Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watch President Obama's Inauguration Live

Via SaraK, if you'd like to watch the historical inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, you can click here. As of now (10:43 am) they are on schedule to the minute.

Here are the highlights to watch:
  • 9 am/ET: Pre-inaugural coverage from the U.S. Capitol
  • 10 am/ET: The swearing-in ceremony begins with music from the Marine Band, the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will issue the call to order and make brief welcoming remarks, followed by the Rev. Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.
  • 10:30 am/ET: Aretha Franklin, who also sang at former President Bill Clinton's first inauguration, performs. Joe Biden will be sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens
  • 11 am/ET: A musical interlude includes composer John Williams, violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill
  • 11:30 am/ET: Obama is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts
  • Noon/ET: Obama gives his inaugural address, followed by a poem composed and read by New York-born poet Elizabeth Alexander. The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery will follow with a benediction and the national anthem will be played by the U.S. Navy band Sea Chanters.


  1. Quothe father upon hearing how badly the new president flubbed his lines at the oath: "You think he was nervous?"

  2. But it wasn't Obama who flubbed the words in the oath. It was Roberts!! And Obama caught it immediately and waited for the CJ to correct himself.

  3. SaraK - Thank You!

    Lon, Anon - Hard to say who flubbed, though it seems both did. For fun, FrumDoc and I were looking at videos of past inaugurations; most Presidents either repeated starting only further along, or after the whole sentence. It seems that when Obama started to repeat after Roberts, it threw Roberts off. FrumDoc speculates (er, probably jokingly) that Roberts was actually correcting the poor grammar of the Constitution to move faithfully after execute; ask the English majors. In truth, Roberts seems to have messed up after Obama had interrupted him, though it could have worked; Obama just wasn't sure what Roberts had said when he changed it, so he stopped and had him go back for him. In the end, Obama decided not to put faithfully immediately after execute, but instead after the whole line. In the end, none of it matters - Obama had already been President for a few minutes by law anyway.

    (Clearly, we were having way too much fun with this.)

    Also interesting: Obama thanked Bush, but this tradition, which seemed standard, was not done by Kennedy, though it was by Clinton and Bush II. Reagan thanked Carter for a smooth transition, but not for his service to the nation. When Clinton did it, Bush I was given a standing ovation.

    Back in the day, Presidents used to speak in much more of a "grand" style, start to finish.

    FD says Johnson was the first to use a teleprompter, but nobody did again until Bush I. Now it's standard.

    Bush II was probably hampered by having teleprompters too often on a center camera - when he stared at it, it looked like he was trying too hard to stare at the camera. In speeches where the prompters are to the side (as Obama did for most of today), he comes off much better; and when the prompter was higher, Bush looks even better, as his head is held higher. Interesting how the focus of the President and how the tilt of his head adjusts your perception of his speech. Obama naturally tilts his head up and his eyes down to talk, so he always looks a little better when reading off camera-level prompters.

  4. Obama's speech was really good; i appreciate his candor and general classiness