Barack Obama
Barack Obama by Obama-Biden Transition Project, Creative Commons License

It’s a big day in the US today. Even if it’s in the midst of an economic recession, Obama’s inauguration feels like a moment of hope becoming real. I’m not sure it’s any more specific than that for me: everyone (including myself) projects their aspirations, desires and expectations on the new Democratic President.

Most thinking people know that the United States (and the world) has suffered immeasurably under the Bush administration – in public life (the economy, the environment); in terms of personal freedoms and rights; and in foreign policy.

Obama’s presidency signifies the possibility of practical renewal. And while it’s reasonable to assume that many things will change quickly, some legacies will take much longer to sort out. And some may never be addressed by the Obama administration. But ultimately, today says that things we’ve known for years should be possible, are actually possible.

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

As I write this, I have the inauguration ceremony on in the background, streamed over the Web. Those who are present in Washington D.C. are chanting, “O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!” I don’t imagine that’s happened at a presidential inauguration in a few decades…

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