[New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took the oath of office during a public inauguration ceremony at City Hall in New York City on Wednesday. Mayor de Blasio, along with his wife Chirlane McCray, and his children Chiara and Dante, took the subway to the ceremony. In his address, he promised to "leave no New Yorker behind." Image by Seth Wenig via AP]
Sure, if you go to the Inaugural Ball you get to watch Jennifer Hudson sing "Let's Stay Together" while the Obamas dance. But based on the dispatches from intrepid reporters at Obama's Inaugural Ball, those of us who were stuck at home should consider ourselves lucky; the conditions there sound atrocious — squalid, even. For starters, the food: the available snacks include "Cheez-Its crackers and stale pretzels." The horror.
As President Obama begins his second term in office, it's important to take a look back at just how much he's aged during his first one.
President Barack Obama was officially sworn in for his second term as president. In a small ceremony at the White House, Obama swore to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." The oath was administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts; Michelle, Sasha and Malia joined him too.
Years ago, Michele Bachmann's openly gay stepsister Helen LaFave protested at one of Michele's anti-gay rallies. Since then, Helen has kept a low profile, but she continues to support liberal politics: Salon's Natasha Lennard recently uncovered a video of Helen and long-term partner Nia Wronski attending Obama's 2009 presidential inauguration. The duo got their tickets "through one of the congresspeople" and drove for two days "with six family members."
Chris Christie will be sworn in as New Jersey's governor next month. But his inauguration isn't going to go off as he'd hoped. The lifelong Bruce Springsteen fan had "wanted nothing more" than to have the Boss perform at the event on January 19. But that isn't going to happen. Springsteen, who just so happens to be a lifelong Democrat, has turned down the request because he "doesn't want to get involved in state politics." [NYT]
• Dark days at the Times: The newspaper's in "advanced discussions" to sell a "substantial portion" of its Renzo Piano-designed headquarters. [NYT]
• Disney is merging its ABC TV network with ABC Studios. [WSJ]
• WNET-Thirteen is cutting budgets and laying off staff. [NYO]
• In Style publisher Lynette Harrison Brubaker is leaving the company. [WWD]
• Katie Couric will go primetime next Wednesday. [NYT]
• The final inauguration ratings are in. [AdAge]
• Is Condé Nast just publishing the same story in its various magazines? [FB]
• The Tribune Co. has sold off the Cubs for $900 million. [Chicago Trib]
What was Martha Stewart's favorite part about attending the inauguration in DC? No, not watching Obama's swearing-in or attending the galas, silly. Martha says she was most excited about the train trip that she took to get there, since she got a really good deal on first class Acela tickets and ran into Dan Rather, too! [MarthaStewart.com]
Hope you didn't stand in the freezing cold on Tuesday to witness Barack Obama place his hand on the Lincoln Bible and take the oath of office. Thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts' inability to get the 35 words right the first time around, Obama retook the oath at 7:35pm this evening. Right-wing crackpots will undoubtedly be disappointed by Obama's "abundance of caution," although if you were one of the people who was bummed to see Obama don a red tie to take the oath on Tuesday instead of a blue one, well, you now have the photo you were hoping for. [NYDN, NYT]
We'll excuse you if you forgot that the Sundance Film Festival is taking place right now. Whether it's because of the recession or those scene-stealers in Washington who've been hogging the spotlight this week, this year's fest will likely go down as one of the most low-profile in recent memory. The first batch of events this past weekend turned out to be a disappointment to celeb spotters (unless you count the occasional glimpse of people like Denise Richards and Ron Jeremy, that is). And the situation didn't improve yesterday when Park City turned into a ghost town as important people jumped on jets to head to Washington and the less fortunate had to make do with watching the historic event on TV. (Pity the photogs: The dearth of A-listers, reports VF, sent "errant packs of TMZ reporters scrambling for a celebrity sighting that was nowhere to be had.")