Monday, January 21, 2013

inaugural thoughts

Four years ago, despite the almost crippling cold, PapaQ and I bundled up our one year-old daughter and headed out to the national mall to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as president of the United States.
Inauguration Day 2009

This year we stayed in. We love the excitement of being there live, but we also love the ease and convenience of watching it on TV in a warm house.

Despite living in Washington DC, where it can sometimes seem that politics are a way of living, I'm sometimes embarrassed that I don't know much about policy, economics or other politically savvy subjects. Many of the people I know work for the government or for a particular senator or congressperson. PapaQ himself is a civil servant (and despite how easy it is to criticize the waste and redundancy in the government, the people I know who work for Uncle Sam are honest, hard-working, capable, if not brilliant, employees. PapaQ supervises a barebones staff and is still expected to move mountains... and by-and-large he does). Our friends (and family) span the political spectrum and I'm always learning new things from them. But despite differing beliefs I think we all just want what is best for our families and for our country and we're doing what we can to make that happen.

I think the president's inaugural speech touched on some of those things. Some of my favorite excerpts:
We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.  What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”...
We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.  We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own...
...we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 

But let's be honest, my favorite part was my Obama Cake Redux. A sweet way to start the next four years!
Obams cake 2009

Obama Cake Redux 2013

This is a cake fantasize about. Our absolute favorite chocolate cake (from Barefoot Contessa Home cookbook). I had quite forgotten about Obama cake though until later in the day and I kind of threw this together. I didn't have enough cream cheese to frost the entire cake, so the filling is cream cheese frosting and the outside is simple whipped cream. But, ohhhh, we really like it. 
Happy Inauguration Day everyone.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Looks delicious! My husband is a civil servant too. He takes his job of "working for the people" very seriously and is honored to do so!