USA 2008

Obama's inauguration: hope, yes, but also some fears

President-elect Barack Obama's historic swearing-in on January 20 will be a day of hope and change for our Democrat Observers, but for some conservatives his election is not good news.


President-elect Barack Obama's historic swearing-in on January 20 will be a day of hope and change for our Democrat Observers, but for some conservatives his election is not good news. Read what they want to hear Obama say in his inaugural speech...


"Restoring America's standing in the world"

Timothy Bottaro, lawyer, Democrat, Sioux City, Iowa

I want to hear our new president talk about a national health-care system, alternative energy and green technology, and restoring America's standing in the world community.

Also, tackling our challenging economic problems and calling on Americans to do their part in bringing change to our system of government.



President-elect Barack Obama talks about his inauguration.

"Darkest moment in US history"

Jim Wilkinson, entrepreneur, Mercedes, Texas (Republican)

I have no intention whatsoever in watching the inauguration of a man I consider totally unfit to hold the presidential office of the United States.

Regardless of what Obama plans to say, I have no desire to hear his words nor do I care to watch our infatuated pro-Obama press in action as they glorify this hip-hop pop-culture icon.

Quite a large number of us here consider the inauguration of Obama the darkest moment in our nation's political history."

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Of the 10 American voters we followed during the election, Jim was the only Republican who provided a statement about Obama's inauguration. The others said they had nothing to say, so we invited two other Republican Observers to comment.

"Hear more about people participation"

Julissa Reynoso, lawyer, New York, New York (Democrat)

I would like to hear a concrete message of how he, along with the rest of us, will take the US to the forefront of leadership again, especially with respect to international development and conflict resolution.

I would like President Obama to address how he will bring more people into the democratic process, especially groups like minorities, women and the poor.

I would like President Obama to inspire us to lead our own local, focused efforts to build community."

"Looking to hear an inspirational speech"

Ernesto Haibi, US army medic, Copperas Cove, Texas (Democrat)

Any inauguration speech will be written to inspire, even for those who didn't support him. Every president does this.

I look forward to hearing an inspirational and moving speech. Even Bush had good speeches.

I am concerned with January 21st and after. I hope I made the right choice in Obama. I hope he becomes one of the greats.

My concerns are Iraq, the economy and education. We, as Americans, can solve the worlds problems by educating our people. America has always been the nation that brings the best to the world. I want that back."

"I know I will hear confidence, vision and inclusion"

Linda Sharp, parenting writer, Austin, Texas (Democrat)

As a long-time, staunch supporter of President-elect Barack Obama, it is difficult to fully translate how I am feeling about Tuesday. Yes, there are the cliché words like "hope", "change" and "future", but there is also something else at play. I feel CALM.

Inauguration Day will not find me at one of the thousands of parties being held across this country. I will not watch the proceedings surrounded by a coterie of "Yes, We Can" friends. Instead, I will be here at home, alone save for three cats and a dog who don't care much for politics.

As he delivers his speech, I know I will hear confidence, vision, encouragement and most of all inclusion. And it is my sincerest wish that those who so vehemently oppose him based on party lines, prejudices and pettiness will finally listen.

And that they will finally begin to see what millions and millions, both here and abroad, have seen from the beginning. That Barack Obama humbly acknowledges that this job is not about one man or one woman. It is about us ALL.

I suspect, like on the evening of November 4th, a tear or 12 will run down my cheek. And then, I will go do a load of laundry, feed the pets, drive the carpool, sit at soccer training and watch "American Idol". Because January 20th, life's journey will go on just the same as it did January 19th.

I will just feel a hell of lot better about who is driving the bus."

"His inaugural speech will be platitudes"

Pamela Hall, photojournalist and blogger, New York, New York (Republican)

Anything Obama has to say on January 20th will be platitudes. His "spread the wealth" mantra revealed the man and his policies. So I'm not looking forward to his tax-it-til-it's-dead programs.

My wish instead is that he suffers four years of character assassination, obstruction and out-right lies while attempting to be president. [Seems only fair... :-)]"

"Hear him promise to put people's interests above party's agenda

Justin Quinn, blogger and journalist, Pennsylvania (Republican)

It's my sincere hope that during his inauguration, he'll take some time to allay the fears that conservatives have about his upcoming presidency.

I hope he commits to withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan based on realized goals and not rigid timetables;

I hope he resolves to keep the war on terror a top priority (even if he doesn't call it that);

I'd like to hear him promise that he'll act independently of the Democratically-controlled Congress to put the people's best interests above his party's agendas. 

Finally, I'd like to hear him promise that when he appoints Supreme Court justices, his decisions will be based on a proven record of sound Constitutional decisions rather than a history of judicial activism."