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Inauguration blogging

By Aaron Kinney
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 2:20 pm in Aaron Kinney, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Jackie Speier, Joe Biden, Political Campaigns, Republican Party, San Mateo County.

Warren Slocum, San Mateo County’s chief elections officer, is in the nation’s capital for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

He’s posting updates to the Twitter page of the county Elections Office. Those updates are also available at the county’s elections Web site. Not much information from Slocum so far, although he has been able to confirm that it is, indeed, cold and crowded in D.C. today.

It may be that he’s had trouble posting due to an overloaded cell phone network. We’ll follow up with him to find out.

Slocum has also posted some photos taken with this iPhone on his Flickr page.

On a “local spirit” note, we overheard a mother today telling her young daughter, who looked to be about 3 years old, over lunch at Pancho Villa in San Mateo that when they get home tonight they’ll bake an apple pie as part of Obama Dinner Night.

Meanwhile, Obama’s speech today showed that Rep. Jackie Speier may have been spot-on when we spoke to her last week about how the new president would proceed with his economic stimulus plan.

We asked her whether she was concerned Obama would buckle in response to Republican complaints about major deficit spending. She said Obama has learned from history that going small would be a mistake:

“He is a real student of history, both in his reference to the ‘team of rivals’ that Lincoln was famous for and for his study of FDR’s approach to dealing with the Great Depression.

If we have learned anything from that time, it is that after the stock market dissolved in 1929, fiscal and monetary policies became very restrictive, and that sent us into the Great Depression.

“And it wasn’t until the policies of the New Deal were instituted later that the country began to pull out of it. I think he’s really reading history and wants to makes sure that we don’t repeat the same mistakes.”

In his inaugural address, Obama made Speier look quite prescient:

“Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

“What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.”

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