The (Inauguration) Party's Over: Time to Deliver the Promises

Local area resident Judy Shepps Battle reflects on President Obama's inauguration ceremonies and the import civil rights theme and promises dominating the day.


Big yawn here this pre-dawn icy morning here in Central NJ.

I confess to being a little hung-over from too much inauguration-watching yesterday. Even if the Obama administration isn't Camelot, there was an other-worldly quality about the ceremonies from noon swearing in to dancing cheek-to-cheek into the night.

I'm still puzzling about the gum Obama chewed all during the parade. Some say it was Nicorette. I thought he gave up smoking his first year in office. I guess not.

And I'm still wondering why the question of who designed Michelle Obama's evening inaugural gown was the hottest topic being discussed during the day by the television pundits (it was a Jason Wu for those of you who care and don't know yet).

But I am still really excited and happy about Obama's speech.

While it didn't quite rise to the piercing beauty of JFK's "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country" oration, it did dare to speak aloud certain political unspeakables, especially with regard to gay rights and equal pay for women.

I truly never believed I would hear the highest elected official in the US affirm the importance of the 1969 Stonewall Riot which signaled the start of the gay rights movement as well as stand up for marriage equality in a national speech.

Bravo Mr. President!

Now it's time to settle in and see whether my Social Security and/or Medicare benefits suffer, if all the troops will be home by the end of 2014, whether POTUS can better deal with legislative obstruction this time around, if global warming or air quality actually get addressed, and whether gay rights remains elevated to its proper level as a civil rights issue.

I'm sure you have your own to-be-watched list for President Obama's second term.

But first, it's time to find a way to warm up on this 15-degree morning that is beginning almost a week of sub-freezing day and night temperatures and some snow to boot. Perhaps NJ was relocated to the mid-west and not told?

Enjoy the day everyone, it's really the only one we can be sure is ours.

Judy Shepps Battle is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist, consultant and freelance writer. Her weekly column "It Takes a Village" appeared in the South Brunswick Patch for a year. She can be reached by e-mail at writeaction@aol.com. Additional information on this and other topics can be found at her website at http://www.writeaction.com/. 

Copyright 2013 Judy Shepps Battle

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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