Barack Obama's second inauguration: an oath ceremony that's only for show
Everything is going swimmingly so far in the four-day bash that is Barack Obama’s second inauguration as President of the United States, or POTUS to the Secret Service and the White House correspondents who must keep tabs on him.
If you are wondering, Michelle is FLOTUS as in, “FLOTUS was in a dark blue dress by Reed Krakoff”.
That, by the way, is the word from the West Wing on the First Lady’s attire for the actual, official swearing-in of her husband yesterday. The Constitution says presidents must take the oath of office on 20 January. When he does it again on the west steps of the Capitol today it will be for show. “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear…”
Fashion is what it’s about, never mind the inaugural address. Take this conversation with a friend who runs women’s magazines. Yes, I told her, that was broadcast icon Barbara Walters lying face down on the floor of the British ambassador’s des-res on Saturday after losing her footing. She wasn’t having it. “That wasn’t Barbara. I talked to Barbara and that wasn’t what she was wearing”. I don’t notice these things, but Barbara it was.
Not a great inauguration for Ms Walters. (She was hospitalised last night under observation.) But everyone else is walking on air. The Republicans have fled town so the Democrats have it all to themselves. Not that that lessens the traffic. So many parties. When you get to them the human crush is worse. If you are Senator John Kerry – soon to be Secretary of State – you create your own crush. I saw it at a Sunday brunch given by Tina Brown of Newsweek/Daily Beast. The man barely made it into the room with everyone trying to shake his hand. Sorry John.
Tina knows how to draw a crowd. Barack should make her ambassador in London. Cast members from Glee were there, ex Secretaries of State (two), and, while not the president himself, people very, very close to him. David Axelrod told me more good news. Remember Mr Obama’s inaugural address four years ago? “Didn’t like it,” David said in my ear. I do recall being disappointed. Today’s speech, he says, will be much, much better. Let’s see.
Tina, of course, is not up for an ambassadorship. But the lady from Beverly Hills with the spikey white hair (and receipts of large donations to Mr Obama) wanted me to know that she was particularly heartened by the latest gossip that Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, will not in fact be America’s next envoy to the Court of St James. Why, I asked? “Haven’t you seen The Devil Wears Prada?” she rejoined. Lord, we are talking about fashion again.
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Hermann Goering's daughter fails to reclaim items looted by Nazi deputy during WWII
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...