1:29PM Reportedly, Byrd is fine — just shaken up by seeing Kennedy stricken, according to John Kerry.
1:01PM Kennedy reportedly collapsed due to a seizure. No clue yet what’s going on with Byrd.
12:52PM Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were both taken out of the inaugural luncheon due to medical problems. With Kennedy in such ill health, I never could understand why Hillary accepted the job of Secretary of State. It was obvious Kennedy would be serving a smaller role in the Senate, clearing the way for Clinton to take his spot as the “liberal lion.”
12:43PM Well, that was unexpected. Just seconds after going on the air, it felt like I’d been punched in the stomach — by the stomach flu that’s been going around our house all week. Drunkblogging will now be replaced by Dramamineblogging. A world first? Maybe!
12:13PM Going live now to PJTV.com.
11:29AM The voiceover guy introduced “the President of the United States of America,” and I looked up, instinctively expecting to see Bush. Did the same thing for a while after Bush was elected, expecting to see Clinton. So it’s not just the Bloody Marys.
11:23AM Did I just see Tim Geithner sitting at a table with Al Gore? They should seat Biden there, too, and call it the Kiddie Table.
11:00AM On Fox, Juan Williams is in tears describing the moment, but holding up admirably. Can’t even begin to imagine what this is like for people who grew up during the Civil Rights Movement, but today is one hell of a payoff for a long struggle. Savor that for a few before we get back to the politics.
10:55AM If Obama had any doubts about really being the guy in charge now, they’ll disappear as that helicopter takes off.
10:50AM Ex-President Bush is preparing to leave. It’s been an exhausting eight years — it might be a while before even his fans (there are still some left, I’m told) will miss him.
10:46AM I’m going to shovel some food down and refill my Bloody, and do a little prep for my PJTV.com appearance at 2PM Eastern. But I’ll keep on the drunkblogging all day long. Stay tuned.
10:43AM Good speech. A little something for everybody, which is fine for a inaugural speech. The trouble comes tomorrow or the next day, when President Obama has to make a decision and piss somebody off. Maybe everybody. Obama hasn’t had to do that yet, which is why we usually pick our presidents out of governor’s mansions instead of the Senate.
10:37AM The old guy doing the benediction would have been great… in 1957. His closing was trite, silly, and offensively out of date. But I’ll cut an 87-year-old some slack.
10:34AM Pajamas Media sources intercepted a copy of a memo delivered yesterday morning to the Office of the Vice President Elect. It reads, in part, “Dear Senator Biden… the Vice Presidential Ball will be held at Elks Lodge #2710 in Bowie, Maryland… live goat required.”
10:31AM This really bad (and poorly read) poem strikes me as an excellent time to grab a cup of coffee to go with my Bloody.
10:28AM The worrisome part is, he sounds his best when running down the economy during what is, so far, a not-too-awful recession. President Obama — and everyone else in Washington — can taste that trillion dollars.
10:25AM This is an interesting speech. Maybe even a revealing one. Obama sounds the most liberal on issues where he’s least likely to do anything, such as finding something to replace oil all of a sudden. And on fake issues, like “world peace” and “free hugs for poor people in foreign lands” or whatever. He sounds the most conservative, sometimes even neoconnish, on issues of substance. Let’s hope he governs like he speaks.
10:22AM “America must play its roll in ushering in a new era of peace.” That’s boilerplate, but nice boilerplate. “Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not on what you can destroy.” “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
10:20AM “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense… we will defeat you.” There’s a lot to like in this speech.
10:18AM “Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expediency’s sake.” Unless there’s a credit crisis. Or Detroit gets into trouble. Or stuff.
10:16AM “Without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control.” Uh… who’s watchful eyes set up and managed Freddie and Fannie? And whose forceful arm twisted theirs into the subprime market? Mmm?
10:14AM “Our capacity remains undiminished, but our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions… that time has surely past.” Did we elect the first black president, and the first black Republican president at the same time? No, wait… now he’s talking about pumping your gas tank full of hope and change and algae farts.
