Very carefully orchestrated, and probably the first one that paid such close attention to underscoring diversity.
A few random observations I wanted to write down while still under immediate impression.
- During the opening, everybody's full name was spelled out, as in "George Walker Bush" but Obama only got a middle initial "H" instead of full "Hussein"--not sure what to think of this and whose idea it was anyway, but odd.
- Mr Obama used his full name "Barack Hussein Obama" during his oath of office, though. Maybe not everybody in DC is afraid of Muslim-sounding names.
- Loved the passage where Obama pretty much directly pointed a finger at the outgoing administration, and reaped applause: "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake."
- Refreshingly low "hope and change index" with three "hopes" and two "changes."
Read full transcript on Washington Post site.