President Obama in the White House

It’s been a few days now since the inauguration and over two months since the world has known that Barack Obama would be working from possibly the most famous address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Each day since Wednesday I have come home and asked myself out loud, “What has he done today?” This will be a question millions will ask daily, then perhaps weekly. But my prediction is we will get news of significant and probably groundbreaking ideas and executive orders on a regular basis.

Obama's first act - Photo from the Associated Press

Although most of us are willing to give him some time, I believe he will not squander that precious gift. Kill time and you murder success, is one of my favorite sayings. President Obama knows that time waits for no man.

The modern White House
The modern White House

The White House is a storied structure of nearly mythic proportions. It”s overflowing with history and heavy burdens and retains something from all those who have occupied it as president in the past. The film director Oliver Stone gave us an ominous visual of the White House in his powerful but bleak pan across the iron fence in the film Nixon. It was a reminder that power can corrupt should one let his guard down.

The White House in 1846
The White House in 1846

I feel very comfortable with Mr. Obama installed in this residence. I know history is not lost on him, and firmly believe he will do his level best, and do it everyday in the bright light of transparency. It will be a refreshing next four years.

The Storied Transfer of Power

President Elect Barack Obama visited the oval office today and met with President Bush. This tradition has been practiced for decades. Their views couldn’t be more diametrically opposed, but I actually believe that Mr. Bush will do his best to pass the torch.

Bush to Obama the 44th - 2008

Laura to Michelle
Laura to Michelle - 2008

The sitting first family gives the incoming first family a tour of the White House. I can only imagine the emotions on both sides. The Bush’s have lived there 8 years and will never be back. They are dealing with what all of us experience when we leave a home we’ve spent a lot time in. The Obama’s must be so excited to be thinking about moving in and anticipating what it will be like to live in the most powerful and famous house in the world.

Here are some other transfer photos.

Clinton to Bush the 43rd - 2000

Carter to Reagan
Carter to Reagan the 40th - 1980

There’s a lot to do, but we’re ready.

Photo Credit: The New York Times

The Arc of the Moral Universe and the Empowering President

Source: NYT - Electoral Map at 12:52 AM CST

This is not a political post, it’s a citizenship post. Tonight my faith in this country is renewed with the election of Barack Obama. As I was listening to his speech from Grant Park in Chicago (where I live), I felt so fortunate that we will have a president that can actually speak with emotion and intellect and inspiration in a commanding and sonorous voice. President Clinton was that kind of speaker, and we have one again. President Elect Obama has used parts of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words throughout his campaign. And why not, Dr. King was one of the most eloquent speakers of his or any other time. This evening he evoked one of my favorite quotes by Dr. King, but updated it for the moment.

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Mr. Obama made it more personal by stating each one of us can place a hand on that arc and bend it in the direction of hope and change. He kept the ethereal, cosmic properties in tact, while making it accessible and actionable for everyone, empowering us to have direct control over something that might have seemed out of reach. The empowering president. I have heard him do this time and time again, and truly believe this has been a major factor in how he inspires and energizes. This is an amazing asset.

I wish the best for Senator John McCain, someone that I have long admired, and hope he fuses his love for democracy and advancement of this country and the world, with the new bend in that moral arc provided by the citizens of the United States.