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POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 5:30 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia | Washington, DC

Inquirer staff writer Marcia Gelbart reports:

For Mayor Nutter, in Washington since the early part of last weekend, today was not "the culmination of a dream, but a tremendous down payment on the dream Dr. King talked about."

After listening to Obama speak from a middle section - Section 11 - with a straight view of the podium, the mayor, in a phone interview, said: "It's a pretty heavy kind of moment when you think about all the things that have happened…

Hundreds of years of history here in the United States, especially for African Americans, and to see someone who has really played by the rules, got a good education, worked hard, did what he needed to do… President Obama demonstrates what a real role model can be for everyone."

Inquirer Online Desk @ 5:30 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 3:30 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia | Suburbs

Inquirer staff writer Dan Hardy reports:

At the Toby Farms Elementary School in Delaware County’s Chester-Upland School District, it was all-Obama, and all “Yes We Can,” all day.

At the start of the school day, sixth grade students formed a “Yes We Can” human chain in the school’s parking lot, spelling out the words.

Inquirer Online Desk @ 3:30 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 3:01 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia

Inquirer staff writer Marcia Gelbart reports:

Watching Obama's speech inside his office, Ernest Jones, president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp., said he was "personally inspired" - but stopped there.

"I'm somewhat sobered by the enormity of everything that has to be done to get the country moving in the right direction," he said. "You don't want to have your expectations be unrealistic."
At the same time, he said: "I was personally inspired by the events today. The fact we have an African American president means we have gotten past certain things in America." 

Inquirer Online Desk @ 3:01 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 2:52 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia

Inquirer staff writer Kristen A. Graham reports:

At Fitler Elementary School in Germantown, where students started the “Obama Hope Organization” to do good deeds in the new president’s name, Rachae Pringle’s fifth grade class watched the inauguration on a giant projector screen.

Inquirer Online Desk @ 2:52 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 2:27 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia

Inquirer staff writer Jillian Smith reports:

The Pennysaver convenience store on the corner of Wayne Avenue and Apsley Street in Germantown was empty during the usual lunchtime rush. With no TV, store owner Yunnie Kim and cashier Jimmae Little could not watch the inauguration. To be honest, there was nothing to prove that today was a day in history except for the lack of customers. Maybe they were elsewhere viewing Obama’s speech?

Then, at noon, two men broke the silence in the store to order lunch at the deli counter. “I don't care too much for Obama. I voted for McCain,” said Malik Carter. Carter and his friend Bryant Peoples continued to joke about Obama, mainly about his middle name being Hussein.

Inquirer Online Desk @ 2:27 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 2:06 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia | Suburbs

Inquirer staff writer Joelle Farrell reports:

2:05 p.m.

In Delaware County, 100 second and third grade students from the Widener Partnership Charter School gathered with about 100 university faculty and staff to watch the inauguration on a large movie projector screen in Lathem Hall, formerly a church.

Some of the elementary school students dozed off, while others squirmed in their chairs, their feet swinging. Others tried to ignore the distractions around them, taking in a moment they have been told was something to remember.

Inquirer Online Desk @ 2:06 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 1:14 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia

Inquirer staff writer Jeff Shields reports:

Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.’s staff gathered in the 3rd Floor City Hall office of his legislative Counsel, Shoshanna Bricklin, to watch the inauguration. The phones were quiet -- apparently the constituents of the Councilman’s 4th District were busy watching as well. It all unfolded on the Councilman’s 52-inch Sony flatscreen, bought with campaign funds, which adorns the office wall. It’s the kind of thing usually seen in emergency management centers; here it’s normally used for Powerpoint presentations.

Legislative Aide Morgan Cephas liked the fact that Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts couldn’t get the oath straight – it made the new President more human. Josh Cohen, director of legislative services, cheered the new vice-president as the most famous graduate of the University of Delaware. Cohen claimed second place for himself before realisitically settling for third behind Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Inquirer Online Desk @ 1:14 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 1:12 PM
Filed Under: Philadelphia
Inquirer staff writer Jonathan Tamari reports:

Edith Savage-Jennings, an old friend of Coretta Scott King’s, said she was overcome with emotion and cried as President Obama took the oath of office and delivered his speech.

“All I could think of was Martin, Coretta,” she said. “It’s hard to say how you feel. I’m just excited and I’m just so joyful.”

Inquirer Online Desk @ 1:12 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

The Inauguration: Jan. 20 blog brings you coverage of President-elect Barack Obama's transition into office.

It's written by political journalists from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Send us your comments -- and news tips -- at this address.

Thomas FitzgeraldThomas Fitzgerald joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000, and has covered Harrisburg as well as city, state and national politics for the newspaper. He was a “boy on the bus” in the 2004 presidential campaign and during primary contests in 2000 and 1996.

Nathan Gorenstein has covered politics and government in the city, state and nation for the Inquirer. He's worked in the city hall bureau, had a stint on the business desk, and once covered the suburbs. After serving as assistant regional editor, he was named editor of the "Politics" web site.

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