President Barack Obama’s second inauguration takes place in Washington on Monday, although the president was officially sworn in during a private ceremony on Sunday to conform to requirements of the Constitution.
The inauguration will dominate news cycles, with a parade, after-parties and balls following the public ceremony.
Democrats are celebrating; Republicans are taking the pending second term in stride after a heated election battle that resulted in the country being basically divided in half if the popular vote is a gauge for political sentiment. Obama won the popular vote by 51 percent, down from 53 percent in 2008.
Even the president’s opponents, however, see the benefits in the public spectacle we call the inauguration. The U.S. maintains a peaceful process for transfer of powers. Public galas are also a boon to retailers, hoteliers, transportation and dining sectors and other areas. So there’s that.
As the president begins his second term, he will not be restrained by the prospects of reelection, at least for now. U.S. presidents are term-limited. There have been efforts to do away with the limits, but those efforts have gone nowhere. Many Americans believe members of the House and Senate should also be term limited, but that hasn’t gone anywhere either.
Whatever your persuasion politically, inaugural parades and galas are part and parcel of the American experience. We can celebrate the benefits even if we disagree with many of the political positions on taxes and spending, the economy and expansion of federal powers our president and the Left endorse.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 21, 2013)