I Love You Back!
Baltimore - "I love you back!" Barack Obama's retort to the crowd at the War Memorial Plaza in Baltimore, Maryland was emblematic of a day which drew attention to the president elect in ways no other president elect has ever had to deal with it.
The "Tour" which I'd like to call it...because it reminds me of a rock tour...has the trappings of "hero worship." I've watch this building momentum. It's palatable. Yes, I have a front row seat to the inaugrual event and will tell you my impressions at the event.
I'm amazed at those who want to downplay this events importance. This is big with lots of symbolism. You might as well call this "National Black Holiday Weekend." Black folk I know have taken off from Thursday to Tuesday. Some without pay others saying I'm cashing in my comp time for this event.
The train trip he took today was symbolic of Abraham Lincoln's trip to the White House. For those of you who are unaware, Lincoln came through Baltimore in the middle of the night because there was an assassination plot. Trains in those days didn't run straight through. So when the president came in at 3 am a group of horses moved the train from one track to another.
The next day a train carrying Lincoln's wife and a brigade of troops stopped in Baltimore. The citizens were upset with Lincoln's victory and were spurred on by a columnist showed up to greet the train and the troops. The troops decided to march through town. They are pelted with dishes, silver ware, and horse crap. The troops fired into the mob killing two and wounding many. The incident was widely reported and became the theme for the second verse of the state song, Maryland My Maryland.
So you can imagine my interest in this visit by Obama. There was no mention of Lincoln today but references to Fort McHenry and the "Star Spangled Banner."
He referenced the American Revolution which he says still exists. "The American Revolution was - and remains - an ongoing struggle in the minds and hearts of the people to live up to our founding creed."
I think he was referencing the change necessary to move the country in a different direction. There is a general sense on January 20, 2009 the world will change. Get a clue people. This job is enormous.
There is something going on with this Inauguration. I've never seen anything quite like this. As a journalist I am skeptical. The optimism is evident. Mounting bad news is waved off. International incidents (GAZA) will end on this day. Doubt is not option.
What will I and you see on Tuesday...a spectacle of enormous proportion. Is it me but are officials essential telling people to stay away from inauguration on the mall? Get a grip, people are coming, get over it.
If you get a chance drop me a line about what you hope to see and expect to see. For more pics check out my facebook page.