Barack Obama, with his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha at his side, is sworn in as the country's 44th president by Chief Justice John Roberts, front, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Courtesy photo

Barack Obama, with his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha at his side, is sworn in as the country's 44th president by Chief Justice John Roberts, front, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Locals reflect on President Barack Obama's inauguration

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County official Lennie Gillam, 34, was working when President Barack Obama took the oath of office Tuesday morning and delivered his inauguration speech.

As maintenance supervisor, he had too much to do to stop and watch TV.

Gillam, however, wasn't concerned with hearing what the new president had to say. He didn't plan on catching up on the event when he got home that evening, either.

Yes, it was a historic day for the country.

Yes, it was important.

But the inauguration is nothing compared to what comes after.

"It doesn't matter what color you are, that guy has stepped into a big pile of poo," he said. "The economy is the big thing. What he says today, is that really going to affect what you see tomorrow?"

Gillam has seen too much failure in government to be any less cynical now than he was Monday.

"Look at the last eight years," he said. "Look at what happened. It all got worse. It's politics. It's all ran by money, and that's probably not going to change."

There's not much chance that the inequities between rich and poor will be any different after Obama leaves office, Gillam said.

"If you really look at it, look at how they treat people like you and me, and look at how they treat rich people," he said. "You and me, we just get fired. But executives, (the) executives for big companies, they get paid to leave when they screw up."

City councilor

Gillam's views stood in contrast to those from local politicians and political party leaders.

Craig City Councilor Bill Johnston, a Republican who did not vote for Obama, said he believes the country can get better, but it will take leadership and direction from the president, as well as the efforts of the people.

"We need leadership and direction, and we need to be able to trust in what our leaders are telling us," Johnston said.

However, he agrees with Gillam that the true test for Obama was not a speech, but the actions he takes from today forward.

"I think, right now, that man has the most trust he's ever going to have," Johnston said. "The choices he makes, the things he does, that will determine where he and the rest of us go."

Democratic chairman

Ted Crook, Moffat County Democrats chairman, said he believes Obama stands a decent chance of getting Washington back to being a government for the people.

The first step is ensuring "the era of dissension is over" between political parties.

"The problem is not a question of what the parties want for the United States, because really both sides want the same thing: prosperity," Crook said. "It's a question of how to go about it.

"The left aren't trusting of corporations, and they have evidence that's the case. The right doesn't trust the government, and they have evidence that's the case. The truth is neither position is really correct or incorrect.

"The parties can meet somewhere in the middle if they don't bog themselves down in divisive issues, such as abortion and guns for conservatives and prayer in schools and gay rights for liberals.

"None of those issues really mean anything," Crook said. "What I heard Obama say on abortion I think was especially apt. He said that we can all disagree on abortion, but nobody thinks we need more teenage pregnancy. We should work on solving that problem."

Republican chairman

Ron Danner, Moffat County Republican Central Committee chairman, said he also expects Obama to represent the country as a whole.

He doesn't have much of a choice, Danner said, because times are too tough to engage in partisan animosity.

"I don't see political bias having a real impact on what's going on now," he said. "If you look, the recommendations from the Bush administration about the economy are just about exactly what (Obama) plans to do."

Danner is aware, though, that Obama likely will not do everything the way Danner would have things done.

"The country has spoken, and the majority want a change," he said. "Time will tell if he is successful."

Political challenger

Lois Wymore, a Democratic candidate for Moffat County Commission last November, watched the inauguration on her computer at work with the other people in the office.

She also is confident the nation can come together, despite the crowd's chilly reception for Obama's thanks to outgoing President George W. Bush.

"I am not a fan of Bush, but there wasn't enough applause when Obama thanked him for his service," she said. "That man sacrificed a lot for this country, and whether he did a good job or bad, he should be thanked for that."

Still, Wymore believes that everyone is ready to work together, even the liberal base that supported Obama through the election.

"I think so," she said. "I don't know if it's the same (in Moffat County), though. I'm not sure people are ready here."

Sitting commissioner

Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray is ready, but he has reservations about the potentially socialist imprint Obama could put on America.

