Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Worse Inauguration Day Ever

For the stock market, that is. I think it was more related to the British banking crisis than to Obama's taking office. However, there was a 100-point drop as soon as Obama's speech ended, suggesting that traders were disappointed in what they heard. I'm not sure what they were expecting. It was your typical inauguration day speech. Presidents don't lay out policy details in such speeches. The only thing I can figure is that, like the good folks at The Automatic Earth, they found the speech not very inspiring. Perhaps they were hoping Obama would show more charisma - in order to get the voters behind the tough choices that loom in the near future.

I found the speech disappointing as well. It seemed like a speech Dubya could have made.

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

If I didn't know that was Obama's speech, I'd have guessed it was the Shrub's.

Perhaps I was just expecting too much. Expectations were insane for this speech. People were saying it would be not only Obama's best speech ever, it would be the best presidential speech in history. The reality was a reasonably competent inaugural speech, but nothing to write home about.

A lot of my friends are extremely excited over the new Obama presidency. I'm not. It's better than four more years of Bush...but not much. I just don't see much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. Geithner for Treasury. Salazar for Interior. Jason Furman for economic policy director. Ugh.

I think the honeymoon is going to be short-lived. The financial crisis is heating up again. If there isn't real change, instead of just talk about it, Obama will end up being even more despised than Bush. Mark it down: in four years, many of the people who are euphoric today about Obama's election will be calling for his head and denying they ever voted for him.

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