1. Of first importance, the Williams’ piece – It was good, not great. Some have panned Johnny for using the Shaker tune “Simple Gifts” which Aaron Copland has already masterfully ingrained in the American symphonic conscience. But, reading Williams’ comments about this tune, I think it was a wonderful move. Apparently, back in the day, Copland’s Portrait of Lincoln was to be performed at an Inaugural event for Eisenhower however, some conservatives in Congress objected because Copland was too liberal, maybe even a Communist. (This was, like most of HUACs activities, utter nonsense.) Anyway, the Copland piece was replaced. Williams, upon learning that President Obama enjoys Copland, chose to use “Simple Gifts”, both as a nod to the President and to Copland’s unjust snub many decades ago.
2. I’m pretty sure that John Roberts will have the text of the Oath of Office in front of him the next time he does this. I really feel sorry for the guy; the Chief Justice is not a very visible public official. His one moment to shine happens every four years when he administers the Oath. And he blew it. Still, he can make it up when he does it again in four year for Barack Obama, right? :)
3. Former President George W. Bush – has a nice ring to it, no?
4. Finally, Zach brings to my attention the prayer offered by Gene Robinson, bishop of New Hampshire, before the Sunday festivities. The bishop brings home a point that cannot be overstated – though we all wish the best for our new President, he is human. “We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking far too much of this one.”