Gray is not afraid of the new president. Contrary to some opinions from Republicans, he doesn't think liberals want to ruin the country, even if they may end up doing that.

"I think we should all give him a chance," Gray said. "I don't question anyone's motives for leading this country. What (the parties) have are different methods. But, I don't think the (Democrats') methods are why people have been immigrating to this country for 200-something years.

"We're a country that guarantees everyone equal opportunity, but we're not a country that guarantees everyone an equal outcome. I hope he doesn't make this country a place where everyone is assured the same outcome, and we lose our ability to make of ourselves what we can."

'He's my president'

Gray and Councilor Johnston said they hope for the best, and both are willing to work with whoever is in office to make it that way.

Hopefully, Johnston said, the rest of the country can come together in good faith, as well.

"I feel there's a faction out there that can't turn the corner on this," he said. "But, to me, as of 10 o'clock this morning, he became our president. I don't care what party he's from. I really don't care what skin color he is. He's my president, and that's what is important to me."

Comments

Really 5 years, 11 months ago

I remember when McCain gave his speech after he was defeated? The nice, conservative crowd wasn't at all respectful of the President Elect.

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Craig_gal 5 years, 11 months ago

well said however. It was very disheartening to see the reaction of people as our President Bush left the office. Some may never agreed with him but he was our President just the same. I did not vote for Obama but as I tell my children, "he is our President and we will always respect that office, you do not have to agree with everything that one does but, you will always remain a true American and be thankful for the United States". And Thank goodness he is on the front page, now can everybody relax a little, my gosh.

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nikobesti 5 years, 11 months ago

however:

I'm curious as to the horrible disrespect shown to Bush yesterday. I heard a lot of cheering after Obama thanked him for his service. What, were they supposed to do, present him a medal and give him a 10-minute standing ovation? Hmm, I thought Bush's farewell address was a few days ago and that this was actually the inauguration of President Obama. Must have my facts mixed up.

At several "conservative functions" last year, people called our new president a "terrorist" and yelled "off with his head!" Is this the kind of display of respect you're referring to?

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George Robertson 5 years, 11 months ago

One hopes that everyone is satisfied that this was on the Front page.

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PJ Howe 5 years, 11 months ago

As long as you have displays of disrespect from 2 million of the faithful democratic party to former and outgoing presidents as shown at the inauguration yesterday, there will never be a "united" country. You have never seen, nor will you ever see, a display such as that at a conservative function.

Oh yes, this country cannot recover from a $1 Trillion dollar payback spending spree to a few special interest industries. I would like to wish President Obama my best since this is my country too, but when this is the great proposal that he comes up with even before taking office, I find it hard to believe he has the best, long term interests of the country at heart. I have already apologized to my children for what our leaders are about to do to them.

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freeman 5 years, 11 months ago

thats the way the american public is these days,,they proceed off of anything that is said and make final results themselves,,i never thought we would ever see a african american president in power,,but guess what here he is,,, and maybe ,, with all my hope that he does a outstanding and better job than bush did,,because you know why,,,,,he is our president...people are so racially birdened these days and i cant help it myself sometimes either,,,,,, being my father is from alabama where he grew up with the african americans and worked in the cotton fields,,,but i myself think it is time to give society a ,,,,,,chance,,,,,,to prove itself..all we can do is hope the economy will get better for us and everyones family?????

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Really 5 years, 11 months ago

Obama knew the words, the guy swearing him in screwed up.

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freeman 5 years, 11 months ago

PATRICK--YOU NEED TO WAKE UP,OBAMA IS NO MIRACLE ANY AMERICAN WILL LIE TO GET THAT FRONT ROW SEAT--YOU KNOW THAT

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lonelyone 5 years, 11 months ago

I kept saying during the elections stuff that he can only do what the House and Senate will allow him to do and anyone who really thought he could do it as soon as he was sworn in, is a bit goofy. If your house burns down, do you expect the insurance company to build you a new one in two days?? They promise to take care of you and will be there when you need them, but they aren't miracle workers and neither is Obama. Give him a chance and I think it needs to be more then 100 days too.

