosphere was one of sheer delight. The crowds were tremendously positive, and despite being squeezed and jostled everyone was polite and friendly. The crowd also reacted well to the gaffe during the swearing in.

Here are some of the photos from today’s inauguration.

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Lincoln Memorial concert pictures

If anyone was wondering how many people went, all I can say is that a huge amount went. I have never seen so many people congregate in one place. This photo demonstrates, almost:

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All the way from Lincoln to the Washington monument. Estimates are 500,000 people, which I would agree with.

Lots more in the Flickr set.

I have some video, will try and upload soon.

Lincoln Memorial Event lineup

Gosh, Obama sure gets the celebrities to come out and sing on January 19. (I might try to go but I imagine it will be heaving)

Musical performers scheduled for the event include Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. The Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson will give the invocation. Rob Mathes will be the music director and arranger for the backing band, which will support all of the artists. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General?

Say it aint so!

Wonkette says a good analogy would be Judge Judy for Supreme Court. Hehe.

Dr. Gupta, who performs double duty as a medical correspondent for CNN and a neurosurgeon, is a leading contender to fill the high-profile position in the Obama administration. The job could be accepted in the coming days, according to people familiar with the situation at the television network and in the Obama transition.

Inauguration blogging

Yes, for my sins, I am going to Washington to see Barack Obama become POTUS. I will be spending a week there, and I expect it to be damn cold. Irish Examiner colleague Conor Ryan (who will soon dip his toe into the world of blogging himself) will be coming with, as will one of my fellow subs.

We have booked tickets for at least one ball (the Lincoln 2.0 one), and are keeping an eye out for others (The Purple one looks interesting, if expensive).

Hopefully lots of photos and some video. And yes more writing, following complaints from Joe that my writing has become lazy of late.

Anyone else going?

Picking Steven Chu

Barack Obama has picked his energy team. Says Bloomberg:

Obama named Nobel laureate Steven Chu as his choice as secretary of the Energy Department and Lisa Jackson as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. He also named former EPA chief Carol Browner to fill a new position as head of the National Energy Council and Nancy Sutley to serve as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

While lawmakers and presidents in the past have repeatedly promised to find alternative sources of energy, “our dependence on foreign oil has only grown,” the president-elect said today at a Chicago press conference where he announced his picks. “This time has to be different.”

The newly named members of his administration will help push Obama’s goal of having mandatory limits on U.S. greenhouse gases, as well as a proposal to create a $150 billion clean- energy fund to boost renewable technologies.


Jim Fallows reckons
Chu is a superb pick, and points to a very interesting interview with him from a few years back. It’s worth a look. As Jim says, scientists who can explain complex concepts easily and without being condescending are always good to have. Chu strikes me as an incredibly smart guy, but not alone that, a very with it guy too.