UPDATE: I’ve looked for this on YouTube but so far no dice, so someone is going to have to back me up that this actually happened but… my favourite memory from the entire inauguration marathon came just before George W. Bush boarded that helicopter to fly off into history and also Texas. At that point, they rolled out Dick Cheney in his wheelchair. Everyone else was all fake-smiley – the Bushes, the Obamas, the Bidens (especially the Bidens) – but Dick, in a beautifully appropriate farewell, directed his wheelchair-pusher to get a move on and blow by the lovefest. Then he gave what just might be the most dismissive wave in the history of half-heartedness. And just like that he was into his limo and out of our lives until he builds a fortress inside a dormant volcano from which he can hold the planet to ransom.
I’m watching today’s inauguration coverage on TV for my column in this week’s magazine. The highlight so far? Getting up early enough to hear CNN’s John Roberts begin an interview with a hip-hop star by uttering the words: “You know, Bow Wow, this is an historic…” (You’re probably curious to know Bow Wow’s take on things. I’m here to serve. “Man, it’s beautiful. It’s just a beautiful situation. This is just a beautiful situation… It’s beautiful, man.”)
In the meantime, you can read George W. Bush’s (alleged) letter of welcome to Barack Obama here.