‘Barbara Boxer… is soooo cool!’

In all of last week’s inaugural flurry, I missed this snippet from The Daily Show, wherein Wyatt Cenac reports from the Youth Inaugural Ball on the excitement over our first cool president… and in the clip’s final few seconds, the coolness of California’s own U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer


Inauguration 2009: Final thoughts from Farley

Tim Farley

Tim Farley

Martinez resident and inveterate presidential politics junky Tim Farley (also the community and government affairs director for Saint Mary’s College in Moraga) sent these final words from Washington, D.C., where he took his teen-aged son, Vincent, and two of his son’s friends to the swearing-in ceremonies of Barack Obama:

We returned to D.C. on Wednesday. It was a different city. The Metro was easy, no lines and the pace was much slower. We were able to do some traditional tourist activities, the Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, The Smithsonian and so forth.



One Oaklander’s view of the inauguration

Oakland resident, East Bay Municipal Utility District attorney and longtime Democratic Party activist Joel Freid was at the inauguration yesterday, and has been kind enough to share dozens (!) of photos he took during his trip to Washington, D.C. I’ve culled out a few (click on ’em to enlarge) that seem to give a good flavor of the experience.

Here’s Freid’s view of Sunday’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial:

Visiting with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, during her pre-inaugural bash at the Rayburn Office Building on Monday:

See more of Freid’s photos after the jump… Continue Reading


Get your swearing-in tidbits here

In the course of interviewing East Bay folks out in Washington, D.C., for the swearing-in of Barack Obama, I obtained some fun details that didn’t make it into the main story:

Cell phones took a hit during the inauguration but not because the transmission system broke down. Someone stole Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover’s phone. Saint Mary’s College government affairs director Tim Farley lost his cell phone somewhere downtown in the mad crush. And Ken Kilday of Martinez left his phone at the San Francisco Airport. (But TSA found it so he’ll get it back.)

At least Tim Farley  didn’t lose his phone a day earlier. He was staying in a hotel room offered to him by a reporter (not this newspaper) who couldn’t use it. Early Tuesday morning, a shopping center next door caught on fire, smoke poured into the hotel and the power went out. He had to evacuate using his cell phone as a flashlight.

There were some celebrity sightings, of course.

Veteran Contra Costa political consultant Tom Koch ate dinner at the the Blue Duck Tavern and sitting at the next table was actor Ben Affleck. He also saw CIA director nominee and former Clinton administration chief of staff Leon Panetta talking on the cell phone in Lafayette Square “just like any other tourist.”

Koch also made a very important observation: Standing on newsprint helps insulate your feet from the cold ground. This is yet another reason why newspapers cannot and must not die.

Lynda Kilday, advocacy coordinator for the Contra Costa Child Care Council, says Mariah Carey waved at her. Well, maybe she just waved in her direction but “she could have been waving at us.” The Kildays were standing at the front of the standing section and Carey was seated near the back of the seated section.

Lynda also offered some very interesting advice on the use of those chemical handwarmers: They are not just for pockets. She put them in her shoes, her gloves and under her hat. It’s good thing her husband bought them in bulk at Big 5.


Barbara Lee’s statement on the inauguration

This just in from Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus:

The inauguration of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States is a transformative chapter in American history, signaling a dramatic shift in our nation’s politics and priorities. It is an extraordinary event that illustrates to our neighbors abroad that America has made tremendous progress in breaking down racial barriers that have historically paralyzed our nation.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke a generation ago of the dream he held for America, he envisioned exactly this type of moment, where a man was judged by his character, his intellect and his hard work — and not by the color of his skin or his race or his ancestry. Now, children of color everywhere can truly dream without limitations and actualize the true promise of this great land. When a young child of color aspires to one day be the President of the United States, we can assure them, “Yes, you can!”

Let us celebrate this historic achievement, but understand that we have much work to do to bring about the change that this country so desperately needs. I pledge to do everything within my power to help President Obama reverse the damaging policies of the last eight years, and to positively move our nation into its remarkable third century – one that begins to unshackle the burdens of our past and is limited only by our capacity to dream a new future.