On January 21, Fr. Claude Pomerleau attended President Obama’s second inauguration. (Click on photos to enlarge. Captions by Father Claude.)[nggallery id=18]
Note from Father Claude:
The pictures try to give the viewer a sense of ritual determined by space and people.
For me, being present at this large dramatic civil ritual of renewal and commitment to the principal of non-violent transfer of power is one of the special qualities of swearing-in ceremony that occurs every four years in D.C.. It is an event that involves hundreds of thousands who are physically present at the event and millions that virtually affirm the event.
There is a special joy and excitement that is shared as we all wait in the cold for hours — all bundled up and sharing our stories as we wait. And then, the ceremony itself, short and dramatic, leaving everyone satisfied and hopeful.
The pictures describe some of the events of the Inauguration and the role of Senator Leahy, who took most of the pictures. He was up close and personal before, during and after the event.
Since Leahy has become President pro tem, some funny evens have occurs (as listed below):
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy may be best known for his influence on the nation’s courts. But a new Foreign Policy magazine ranking of the 50 most powerful Democrats on international affairs places Vermont’s senior senator near the top of that list, as well.
Noting that Leahy “essentially controls the U.S. foreign aid budget” as chairman of a key Senate Appropriations subcommittee, Leahy placed number 18 on the list, beating out all but two fellow members of Congress. FP singles out the senator’s 1997 “Leahy Law,” which prohibits funding to foreign militaries that commit human-rights violations, and his fight to cut aid to allies, such as Egypt and Pakistan, whose commitment to democracy — or to the U.S. itself — is lukewarm.
Beating out Leahy on the list? White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon (No. 1), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (No. 4), mega-fundraiser George Soros (No. 9) and, well, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart (No. 11).
In other list news, Leahy tied for second “wisest” member of the Senate in Washingtonian Magazine’s “Best and Worst of Congress 2012” rankings, as voted upon by Capitol Hill staffers.
Vermont’s junior senator, Bernie Sanders, also took home some prizes — but not likely the ones he was hoping for. Sanders tied for third as the “least eloquent” member of the Senate and came in first for “fashion victim.” Washingtonian helpfully noted that Sanders is “a three-time winner” of the latter award.
Come on, Bernie. Would it kill ya to get a new suit?