History and life

January 20, 2009 12:54:13 PM PST
Life happens. And it happened during the Presidential luncheon Barack Obama today. Sen. Ted Kennedy, suffering brain cancer, collapsed, in seizures, and was rushed to the hospital.

Barack Obama -- clearly emotional during the lunch. We're following the latest developments with the lion of the Senate.

Meanwhile, from Washington, on to the Inauguration.

And I think the best picture of the day was the Obamas and the Bidens, standing on the steps of the Capitol, all waving in unison as Marine One took off, with George and Laura Bush aboard.

I know, I know, they all talk about how the outgoing and incoming administrations got along during the transition.

The waves by the new folks in charge were double-edged. There was a "take care y'all" part of it. And there was a "good riddance" part as well. No question.

And so now begins the Barack Obama era. I remember when Bush took the oath, there was the resurrection of the old line from "The Candidate" where the victor, played by Robert Redford, asked, "What Do We Do Now?"

There is not that sense coming from the Obama camp, eight years later.

Instead, there's a feeling that, while he may know what he's going to do, it's unclear whether it can make a big difference.

How long will the recession last, and how can the new President affect that?

How long before the Obama White House overturns some of the changes the Bush White House instituted?

The work now begins.

Tonight at 11, we'll have complete coverage of the inauguration -- the crowds who waited for hours to get in, the crowds who waited for hours and didn't get in, the bejeweled balls tonight, the departure of the Bushes and the arrival of the Obamas, and the new President's speech -- 2400 words and a poetic mix of standard bearer wisdom and progressive politics.

I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, along with a team of Eyewitness News anchors and reporters, here in Washington, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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