It’s been a non-stop party here in DC, the Inauguration epicenter, for the past week. I’ve lived here for almost 25 years and never seen the City so teeming with revelers. It was like New Year’s Eve but 1,000x brighter and with no Dick Clark (though Dick might have been here, too, ya never know).
More police cars and tinted-windowed Suburbans than ever before and at least 3 police cars per corner downtown and more as you moved closer to the Mall. Got the feeling if you sneezed you’d be down on the ground and handcuffed. Just picture Jack Bauer with gun out screaming “stand down” and that’s a taste of what was waiting for anyone who crossed the line. Security was that tight…and with good reason.
With the temperatures dropping (about 15 with wind chill) everyone who spent the days outside aiming for the Mall dressed for the part. Ski jackets, woolen scarves, mittens of every size and color. Multiply that by a few million and you had a rainbow of outerwear.
And every night was party time everywhere you turned. From the hard-to-come-by tix to the hippest events to the “hey, come over for salsa and chips” last minute invites, the cheering throngs were looking for any reason to par-tay. I stopped by one of the swankier hotels in town the other night for a burger in the lobby/bar and caught Ben Affleck, John Cusack, Tom Brokaw, John Kerry, Al Roker and Matt Lauer, a stargazer’s dream. Not many celebs left in Hollywood lately.
Another cool ripple from this new first couple is they intend to go out on the town on a regular basis and not hit the pillow at 9:30pm the way W did. And that all helps make DC a much more fun and glam place to live and visit.
But, as soon as the newly-minted President has had a chance to get some much needed sleep, he’s got tons of work on his plate. Picture the e-mails you get after being out of town/touch for a few days and multiply that by about a gazillion. Obama has miles and milestones to go before he sleeps…two wars, economy, jobs…. But I know a calm, smart, thoughtful leader is just what the doctor ordered (along with a really solid Cabinet). And I think President Obama has already started reigniting a sense of confidence in this new America with the tangible hope that a new world order will blaze into existence (the sooner the better).