Inaugurations past and present

President Barack Obama's Inauguration in 2013.
President Barack Obama’s second Inauguration in 2013.

A light drizzle falls outside my studio window this morning at 6 a.m.  I didn’t realize it until seeing drops of water on the window as I picked up my coffee cup and headed downstairs for a refill after spending the two hours before editing stories for web sites.

Too busy to notice what it was doing outside.

The thermometer reads 49 degrees and the Blacksburg/Roanoke National Weather Service forecast says it will be 50 degrees by 9 a.m. and will hover around the mid-50s for the day with morning rain and then cloudy with less chance of precipitation for the remainder of the day and into the evening.

Another warmer than normal day for this time of the year.  Just a week ago, we were still digging out of the snow that blanketed the area over the previous weekend.

News coming in from Washington and other parts of the nation concerns, mostly, the preparation for Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump, who is trying to wiggle out of his latest Twitter Tantrum.

His latest fracas came out of a rant against Rep. John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement and started after Lewis said he wouldn’t attend the inauguration because he didn’t feel Trump was a valid President.

Trump scolded Lewis and other Democrats who said they had better places to be during the inaugural festivities Friday.  Trump suggested they weren’t “true Americans” because they wouldn’t be attending.

That prompted a laugh because traffic logs for Capitol Hill Blue, my political news website, reported a surge of readership about a story from four years ago when many Republicans announced they wouldn’t attend the inaugural of Barack Obama.

Reported Ken Thomas of the Associated Press in the CHB article dated January 19, 2013:

For many Republicans, this is a good weekend to get away from it all.

With hundreds of thousands of Democrats traveling to nation’s capital for President Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremonies, Republicans and supporters of last fall’s GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, are leaving town for sunny vacation destinations and company conferences or staying indoors and avoiding the crowds.

After failing to recapture the White House for a second straight presidential election, many are not exactly in a partying mood.

“It’s a good time to lay low,” said John Feehery, the president of Quinn Gillespie Communications and a former top congressional aide.

That article, from four years ago, drew more than 100,000 viewers Monday.  Like truth, good memories are in short supply in Washington.  Republicans also chose to skip Obama’s first inaugural in 2009.

As a reporter, I covered the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in January of 1981.  Amy and I attended the inaugural of President H.W. Bush in 1989 because of my position as Vice President for Political Programs for the National Association of Realtors.  We danced at the inaugural ball at Union Station, one of several where the new President and wife Barbara attended during the evening.

The elder Bush lasted only one term.  I was gone from the Realtors by then and returned to journalism.  I photographed the inaugurations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for newspapers.

We left Washington during the younger Bush’s Presidency.

On Friday, I will edit articles and select photographs from others to appear in CHB as the newest President takes office.  Thinking back, Lyndon Johnson was President when I started my first daily newspaper job at The Roanoke Times in 1965.

Then I thought about the Grateful Dead’s lyric in “Truckin:’  “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Yes, and it may be even stranger in the next few years.


© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

2 thoughts on “Inaugurations past and present”

Comments are closed.

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse