Four years ago, ABC journalist Bill Weir swooned that "national pride" made the cold of Inauguration Day seem warmer and that even the seagulls were "awed." On Monday, the reporter was at it again, hyping "history" is "keeping [inauguration-goers] warm." On Good Morning America, the morning show crew gushed over every detail.
News reader Josh Elliott referred to the First Lady's new haircut as the "bangs that thrilled the nation...[Obama's] dear wife and the hair." Later, during live coverage, Weir talked to a 16-year-old in pajamas, visiting Washington for the inauguration. He wondered, "History is keeping you warm, right?" "Outstanding," enthused the journalist. World News anchor Diane Sawyer liked the line so much she repeated it later: "And I heard you say earlier, Bill, people are counting on history to keep them warm."
On January 20, 2009, Weir could barely restrain his excitement over the incoming Democratic administration:
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...
A transcript of the January 21 exchanges can be found below:
BILL WEIR: Let me give you a taste of what it's like for people who stayed home. First, you get up before dawn. And then you put on six layers. And you stuff those warmers into your socks. And then you walk out on the mall. And what's funny is when people see this crowd, they light up. There's excitement. People literally start dancing. But this is about the part where reality sets in that we have three hours to kill. And we have to sit around. So, we have people getting up card games here. We're hanging out. And this is Sean Semler [PH]. He's from the St. Louis area. And we've decided to talk to them because of his old glory pajama pants. How are you doing, man?
SEAN SEMLER: Feeling pretty good.
WEIR: Sean turned 16 in December. And that's his dad and he said he said, "Dad, I want to spend my 16th trip going to see the inauguration." Any regrets thus far?
SEMLER: Not at all. Not at all. We got a little bit of sleep, but that's enough.
WEIR: Yeah. History is keeping you warm, right?
WEIR: Outstanding. All right. Let's go back to George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Bill, I love watching you on Inauguration Day!
DIANE SAWYER: Welcome back to the second inauguration of the 44th president of the United States. We're going to go, now, to Bill Weir, who is out in the center of the mall. And I heard you say earlier, Bill, people are counting on history to keep them warm.
BILL WEIR: Absolutely. And community, a sense of national pride, on days like this. Do you ever get the feeling that there's people behind you, watching you? Watch this. Look at the power. Look at the power. [Motions to the people behind him.] Happy MLK day, people. Look at this. We got Alabama, Mississippi represented, California, Texas, Oklahoma, good to see you. Good morning. How are you? It's warming up, right? It feels pretty good. Here's the view. So, we are just on the capitol side of Seventh Street, which is about the halfway point. It's starting to get dense. We were saying earlier, four years ago, I was back, way back by the Washington monument. That was 1.8 million people. They're thinking at least half that year.