It was not a perfect inauguration. Barack Obama and John Roberts mutually stumbled over the Oath of Office. Obama's speech was powerful, moving in places, but somber, serious, and not entirely elegant. There was a nervous air to some of the proceedings, particularly Rick Warren's invocation. The crowd -- well more than a million people -- was respectful of one another, and reverential of the ceremony. But Washington has been essentially impossible to navigate for the past 12 hours or so, a disorienting labyrinth of road and subway closures, crowds and frigid temperatures; I literally got lost in the crowd.
In spite of all of that, I found myself almost overcome with pride, and read the same emotion on the faces of nearly everyone that I passed in the crowd. For as much as some parts of the world have developed a habit of looking down on America, it's highly unlikely that any nation in Europe or most of the rest of the world would have elected someone like Barack Hussein Obama as their leader. Here's hoping that Obama will prove to be a president worthy of our great nation.