Obama Inaugurama – Down and Dirty Version

26 Jan 2009 09:57 pm
Posted by: Krista

Sorry for the delay. Started writing this last week and didn’t get very far and didn’t have internet access. Got back last night and started packing more boxes – we’re moving on Saturday! This only covers events till Monday, but I’ll write about the rest of the inauguration when I can.

January 17, 2009: We made a mad dash to the airport but ran into very little issues and almost no one in line for security. We didn’t even need my husband’s US Airways status to propel us past the line – there wasn’t one.

As Justin and I waited to board, he pointed out one of our distinguished co-passengers, Sandra Day O’Connor. We were on the same flight! But she was in first, and we were in coach. Still, it was really cool to be on the same flight with a former Supreme Court Justice. I’m still in awe.

Flight was full of crazy and excited inauguration goers. I’ve never been on a flight with that much chattering – non-stop, too! It seemed like every passenger was on their way to witness Obama’s inauguration. There was also a little flirting going on. My husband sat in front of two people who seemed to hit it off – until the girl mentioned she would vote for Bush again if she was transported to 2000. Serious gaffe on that flight – the guy couldn’t wait to get off the plane.

My best friend and her husband met us, and we went to pick up two of our four tickets to the Arizona ball. We got them off Craigs list since they were sold out when we decided to go. Then back to my best friend’s house for a short break before getting gussied up for our National Association of Minority Government Contractors ball. It was a lively ball with lots of dancing and a lot of happy people. There were random cheers to Obama, and the DJ interjected a lot of comments about change and “yes we can” to keep the crowd excited.

January 18, 2009: Nothing much in the way of political excitement. The guy from which we bought the second set of tickets to the Arizona ball met us to give us the tickets. They looked legit and like the first set, so we figured we didn’t get swindled.

January 19, 2009: Headed to Congresswoman Kirkpatrick’s office just to find long lines wrapped around the house office buildings. Apparently, they didn’t have the tickets till late last week, so people were unable to pick them up early. We waited in line for about an hour before we got in, but then we headed straight to Kirkpatrick’s office and got our tickets. The tickets were very fancy looking, and I’ll upload some pics when I can get them from my hubby.

Since we were in the building, we went by Congressman Mitchell’s office and saw Alexis Tameron, who we met during our Dean for America days. She gave us a tour of Mitchell’s office, very nice, but I hope he gets to move to a bigger office as he continues his Congressional journey. As we were leaving, we saw Bob Mitchell, Harry Mitchell’s brother. Bob Mitchell, from Casa Grande, was my government teacher when I was in high school. He was also a newly elected mayor that year, and I still remember how he drew real life examples from his mayoral experience into the classroom. I learned a lot in that class.

We walked around for a few more minutes then headed out to the mall to get the lay of the land. Kirkpatrick’s office gave us Silver tickets. I didn’t realize there were different areas when I asked for them, so I was disappointed and anxious about having standing room only tickets – mostly because pregnancy makes my back hurt all the time. Still, we were thrilled to have tickets. The mall was a maze of fences and blockades. Lots of people milling around and also a lot of street vendors selling Obama paraphernalia. Strangely, while walking around, we ran into my husband’s neighbors from when he lived in Georgetown. Crazy.

Headed back to my friend’s house to get ready for the Pederson party. We really lucked out on getting on the list. I called to ask about it, and Pederson’s assistant said it was full. So, I asked if there was a waiting list in case someone couldn’t make it, then went on to say I was an active Dem, supported Pederson for Senate, was from Casa Grande (Pederson’s home town), and my mom was born in the same hospital in CG that Pederson was born in (different year, but same birthdate). Pederson’s assistant laughed at that and said since my mom and Pederson were born in the same hospital, she’d put me on the list. I thought that was cool, and the party ended up being a lot of fun and very crowded.

Some of the who’s who of Arizona politics were there – Kirkpatrick, Mitchell, Grijalva, Pastor, Napolitano, Sinema, Lujan, Schapira, and even the mayor of Flagstaff, Sara Presler-Hoefle. And, of course, Jim Pederson. Then there were the stalwart Dems, like Mark and Donna, Carol Pearsall, Judy Kennedy. It was quite the party, and although there were a lot of people we knew, there were also a lot of strangers. We tried meeting a few people, but we had a tendency to gravitate towards friends and acquaintances.

We did get to talk to Congresswoman Kirkpatrick. I find her to be one of the most gracious politicians I’ve met. She hugged me to say hello, always gives her full attention to whoever she’s talking to, and is so charming. I’m sad that we’re moving out of her district.

We just bought a house in Congressman Pastor’s district, so Justin and I introduced ourselves and talked to him for a few minutes. We chatted with Mark and Donna for a bit, Reps. Lujan and Sinema for a few minutes, and Rep. Schapira and met his new wife, Rosemary I think (congratulations!). Other than that, we got to chat with Bob Mitchell and company for a while and got a couple of pictures. We ran into Dana Kennedy as we were leaving, so that topped off the night for me. I got to see and talk to all the people I was looking forward to seeing. We headed back to Falls Church to prepare for an early morning on Tuesday.

Sorry to cut it short, but Tuesday will have to wait. Pregnant women need a lot of sleep.


  1. Comment by Naomi on January 28, 2009 10:48 am

    I can’t believe you were on the same flight as Sandra Day O’Connor. That’s incredible. This sounds like an amazing experience, and of course, wonderful writing!

  2. Comment by Krista on January 29, 2009 5:45 pm

    Yes, I was celebrity-struck :)

    Still trying to get a chance to blog about the rest of the inauguration. Packing is interfering with all the fun stuff I want to do!

  3. Comment by Bill on February 15, 2009 5:24 pm

    I love how awestruck you are with democrats.

    If you grew up in Illinois, I bet your blog would have been saying the same stuff about Rod Blagojevich, back when he was a house member…

    They’re all honest, until they get caught.

  4. Comment by Krista on February 16, 2009 9:53 pm


    In case you missed it, this is a democratic blog. However, the comment I made about being celebrity-struck was to do with being on the same plane as Sandra Day O’Connor, not exactly a Democrat.

    As for the rest of your comment, maybe you’ve heard of being “innocent until proven guilty.” Sounds like you don’t believe in that premise. How un-American of you.

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