“grandpa, where were you when Obama was sworn in?”

“Grandpa, where were you when Obama was sworn in?” I was fulfilling my civic duty, listening to a closing summation by a defense attorney. We could hear the screams of joy from the street through the courtroom windows on the 15th floor. If I had to miss the moment, I’m glad this was why; it felt appropriate to be doing service. Still wish I hadn’t had to miss the moment, though.

the courthouse at 100 Centre Street, Manhattan

We had to do the hardest thing a jury can do- vote not guilty on a serious charge, knowing that it was very, very likely that he’d done it, but also knowing that the DAs had failed to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Was pleased to see in the paper this morning that he’ll likely be sentenced to 20 or more years on the other charges, which we were able to reach a verdict on without any problems.

Now… back to class. Urgh. :/

6 thoughts on ““grandpa, where were you when Obama was sworn in?””

  1. I confidently predict that Obama will have faded into obscurity long before any of our grandkids emerge. I can’t see him doing any better or worse than the average academic-turned-politician does, which is generally “nothing special”.

  2. Except for that little ‘shattering racial barriers’ thing, which even if he’s a worse president than Bush would still make him the most historically significant president than, um, well, any in my lifetime so far. (And I of course disagree on the substance of the claim as well; he is neither really an academic in any significant sense nor is he by any account an average politician; and by rolling back on things like Guantanamo he’s already done a lot of historically significant change on day one.)

    (The better objection would have been that I’m more likely to be asked where I was when he was elected than when he was sworn in, since really no one cares about inaugurations as historical events and the speech- while strong- is not likely to produce a historic-level soundbite like ‘nothing to fear’ or ‘ask not what…’ It was complex and nuanced enough that much of it will only be remembered if the next four years result in substantial economic gains/restructuring and significant rebuilding of American position in the world.)

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