Hope and change baby! Let’s get yo American on! All abord the Australian contingent to the Presidential inauguration 2013.
So, swept up in the historical significance, I begrudgingly consented to wake up in the darkness, pile on really all of the clothes that I own and catch the first metro into the National Mall.
Dark, freezing and conspicuously caffeine free, going to the inauguration was a certifiably terrible, terrible idea. Not enough clothes in the entire world. Our crew got a spot “up the front” — so at least when the fluid around our brains froze solid we’d be close-ish to the action.
Only in extreme situations would I describe shots of whiskey at 6am as necessary to survival. This was one such situation. I would have emptied my bank account then and there for a blanket, heater of any variety or a roasty warm fire. No such luck.
Things you can do when you have 7 hours to kill before anything happens at a major public event with three quarters of a million people in sub zero temperatures include:
- rearranging scarf for maximum warmth, minimum aesthetic value.
- befriending strangers who are equally fanatical to be up so god damn early.
- plastering self with hand warmers.
- jumping up and down. repeatedly. for the warmth. Also of minimum swagger value.
- acknowledge that you’ll never, ever be warm again. Feel soul crumble.
As shit got real, and finally the (important) people started turning up, suddenly, everywhere, flags. American flags. Being handed out like candy. So many conflicting feelings. One for everybody that turned up. All of the patriotism.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Michelle Obama, and the guy that she’s married to, came out into public view looking fabulous. She was wearing the same gloves as me. Which got me some mad cred with the other fanatics up the “front”.
The flag came in handy when Mr President began to speak about the hope and the change and somewhat shockingly; his ambition to combat climate change. It was so unbelievable that I was not even bothered that I was the only one that was jumping up and down, overcome with political nerd joy.
The flag was awkward, embarrassing and conspicuously dropped from view when the bit about America being the best country in the world happened.
But whatever, the real spectacle, the piece that made it all worthwhile, the unforgettable life changing event was obviously…
I will not enter into any correspondence regarding lip sync conspiracy.
And so I can say, I was there! That blessed day in January which will go down in history as the day President Obama declared his ambitious agenda for his second term. It was such a big deal that Beyonce and Jay-Z and the Aussie-posse turned up.