Students flood D.C. to watch Obama’s presidential inauguration
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 19:02
Courtesy of http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/president0=-obamas-inauguration-speech-201
Senior Drumlin Brooke had to leave his house at 7:20 a.m. to pass security checkpoints in time to see President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
He was one of many tourists and locals who flooded Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of the president on Jan. 21. The event marked the 57th inauguration in American history, as well as the start of Obama’s four more years.
Brooke also attended the Democratic National Convention in September, which he said had quite a different environment.
“[The DNC] was very crazy, but people here [at the inauguration] were really respectful and happy to be here,” Brooke said. “It was very sedated in some ways—it wasn’t crazy.”
Not only did the inauguration feature a tame crowd, according to Brooke’s observations, it also featured unprecedented statements from Obama, as the president spoke out for the first time in inaugural history about gay rights.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” Obama said. “For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”
Edward Freel, a professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration, saw the president’s address from a jumbotron behind the Capitol Reflecting Pool. The event capped off a trip the professor led for 20 students during winter session. The students spent the term in D.C., where they became immersed in the city’s atmosphere by interning and addressing public policy issues.
While several of his students made it much closer to the front of the crowd than he had, Freel said he was still able to see preliminary musical presentation along with Obama’s speech from where he stood. From his angle, he said he was impressed with the president’s address.
“I think that the president gave a strong and effective speech, focusing on issues he will want to focus on in his second term,” Freel said.
However, some students did not think it was the right time for Obama to express opinions so plainly. Sophomore Caroline Murphy, secretary of College Democrats, watched the speech from home and did not feel Obama’s speech was the best strategy for winning over his constituents.
“It was very liberal and progressive, but I don’t know if pushing on them so strongly during his inauguration in front of so many people was the best idea,” Murphy said.
Freel said that regardless of the content of Obama’s speech, the day was very inspiring for not only he and his students but the crowd in general.
“Whether they supported or didn’t support Obama in the election, it was very exciting to be there in affirmation of the Democratic president,” Freel said. “It was a national celebration of the democratic process of government.”