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jitterbug 5 years, 11 months ago

Fair enough Patrick. I hope you do. But before you go out with your guns halfcocked, take a breath and remember to be rational. No one thought he could fix the economy in 100 days and he never said that. Things will probably get worse before they get better, despite what this newspaper keeps trying to forcefeed us. You don't have to scream to be heard.

All that said can we get off this business about which party is better? I agree with the first guy in the story, neither one has a good track record of changing anything that affects me and neither one represents me. Still, if Obama can change the way politicians talk about things like the Democrat Chairman thinks he can then maybe things will get better.

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freeman 5 years, 11 months ago

what was amazing is obama had trouble following the words when he was oathed into office,,,they made him do it again last night,,did any of you see that

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Globe 5 years, 11 months ago

I thought the guy giving the opening prayer was going to try to make out with Obama. The way he was carrying on in the prayer about Obama, you would think Jesus Christ himself was taking over as the president. You have to be an ego maniac to desire that people almost drop their loads when they talk about you. I guess we should be thankful that it isn't Billary as our president.

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Lawspecialist 5 years, 11 months ago

Before an article is written, I strongly suggest learning the correct usage and spelling to the drink in which you make reference. How can you expect to be taken seriously. What is a "cool aid"? or are you actually referring to the drink Kool-Aid. Edwin Perkins probably turned over in his grave on that one! (He created the drink) Be careful, Kraft Foods can actually sue you for wrong usage of their beverage that started out being called "Fruit Smack". Anyone see something similar here? lol Then Craig residents wonder why outsiders refer to them as simple-minded. Oh please!

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grannyrett 5 years, 11 months ago

Lawspecialist--We are more concerned with idea's than with spelling. As long as we understand what is being said, we get the point.

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Lawspecialist 5 years, 11 months ago

The point is that if you are going to make a statement and want to be taken seriously, your "English" needs to be correct. When people post publically, they are subject to criticism, myself included. Please tell me if the President made that comment in the same manner, no one would comment. Everyone's already having a "hay-day" with the Oath of Office. Our own neighbor's are in belittle mode of our elected President and the man has only been in office for a matter of days. Why is it alright to criticise him? Perhaps he could use more people like you to come to his defense. Look at the criticism directed toward Sarah Palin. We all got the point too, however, her own comments made her appear foolish. I appreciate your comment as it enabled me to make the "point's" above . . . accountability.

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freeman 5 years, 11 months ago

LAWSPECIALIST,,QUESTION FOR YOU IFYOU CAN PLEASE::WHY IS IT ALRIGHT TO CRITICISE HIM ,,BY ALL RIGHTS I BELIEVE YOU SHOULD NEVER CRITICISE ANYBODY IF YOU DONT KNOW ALL THE FACTS, NOW GOING TO THE COURT ROOM,,,,IF A PERSON IS SUSPECTED OF WRONG DOING,,THE CPD DOES A BACKGROUND CKECK ON YOU PULLING UP A PERSON WITH THE SAME NAME AND DOB,,WITHOUT DOING FURTHER CKECKING THEY FIND THIS PERSON THEY THINK IS YOU,WHO ALREADY HAS A TERRIBLE BACKGROUND,,,,THEN PROCEEDS WITH NUMEROUS OUTLANDISH CHARGES AGAINST YOU,,,,,ONCE A LAWYER HAS BEEN HIRED AND THE DA SEES THIS IS NOT YOU,,,,THEY DROP ALL THE 9 SERIOUS CHARGES AGAINST YOU AND FINDS OUT ALSO THAT YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW NOT,,,,,,,,ONCE,,,,,,SO THEN WHY IS THE CHARGES THAT ONCE WAS BROUGHT AGAINST YOU AND DROPPED STAY ON YOUR RECORD (BACKGROUND) ,,THEN WHEN A PERSON CKECKS ON YOU,,ALL THE UNECESSARY CRITICISEM PILES ON YOU FOREVER,,,,WHY,,,,WHY,,,,,,WHY,,,IN GODS NAME DO THE SYSTEM HAVE TO WORK THIS WAY,,,,IM AM RIGHTING IN REGARDS TO A FINE MAN I KNOW OF THAT THIS HAPPENED TO AND CANT GET IT OFF HIS RECORD TO GET AJOB???????????

