It's been a long, exhausting day, so this is a short report. But here's a few things we saw:
1. The crowd was huge. Everywhere we went today was packed with people. The Metro stations, the streets, the National Mall ... everywhere. From what we're hearing, no president has ever turned out a crowd like this for an inauguration. That makes point No. 2 even more impressive ...
2. No one got hurt. No one got arrested. Police and ambulances were cruising everywhere, but there no serious incidents. Given the sense of chaos, particularly on the streets, that's an impressive accomplishment for Washington DC.
4. The whole ceremony was historic. The crowd was excited and happy, everyone hugged and cheered as Obama took his oath, and the speech landed with a gravitas that underscored the dire situation our nation faces. From my perspective, Obama was moving past the celebration of being the first African-American president, and focusing on being president. The truth is he's not going to profoundly change the US or the world in a few months, even years. Everyone is expecting a lot from him, so he's bracing people for the reality that he won't live up to expectations.
5. The crowd booed President George W. Bush and Sen. Joe Lieberman. They cheered everyone else. The biggest cheers, in descending order:
1. Barack Obama
2. Michelle Obama and the girls
3. Bill and Hillary Clinton
4. Joe Biden
6. Aretha Franklin was cool, Yo Yo Ma boring. Pastor Rick Warren was bizarre, particuarly pronouncing Sasha and Malia's names.