10:12AM Is it just me, or is Obama praising entrepreneurship in a way that would almost make Ayn Rand smile?
10:11AM I’ve read and heard some background chatter that President Obama sees a small window for real entitlement reform — tackling our unfunded mandates problem. That seems to be what he’s hinting at in the first part of his speech. If so, the left is going to be howling like you’ve never heard them howl before.
10:09AM Graceful nod to the outgoing President. But a small correction: Only 43 men have taken the oath, not 44. There’s a historical quirk involving President… oh, I should shut up, drink, and listen to the speech.
10:06AM OK, so that happened. All done now. Nighty night.
What, are you kidding me? I’ll be here all day and most of the night. We’re just getting started.
10:05AM Did Obama just giggle as he took the stand? And he can’t remember the words? Oh, this is bad.
10:03AM We have a new vice president. In a time of war, we went from Darth Dick Cheney to Joe Biden. Feeling safer yet? It’s as if FDR had picked Truman first, then dumped him in ’44 in favor of Wallace.
9:57AM Time for Biden’s swearing in. As Article IX, Section Potato of the Constitution states, the Vice President must be sworn in while wearing a live goat. At least that’s what Obama’s people told Joe last night.
9:55AM Aretha Franklin with what sounds like a full orchestra and choir. The music in DC just took on a whole new — and much improved — tone.
9:54AM If the White House were a frat house, you just know that sometime around midnight tonight Biden would end up with an Atomic Wedgie.
9:51AM Rick Warren is giving the invocation, and I think I just saw the weight of office fall on Obama’s shoulders. “So help me God” just took on some new meaning. It’s a helluva thing he’s about to take on.
9:49AM Feinstein: “This was the moment… that the words of the Lincoln Memorial finally reached the White House.” A bit unfair, perhaps — the words reached there decades ago. Obama is, after all, just a man. Not that anyone will be discussing THAT on a day like this.
9:47AM Telling, I think, that a relative moderate like Diane Feinstein is speaking first, rather than a foaming loonbat like Nancy Pelosi or a corpse like Harry Reid.
9:45AM Obama has taken his seat, and I’d like to ask one of the tough questions the media are too in the bag to trouble him with: Mr President-elect, where DID you get your topcoat?
9:41.5AM I’ve gotta switch off of NBC to something less biased. Does DirecTV carry the Beeb?
9:41AM NBC News believes that Biden will save Amtrak by “opening the spending spigot.” And — yes, there’s more! — Obama will “save the economy” by spending “a trillion dollars.” Let’s call it what it is: Borrowing prosperity from our grandkids. Oh, and some train tracks, too.
9:38AM Biden. Joe Biden. I am so sick already of that useless stupid schmuck. And don’t you get the feeling Obama is, too?
9:36AM While I’m still sober enough… my only real concern about Obama, as we’ve seen him move ever rightward since Election Day, is that he might be too thoughtful, too methodical, too moderate, too, well, sober. Sometimes in a crisis you have only enough time to act from the gut, and sometimes not even that much. We haven’t seen him have to do that yet (in no small part because of a compliant campaign press), and it’s worrisome.
9:32AM Michelle Obama and Jill Biden look *great*. If I were drinking in a bar instead of on the sofa in my living room, I’d be hitting on one or both of them.
9:25AM “One of the things I admire about the Obamas…” That’s your unbiased reporting from NBC News!
9:23AM Back on CBS, and somebody needs to get the mic away from that woman hootin’ and hollerin’ at Hillary Clinton. I suspect it was Katie Couric.
9:21AM I am going to have to drink a LOT more before I dare another look at President GHW Bush’s purple scarf.
9:18AM Brit Hume: “President Clinton always looks like he’s trying to figure out the right expression to have on his face.” Second best line so far.
9:14AM I’m tuned into CBS News for the moment, and because I always feel masochistic before my coffee. Katie Couric is so bouncily happy today, that it seems at least 47% of her Artificial Spunk has been replaced by the real thing.
9:06AM (All times Mountain, I think.) Best line of the morning so far: In his wheelchair, Dick Cheney looks like Dr. Strangelove.