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DV8 5 years, 11 months ago

Not allowing torture is supporting terrorists????? There are more effective methods of interrogation than torture.
Torture a guy all you want, he'll tell you he wears women's under pants.... doesn't make it so.

Torture only makes an incompatent interrogator feel better.

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Lawspecialist 5 years, 11 months ago

Definitions of 'criticise'
Dictionary.com * WordNet - (2 definitions)

(verb) find fault with: express criticism of act as a critic: "Those who criticize others often are not perfect, either" Synonyms criticize pick apart knock

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Craig_gal 5 years, 11 months ago

criticize One entry found.

Main Entry: criticize Listen to the pronunciation of criticize Pronunciation: Ë kri-tÉ-ËsÄ»z Function: verb Inflected Form(s): criticized; criticiz*ing Date: 1643

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nikobesti 5 years, 11 months ago

Patrick: We tried Japanese for waterboarding our boys during WWII. They were convicted of torture. Why is it torture when it's done to our boys but not by our own government?

Remember what John McCain said when he was asked if waterboarding was torture? It's a was a very quick and emphatic "Yes!"

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Lawspecialist 5 years, 11 months ago

freeman: After reading your comment concerning your friend, and know this is NOT legal advice, it is just my opinion, the first thing that comes to my mind is a HUGE law suit. Most importantly, in pursuing the clearing of a record, one must never settle for expungement. Since no crime was performed, there is nothing to expunge. In law, expungement refers to the cleansing of one's criminal record, or the sealing and destruction of arrest and/or conviction information, however, any record would reveal an expungement exists. The record needs to be removed and erase all evidence of any record, which leads me to reveal, in my mind, filing suit is necessary. Seek one of the best contingency attorney's available. In my opinion, any good contingency attorney would jump enthusiactically into the water on this one, and, if no takers, I would use the media which could possibly result in a volunteer for representation free of charge. In pursuing clearance through the media, and I do mean with a vengeance, the internet can play a powerful role in contacting each and every media entity that exists; believe me, "someone" will pick up the ball and roll with it. Keep in mind a detailed record of any and everyone talked to or emailed must be kept. It is a shame these things happen and a terrible waste of time to try to clear a record and after the win, which will happen with perserverance, another suit should be filed for damages.

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nikobesti 5 years, 10 months ago

Patrick, use your brain , man. If foreign naitonals in detention are found to be innocent, they will be deported, not let loose in Colorado.

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jeff corriveau 5 years, 10 months ago

Patrick: Take a breath and relax. Remember that politicians, and especially BHO, will say and do ANYTHING to get elected. BHO said he would close GITMO but never said when or how. So, he has signed an Executive Order saying that it will be closed, but without a date specific or without a plan for doing so. His administration has already dodged the question about when they are going to close it and where they will take the prisoners a number of times. Down the road we will probably be able to add this to the "unfulfilled campaign promises" section along with the "No Lobbyists" in my administration promise. Also, don't get your panties in a wad about our homeboy elite liberal, Bill Ritter, saying it's okay to bring them to Colorado. Supermax at Florence is a federally run prison, under the control of the Bureau of Prisons, over which Ritter has no control and only minor input. At best Ritter will enamore himself enough to BHO so that he can get a good job in Washington and get the hell out of Colorado. So my friend, relax and let this run it's course. It's WAY too early in the 1,462 day saga of Obama to get wound up. We will, I'm sure, have lots more down the road to really rail against.

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DV8 5 years, 10 months ago

From dictionary.com Paranoia noun 1. Psychiatry. a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission. 2. baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.

Note: In popular terminology, a "paranoid" personality is characterized by suspicion and distrust of others; a tendency to look for hidden meaning behind other people's actions; argumentativeness; complaining; low tolerance for criticism; and a constant display of one's own talents, accomplishments, independence, and rationality.

