Daily Archive: January 22, 2013

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National

The inaugural do-over: chomping gum, savoring view

FIRST COUPLE–President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk the inaugural parade route down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Jan. 21, in Washington. Thousands marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) by Nancy Benac Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Let’s hear it for the do-over. Inaugurations are always moments of great ceremony and pageantry. But, hey, everybody can rel-a-a-a-ax a little the second time around. After the electric moment of President Barack Obama’s first swearing-in, the second inaugural was just so much more … comfortable. (Really, Monday was a do-over of the do-over. The actual swearing-in took place a day earlier in a private ceremony at the White House.) Yup, that was the president chomping on gum — Nicorette, perhaps — as he watched the inaugural parade, while his wife and daughters rocked out in their seats in the reviewing stands. And, yup, there were Sasha and Malia casually chatting with their cousins on the inaugural platform earlier in the day, completely uncowed by the millions watching their every move via Jumbotron and television. Obama seemed so at eeeeeease. “I miss this place,” the onetime senator said with a big smile as he greeted congressional leaders upon arriving at the Capitol. The inaugural crowds — down considerably from four years ago — knew there was no repeating the raw emotion of 2009, and most people didn’t demand it. “I just feel so proud,” said Sharon Davis, of Suitland, Md., who attended both. But the different vibe was palpable. “Before, it was just so exciting — you could be walking for miles and miles and it didn’t even feel like an effort,” said Katasha Smart of Randallstown, Md. The sentiment was the same from afar for many. “We’ve been there, done that in terms of electing the first African-American president,” said Beniam Fantu, 34, speaking from Dallas. With the smaller crowds came smaller headaches. Sure, there were still snags at security checkpoints and Metro stops and the like. There was a smattering of protesters, and some glitches with the sound system. But there was no repeat of 2009’s Purple Tunnel of Doom, the underpass where throngs of purple ticket-holders famously were stranded for hours. Even the weather cooperated — 40 degrees at high noon, up from 28 four years ago. And for all that was not-so-new, it was still a moment to savor. And Obama did.

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National

A SONG HE KNOWS

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, wearing a ruby colored chiffon and velvet Jason Wu gown, dance as singer Jennifer Hudson, right, sings…