When Barack Obama was inaugurated 44th President of the United States in January of 2009, his adoring fans in the media could not contain their elation as they reported on the event. As President Obama prepares to be sworn in for a second term, here is a look back at just how thrilled they were last time around. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Here are some of the most fawning quotes:
ANNOUNCER: This morning, a new dawn. Barack Obama, sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. A new face from a new generation, driven by an audacity to hope.
BARACK OBAMA: They said this day would never come.
ANNOUNCER: It has, it's here.
OBAMA: Change has come to America.
– Opening of ABC's Good Morning America, January 20, 2009.
BILL WEIR (ABC's World News, January 20): We know that wind can make a cold day feel colder, but can national pride make a freezing day feel warmer? It seems to be the case because regardless of the final crowd number estimates, never have so many people shivered so long with such joy. From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.
"It is radiant, the happiness. In fact, just us lucky enough to be in this business today looking out the window here and getting the reaction when the crowd catches your eye, it is such a deal."
– Chris Matthews during MSNBC live coverage of Obama's inauguration, January 20.
HARRY SMITH (CBS's Early Show, January 21): So it was that as many as 2 million pilgrims made their way to Washington and the Mall to witness this most sacred event.
ANDREA MITCHELL (NBC Nightly News, January 20): What a day it was. It may take days or years to really absorb the significance of what happened to America today....When he [Barack Obama] finally emerged, he seemed, even in this throng, so solitary, somber, perhaps already feeling the weight of the world, even before he was transformed into the leader of the free world....The mass flickering of cell phone cameras on the Mall seemed like stars shining back at him.
CAROL COSTELLO (CNN's American Morning, January 21): When Barack Obama started to speak, I was right in the middle of the crowd. People were crying, they were laughing, they were cheering. Suddenly someone would just come up and hug you. It was just amazing. It was like you’re standing in the middle of these strangers, and all of a sudden you had a million friends around you.
AL ROKER: "It was one of the most moving moments in my life, to come across that bridge with this group of kids I've never met before, but we were all together. And that's the sense you get here. We're at the parade route where the President’s going to review the parade – this sense of family, of the country coming together. That's what people are looking for, I think."
BRIAN WILLIAMS: "Al, I'd love to tell you that I have no idea what you're talking about, that everybody here kept their emotions thoroughly in check during the ceremony, but I'd be lying to you, my friend."
– Exchange during NBC's live coverage January 20, following Obama's swearing-in.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY (ABC's Good Morning America, January 21): All this time I've been alive, I've been having white presidents. And I think now, it's – this is my chance to have a black president.