Text of Obama’s inaugural address, oath

CNN.com and others have the full text of President Barack Obama‘s inaugural address from this morning. 

Obama delivered the speech without any stumbles, and a stumble that Obama had during his oath of office turns out to be the fault of Chief Justice John Roberts

Apparently Roberts was reciting the oath from memory and threw Obama a line different from the one he was expecting. 

Here’s what Roberts should have said, according to the Constitution – 

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Also, apparently presidents since FDR have added the words “So help me God” to the end, as Roberts did today. 

Check out the exchange on You Tube.


“We were right there at the moment”

The chant seemed to wash over the crowd like a wave, first breaking on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building and then spill out onto the National Mall.

Other times, the chant percolated up from small groups waving American flags and pumping their fists in the air.

“O-Ba-Ma! O-Ba-Ma!”

It was the name stitched and printed on the hats, shirts and scarves of the hundreds of thousands who crowded into downtown Washington D.C., the name of Barack Obama who was sworn in as the country’s first black president.

“We were right there at the moment,” said Tracy Curry of Owensboro. “When he took his oath, the feeling was just indescribable at that moment.”

Curry was among about 100 Kentuckians from the Owensboro and Madisonville areas who set out by bus Monday night for an all-night trip to the inauguration.

By the time the two buses pulled into Vienna, Va., to catch a train into Washington D.C. Tuesday morning, the group had put 700 miles behind them and wrapped layers around themselves to counter the below freezing temperatures of Inauguration Day.

Owensboro resident Lynn Darnes had followed the election for months before Obama, a Democrat, defeated Republican John McCain in the general election.

Obama’s election immediately meant Darnes was heading to Washington to cheer him on as he took the oath of office, and to wave on Tuesday to her 13-year-old son, Malek, with hopes he might catch her on television among the crowd of more than 1 million.

“I just said, I’ve got to be a part,” Darnes said.

This wasn’t the first inauguration for Zelma Harris of Madisonville, who attended the swearing-in in January 1977 of Democrat Jimmy Carter, who was one of four former presidents who joined Obama for Tuesday’s celebration.

“It was 100 percent better,” Harris said of Obama’s inauguration. “I’ve been waiting for that for so many years. … I knew if I was alive, I was going.” 

See more of the Messenger-Inquirer’s coverage of the inauguration in Wednesday’s paper.

Kentuckians heading to the inauguration

Reporter Linda Blackford with the Herald-Leader caught up with a wide variety of central Kentuckians who will he heading to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. 

Check it out.

Update, 2:59 p.m. …

More on folks that are heading to D.C. from the Bowling Green Daily News, the Herald-Leader, the Courier-Journal and the Kentucky Enquirer.

Louisville bus riders featured on NPR

A group of folks from Louisville who began their trip to Washington D.C. for the inauguration before sunrise this morning was featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition today. 

The four-minute piece had NPR catching up with four busloads of people who started out with prayers and “inspirational talks” this morning before boarding the buses and heading to the nation’s capital. 

The organizer told NPR that he began working on the trip after his 10-year-old daughter said she wanted to go to the inauguration, and the group of those interested swelled. 

“We’re going to be riding into history,” organizer James Linton told NPR.

Kentucky Tonight to talk about inauguration on Monday

KET’s program Kentucky Tonight will focus on the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama in next week’s edition. 

The program hosted by Bill Goodman will air live at 7 p.m. CST on Monday and will feature – 

  •  State Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, chair of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center board of directors
  • Former White House adviser Scott Jennings, director of strategic development for Peritus Public Relations
  • Chad Aull, president of Kentucky Young Democrats
  • Charles Badger, vice chair of the Kentucky Federation of College Republicans

Be sure to tune in.

Covering the presidential inauguration

Be sure to tune in next week as I travel with Messenger-Inquirer photographer Gary Emord-Netzley to Washington D.C. to cover the presidential inauguration. 

We will be traveling with two busloads of folks from the Owensboro and Madisonville areas to the capital for the event, with plans to leave  Monday night and drive through the night to be there Tuesday morning for the swearing-in and inaugural parade. 

Throughout the day on Tuesday, Gary and I will try to keep up with local folks and their experiences at what promises to be a historic inauguration with historically large crowds. 

I’ll do my best to post here along the way, and will also be posting at this blog’s Twitter account.  We’ll be producing articles and pictures for the print edition and hope to have a slideshow and video for the online Messenger-Inquirer.

Be sure to tune in!

A look at the pre-inauguration Bluegrass Ball

Anne-Marie Kelley, a 1995 grad of Russell High School in eastern Kentucky, is heading preparations for Kentucky’s pre-inauguration Bluegrass Ball in Washington D.C., and reporter Tim Preston with the Ashland Daily Independent caught up with Kelly to see what’s in store for the Jan. 19 affair. 

Kentucky’s is the first ball leading up to President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20, and will include a recreation of the state’s famed Bourbon Trail along with bison from the state and the soft drink Ale-8-One, Preston reports. 

From Preston’s article:

The Kentucky Distillers Association has announced the Kentucky Bluegrass Ball will feature a Kentucky Bourbon Trail with exhibits by most of the state’s famed distilleries, including Beam Global Spirits and Wine, Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, Bullet Bourbon, Four Roses Bourbon, Maker’s Mark and Wild Turkey. Kentucky’s Bluegrass Ball is the first of the inaugural balls and is expected to set the tone for each that follows. Kentucky’s celebration was also declared an “Editor’s Pick” by the Washington Post in 2005.

The ball will offer a distinctly Kentucky flavor with guest chef Michael Paley of Proof in Louisville, and items on the menu will include Kentucky bison, cheeses and Ale-8-One. Flowers will be from the University of Kentucky and each guest will receive a basket of Kentucky-made gifts.

The ball will have more than 1,400 guests including elected leaders and a more than few celebrities from the Bluegrass State. For more about the black-tie affair, visit the web site of the Kentucky Society of Washington.