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Fergy130 5 years, 10 months ago

Patrick, I would like to ask you a question. At what point did Obama do something detrimental to you? In the past, did he hurt you in some way?

I only ask because you have yet to provide any evidence of wrongdoing, yet you are sounding the battle cry from your soap box. Barack Obama has spent days in office. The country is still standing, regardless of what you have said.

To write someone off before they have had a chance to illustrate their abilities is ridiculous. I am the two-year editor-in-chief of the high school newspaper, a multiple time state qualifier in Speech and Debate, taking college classes, and I have been accepted into all the colleges I've applied to for a major in Political Science and Law. Yet, by your rational, society COULD write off ever teenager in the US as lazy, unreliable and disadvantageous to America. Why not give people a chance before you scream about their incompetence?

Now, as far as the torture subject goes, McCain himself said waterboarding is, in fact, torture. So if the 'figurehead' of the Republican party is against it, had the election gone red, you could still be seeing the same course of action.

Additionally, the stimulus package has SOME merit. The idea is to inject life into the economy through spending. This is largely a liberal idea, but it is endorsed by economic experts on both sides. It is important to note both the 'hands off' (Laisae Fair) and the 'oversite' philosophies of the economy BOTH WORK. the idea is you pay less and get less, or you pay more and get more. Now as far as I am concerned, I would prefer to listen to a ECONOMIST as opposed to a blogger in Craig, CO. Nothing against you or Craig, but the economy is the economists job. He makes his living on making the right choice.

I'd love to see your comments, but please bring good information to the discussion, not personal attacks. I've followed these posts long enough to realize people like to attack young Democrats. I would like to point out, I am not 'spoon fed my ideas'. I am the only liberal in my household.

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Globe 5 years, 10 months ago

Can I just remind everyone that every year thousands of young men across this country voluntarily subject themselves to worse "torture" than the Gitmo prisoners received. They are young men between the ages of 18 and 23 who pledge a fraternities.

Nakedness, @$$ woop'ns, water boarding, and the like are a piece of cake compared to what some Frats do to their pledges who volunteer to have this stuff done to them. So if a little water is all it takes to get a guy to talk, I say by all means lets give them some swimming lesssons.

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grannyrett 5 years, 10 months ago

Pat--Whoever is President, we better all pray that something works. We really need for this country to get out of the mess it's in. Do I think this stimulus package will work? No, but I hope and pray that whatever they come up with will. We all need to let our senators and congressmen know how we feel about this.

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Fergy130 5 years, 10 months ago

Patrick, I agree with you that Democracy is the best scenario, not socialism. The left is not advocating socialism. as far as taxes, the rich (making 250k or more) get taxed higher. Those making less get breaks. Was FDR, largely considered one of the BEST presidents, a socialist? He pulled us out of the Depression through spending, increasing government size and creating jobs. Exactly what is being sought right now. It worked before, so how is it poison?

As far as the Left trying to get the right on board because the bill is, "a poison pill," that's not it at all. The reason is that although the Dems. have the majority, it is not filibuster proof. so Reps. can block it through a "time suck". The left thinks the bill is the right idea, and need something done. The bickering wastes time. If you would like to see something happen, you will have to participate. the right still has power to keep the left in check, and I agree, we will need it. The same as if the right were in power. We have a 2 party system for a reason. We need you, and you need us. Otherwise, we are a group of idiots, ceasing to be American.

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grannyrett 5 years, 10 months ago

The left and right doing nothing but arguing will never solve the problem. They are going to have to work together. That's the only way anything will get done. Patrick--I am not talking about socialism. I am talking about getting through this mess. This bail out will not work. All it will do is cause runaway inflation down the road. FDR may have been a great president, and yes, we came out of the depression during his watch, but part of the reason for that was WW II. This country supported him and worked together to get through it. I don't see that kind of cooperation anywhere right now. The citizens of this country would never give up as much as they had to during WW II. They wouldn't stand for rationing. They wouldn't stand for going without the way our parents and grandparents had to. Most of this country would starve to death before they would plant a victory garden and supply their own food. This has become a very selfish nation, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

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