, , , , , , ,

Yesterday, my wife Carol and I watched the Inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, replacing Donald Trump who, unusually and thankfully, was nowhere to be seen. I have a few friends in the United States and I sent them this somewhat irreverent commentary of what I observed at the ceremony.

Joe Biden, Inauguration Day, 20 January 2021

Well, now, that went well. American actress (and lots of other things) Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) and American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga, wearing what appeared to be a fire-truck-red bell tent of a dress plus an amazing very large brooch of a dove carrying the branch of peace, belted out their patriotic songs in fine voice and even finer fettle. But Joe stole the show. His speech, slightly too long in my opinion but not overly rhetorical or hyperbolic, hit the high spots with a few veiled digs at Trumpism (the rise of fake news, the spread of disunity, slow response to the pandemic) and I was impressed with the content and his delivery, seemingly with no autocue in sight. He is the very epitome of the consummate politician – something America needs right now.

Amanda Gorman, Inauguration Day, 20 January 2021

The second scene-stealer was the 22-year-old “skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother”, American Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, with a very confident reading of her poem, The Hill We Climb, without dislodging one hair of the most amazing hairstyle I have ever seen including what looked like a red boomerang (?) keeping it all in place. What poise; what grace; what dignity; and what a message.

Garth Brooks (never heard of him) will be forever remembered as the man with the over-sized black hat who forgot to shave before his big moment next to Joe Biden. I was not impressed with him or his singing. We treated his appearance as the opportunity to make a half-time cup of tea.

The Bible thumper at the end, I didn’t catch his name, came over as exactly that – a Bible thumper. I fully expected him to close by saying something along the lines of for $39.99, you could buy a 6-CD set of past sermons he has given at evangelistic meetings, plus, as a bonus, a copy of his best-seller book, How to Get in Touch with God! And if you want to up the payment to $44.99, he will get God to sign the book for you before mailing.

So now Joe is the President. He has an incredible amount of work to do to heal the domestic and international rifts created by Trump but with Kamala by his side (and casting vote in the Senate) and a good team to support him and implement the nitty-gritty, I am hopeful. I am sincerely glad Trump has gone and that Biden is now in charge and I wish you all a better four years ahead than the four years you have just experienced.