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Presidential Inauguration creates history

Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States. History will be made once again on Jan. 20, 2009, with the beginning of Obama’s term in office.

“I feel honored to have been part of such a historical election and to be a part of the group that helped elect the first black President,” said Benjamin Spar ’09. “I wanted to see change come to the White House, not more of what we have had the past eight years.”

Senior Nathan Larsen also feels this election was monumental, mostly because of how Obama handled it.

“This is the first presidential election I’ve been able to vote in; I knew how crucial it would be,” Larsen said. “Obama really captured the popular vote by being genuine and telling [the people] what they wanted to hear but also making it happen.”

Junior Todd Robley highly believes in Obama’s ability to bring our nation back from the economy’s drastic decline.

“With our economy currently tagged as one of the worst recessions in history, Obama and his administration will definitely have their work cut out for them,” Robley said. “Our nation is at a point where we need things to be shaken up a bit.”

Because of the color of Obama’s skin, some controversy has arisen due to our country’s own history. Larsen feels proud of all the progress our country has made over the last few hundred years, but he, along with many Americans, is left to wonder if all that progress has prepared us for the next four years.

“Only 400 years ago, it would’ve been unheard of for a black man to own property or read,” said Larsen. “Even in that short span of time, that progress in remarkable. [But] just because we’ve elected a black president doesn’t mean that racism is gone or weakened, necessarily.”

Steven Edwards ’12 believes Obama’s skin color was a positive characteristic in this past election, but he also thinks Obama will bring about the change America not necessarily wants but needs.

“I think it’s time for someone besides a white male to be in office and I think that it’s great that Obama got elected by a landslide,” Edwards said.

Sophomore Danielle Pinsonneault did not vote for Obama in this past election because she believes he does not have the experience to lead our country. She also greatly disagrees with his healthcare plan which would, according to, “require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.”

“Though I do wish him success and hope he helps our country, he is a man of too many gaffes and too little experience,” Pinsonneault said. “If, as a consumer, I cannot be turned down, why should I pay premiums when I am healthy? This is nothing more than a ploy to destroy the private market and replace it with the ‘white-knight’ single payer system.”

Larsen believes that even though many people helped elect the first black president, people must not stop showing their support now. His presidency may be off to a rough start because of all the obstacles he’ll have to overcome, but Americans should not give up their hope on him.

“We’re only halfway there. We really need to continue to be supportive; we need to not grow lazy,” he said. “I think that people if they haven’t understood the magnitude of this, they need to grasp it. This is not an everyday election.”

Sophomore Sudhir Selvaraj trusts that Obama will guide the nation and its people toward a brighter future.

“The youth are looking for a new leader and a new way to demonstrate the potential Americans have,” Selvaraj said. “Obama is the perfect choice to be the person who can lead the country as a potential leader.”

English professor Dawn Duncan believes the nation is ready for the changes Obama will bring due to all the areas of improvement which are needed. She also has faith in the restoration of one of our nation’s founding principles.

“Whether individual citizens or various constituent parties are ready to do what is necessary to implement the changes is a larger question,” Duncan said. “I think our country and world will return to an attitude of practical work for the sake of all, not just the well-to-do or corporate world.”

Freshman Braden Carkhuff thinks the question of if America is ready for the change Obama may bring is irrelevant.

“Change is inevitable,” he said. “Obama will bring change to America, for better or worse.”

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