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Inauguration 2009

With presidency, much can change in a year

Road to Inauguration: Part V

Melissa Arseniuk was among the crowd of almost 2 million that came out to witness the historic day, as President Barack Obama took oath in our nation's capitol.

Road to Inauguration: Part IV

With the historical presidential inauguration only hours away, our Melissa Arseniuk rubs shoulders with celebs as she attends the star studded "Creative Coalition" dinner in Washington D.C.

More blog entries

Click to enlarge photo

One of the chocolate remains of the U.S. Capitol building from last year's "End of an Error" party.

A lot can change in 365 days.

On Jan. 20, 2008, there was a less-than-a-year-left event for the country’s 43rd president at a community center in northwest Washington. It was playfully dubbed “End of an Error.”

On Jan. 20, 2009, I celebrated the inauguration of the nation’s 44th president in a stately auditorium in downtown D.C. It was a full-blown inaugural celebration and was hosted by Google. It, too, was a lot of fun.

“End of an Error” featured a chocolate cast of the Capitol building that partygoers smashed into bits and ate bit by bit.

The country and its government were already broken, they said between mouthfuls of chocolate.

Just 365 days later, partiers at Google munched on small star-shaped brownies covered in chocolate and danced to poppy, feel-good music.

While the two events share many similarities -- both parties were political and both were held in Washington -- they were incredibly different.

Washington is a pretty good place to be these days. People are smiling, the social scene is hopping, and business is booming across the city, as more than 2 million people flocked to the capital for President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The city has a renewed sense of hope and optimism.

Before Obama took his oath Tuesday morning, people from both above-mentioned parties were watching. And I’m sure a few of them were among the hundreds on the National Mall who shouted when former President Bush flew by in a helicopter.

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that many of the same party people were among those who booed Bush when he was introduced at the inauguration moments later, and sang a few verses of “Hey hey, goodbye” -- as if the message needed to be further articulated.

“Na na na na! Na na na na! Hey hey! Goodbye…”

Judging from the people I’ve spoken to while covering the inauguration, Bush is not a popular man in the Democratic-leaning District of Columbia. A new commander in chief has moved into his new home on Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Obama has spoken extensively about change. It will be interesting to see how much of it he will bring over the next 365 days.

There will probably be a party somewhere on Jan. 20, 2010 – but whether it will be a toasting party or roasting party remains uncertain.

We have a year to wait and see, then make the necessary arrangements.

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