Obamas second Inaugural: Matt's Mem

Inauguration Day has come to a close. It is a day to take measure of a nation. A day to relish in the ceremony of a country unlike any other in the world. Whether the president's name is Reagan or Obama, Bush or Clinton, Eisenhower or Kennedy Inauguration Day is one to remember.

Four years ago a energetic history making president-elect took the oath of office before a record setting crowd packing into the National Mall and surrounding streets. President Obama was taking charge during the early months of economic freefall that had begun under his predecessor. Yet, on that day there still was hope. Today a more mature, experienced leader spoke with the confidence of never having to run for office again. A nation in an improved economic condition enjoys a greater sense of peace. It opens the door for a promise of greater achievement in the coming four years.

We know that a little less than half of the country does not think President Obama is doing a good job. Of course, that still leaves way more people thinking he does a good job than there are people thinking congress is accomplishing anything. We remain a nation divided. Yet in Washington today that was not the impression we conveyed to the rest of the world.

A handsome young family captured the attention of dozens of television cameras carefully placed around the capital. Some were stationary others tethered to cars and trucks. The image of continuity of government or a gradual transition into a new era while still having a hand on tradition makes for a grand day. Already it's time to get to work and turn that hope and promise into concrete progress before the next campaign begins for the open White House.

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