The Excitement Builds

There is neat feeling of excitement with every new President, even if it is only with members of that person's political party for the most part.  But this time, it's a little more intense.

"A Day that All Americans Can Take Pride In," was the headline on one news release from a member of Congress about the Inauguration.

And that's from a Republican, Rep. Ander Crenshaw of Jacksonville, Florida.

You can just see a reflection of the Capitol in this picture of the headquarters of the Teamsters Union on Capitol Hill, just to the left of the sign about 'change.'

You definitely do see a lot of Obama stuff around town these days, whether it is baseball hats, shirts, Inaugural anything, even Inaugural cookies with the likeness of Obama on the cookie.

Hopefully no one will be prosecuted for eating Obama.

Obama kicked off the Inaugural festivities on Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial, speaking at an event where the entertainment was televised only on HBO, not exactly a democratic kind of note to strike some here grumbled.

"In the course of our history, only a handful of generations have been asked to confront challenges as serious as the ones we face right now.," said Obama, alluding to both the economic and terror challenges facing the US.

(Photo courtesy of my sister, Jacqueline Dupree, who walked from her house on Capitol Hill down to the Washington Monument to take this photo on Sunday.)

"I won't pretend that meeting any one of these challenges will be easy. It will take more than a month or a year, and it will likely take many. Along the way there will be setbacks and false starts and days that test our fundamental resolve as a nation," he told tens of thousands gathered in the cold.

Today Obama and his running mate Joe Biden will emphasize public service on this federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Then this evening, there will be three major bipartisan dinners here in Washington, D.C., where Obama will honor more than just his supporters.

One will honor Biden, who has been around the Senate since being elected in 1972 as the sixth youngest Senator in history.

Another dinner will honor former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General (Ret.) Colin Powell, who served in the Bush Administration, but supported Obama in the election.

The third dinner will honor Obama's opponent in the 2008 general election, Sen. John McCain.

Today is also the day when a lot of the tough security restrictions start kicking in, with the closure of highways, major roads and bridges across both the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers to the East and West of DC.

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