Tuesday, January 20, 2009
This is a watershed moment. That is clearly stating the obvious. But folks who hang in cocktail bars are often guilty of that kind of speak, so give us some latitude.
Today is really special and inspirational. Mr. Barack H. Obama will be sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States of America. Millions of people will pack the Capital in the frigid cold waiting for the moment when he takes the Oath of Office, his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s bible, truly symbolizing how far we have come: from Emancipation to Inauguration.
Today we also say "Adios" to George W. Bush, a President with whom most Americans once said they would happily share a beer. Well, Georgie may have been a good time swigging a beer or two, but by the end of the night he became “that guy”. That guy who hit on your girlfriend, knocked over the coffee table, put you in a headlock, made inappropriate comments about your gay cousin, and naturally, toilet papered your trees! That guy who plowed his BMW across your lawn and crashed into your garbage cans as he drove off into the night. We say "Godspeed - and please get a designated driver."
Today, we have a new President, a President who is as at-home having a beer in the Billygoat Tavern under the El on Michigan Avenue over some “cheezeburgers, cheeseburgers”, as he is sampling the cheese course and a Barolo at Spiaggia, Chicago’s only four-star restaurant. Barack is a guy you can go and watch a baseball game with in the stands; he is not that guy who owns the team watching from a skybox. Barack is a guy you can go listen to jazz with at the Lenox Lounge, or watch the Knicks play the Celtics courtside at Madison Square Garden. He is a transcendental figure who is invited to share a wet one with us anytime, because we know he is level-headed enough to call it a night before we hit Arthur's Tavern for after-hours.
Today, Mr. President, the baton is now in your hand. You have our undivided attention and we are ready to serve. To kick it off, Loungerati men and women in New York will be trading their suits and dresses for jeans and t-shirts this spring, to give our time to the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn. Giving back to the community where one lives is democracy in action. It is only one of many projects to help our country. We hear what you are saying and it is time to move beyond the barstool.
Oh, and Mr. President, one final note: if you are ever in NYC and want to grab a proper drink between U.N. visits, let us know. We are kind of experts at that sort of thing.
Hail to the Chief!
- The Loungerati Executive Board