Inauguration Day, as we all know, is held on January 20th. The Constitution mandates that the president must be sworn in on January 20th to begin his term. However, this year January 20th falls on a Sunday, so President Obama is having a private swearing-in ceremony on the 20th, and the Inaugural Committee has pushed the public events to a day later (so yes, he is technically being sworn in twice, but it is just that, a technicality). It turns out that January 21st also happens to be…wait for it…Martin Luther King Day, “a holiday for many workers,” and a mystical and incredibly appropriate – as well as potentially upstaging for Obama, as the comparisons to King will likely flow fast and thick – imposition of symbolism that almost seems to imply divine intervention. (Imagine the travesty if it was Mitt Romney taking the oath on Martin Luther King Day…talk about stealing the spotlight…just by comparison, King – from the grave – would have weakened Romney on the first day of his new administration, and a stony, thousand-yard silence would have settled over the country as the first creeping fingers of buyer’s remorse came to rest upon the collective conscience of the nation and began to squeeze…thank god we averted that, right?) At least Obama – an activist and former community organizer – echoes some of King’s sentiment and mindset, albiet muted and from a distance. After all, Obama did come out for gay marriage, which many think of as today’s civil rights struggle of the sort King engaged in, if perhaps not of the same level. Obama was late to the party though, and to my mind not fashionably. But I digress.
Another interesting tidbit from a chain email my grandfather sent me (and for which I was unable to find accurate attribution):
In the coming New Year, 2013, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address will occur on the same day. This is an ironic turn of events. One involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to an insignificant creature of little intelligence for guidance… The other involves a groundhog.
If the president sees his shadow, do we have two more years of recession? More likely, extremist Republicans will say he doesn’t actually have a shadow, or that sunlight is another left-wing conspiracy, and Boehner will force Obama to negotiate over whether the government should allow sunshine to fall on the middle class until they both give up and go back to hibernating.