Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Final Countdown

We're less than two days away from the inauguration, and spirits are high. TV and radio stations are abuzz with information about the inauguration, especially here in Richmond. You can hardly walk down the street without overhearing speculation about what's going to happen in DC, and more importantly, what the traffic will be like. My young relatives are having a special class session on Tuesday at their elementary school about the inauguration; hopefully they'll remember it later on in their lives. An older relative boasted about how he saw two V22 Ospreys - military aircraft that he suspected were searching the areas near Washington (including Richmond) for nuclear weapons, due to the inauguration.

The most surprising thing is how bipartisan the mood is here. None of my family here are outspoken fans of Obama, but for the inauguration they all seem to have set aside their political views and are excited just to be nearby during such a big event. My grandma, who is almost the epitome of Southern-ness, went so far as to say that she thinks Obama will make things better for black people in America. She hastened to add that some of her friends and former coworkers while she was an elementary school teacher were black.

Of course, some people aren't happy, including a columnist from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who grumbles that the University of Virginia's suspension of classes on Jan 20 is further evidence of liberal bias in academia. But fortunately, most people are choosing to celebrate instead of gripe, even many who aren't Obama supporters. Maybe Obama's efforts at the top to run an inclusive presidency are taking effect at the level of ordinary people.

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