so I was there; out partying US President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration just like, most likely, uncountable other people all around the globe.
And though it, in many ways, had nothing to do with me – as I am European, not US American – and though I have never been an all too strong supporter of Obama, it somehow did feel like a historic moment as he, a young, charismatic Afro-American Democrat, became the new President of the United States. Me and some friends my age (=mid twenties) where out for the evening, actually because of a dear friend’s farewell of to Northern Europe – I wish you all the best and a hell of a great time up there, D. – mostly exploiting those 15% yes-we-can-discount on occasion of Obama’s inauguration. But as we were applauding, as where many others, when the Bush’s helicopter, which wasn’t to be called “Marine One” anymore, left Pennsylvania Avenue, somewhere in the midst of my belly I felt that exactly this, sitting together with dear friends having a great time, would be exactly the story I’d annoy my grandchildren with one day, just as I’d tell them the story of how I experienced 9/11 some years earlier and just as my parents told me stories about what they did the day the Berlin Wall fell or that Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
I don’t dare trying to answer the question whether this indeed is the start of a new era. I don’t even dare doing it from the Israeli perspective (though I know many Isareli and pro-Israeli people are highly sceptic, if not to say worried about his presidency), but somehow, as I shared the ceremony with people whoe were out partying exactly that I felt the spirit of change Obama proclaimed so often and I felt those I know supporting him aren’t just a bunch of idealists but part of a huge group of rather ordinary, mostly unpolitical people. Democracy needs to be a grassroots movement if it is to work out and this is exactly what Obama, his campaign and ideas seem to be in the end. So perhaps, only perhaps, if there will be a serious chance for change in the US and perhaps radiation even further then that in the years to come it would be now. I’d certainly wish it to the people of the United States who, at latest after the whole financial crisis, must see their country at the edge of chaos. Until then as far as I am concerned I’ll stay with hoping for the best and see what history will have to say about this man who, in the end, at least has a honest and faithful smile in his face.