Residents’ thoughts on presidential inauguration

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The Malibu Times asked several people in Malibu what they thought of the inauguration and of President Barack Obama’s speech, as well as his call to people to pitch in and help.

Photos and text by Laura Tate, Editor

Chantal Miller, 13

I thought it was really cool how we have the first African American president, and it was really cool to watch him drive to the White House. I think he wants everyone to support the people who are having a tough time.

Kathy Haag

It was lovely. I thought he was a bit cautious … a little bit of a different Obama from the campaign trail. I liked everything he had to say about pitching in and helping, but I still was waiting for the word ‘accountability’ … I think everything he stands for is perfect, but without that … I’m kind of waiting for that…maybe it will come with time.

Hayley Haag, 12

I thought it was really inspiring, because at first I wasn’t really an Obama supporter, but I guess it kind of runs in the family, we’re all Republicans… [watching the inauguration] everyone in my class was crying, especially my teacher, he was really inspired by it. It’s just really exciting that we finally have someone who is African American and he is really gonna change America, and I hope that he’s gonna go through on what he says he’s gonna do and he’s gonna make it better for everyone out there.

With all this talk about global warming, I think all that you could to is try to reduce your energy and hope for the best, save money and try to bring down the earth’s badness…

Steve Pressfield

It’s really such a mind bending, epical change, fantastic … kind of a fulfillment of America’s promise that we’ve been waiting for, for a long time. The size of the crowd [in D.C.] said everything. [On the call to help:] I wish he had asked for more than that…he was a little vague, I am sure he will, that’s definitely long overdue…that was one of the big shortcomings of the Bush administration, along with everything else, they never asked for sacrifice.

Ed Bergman

I thought it was very frank and he didn’t sugar coat anything. He said the country is in a lot of trouble, and we are, and that it wasn’t going to be something that could be fixed overnight; it was going to take a while. He also said people have to work together, stop the bipartisanship, bickering and to get things accomplished for the good of the nation and not for the good of one person. [On helping]: I think he meant everybody, not just the politicians, every ordinary Joe to try to do whatever we can to ensure that no one else loses their jobs … and to have patience, don’t give up.

Anthony Grady

I thought the speech was great. It dealt with all the issues, it was powerful, it definitely gave hope that he was prepared to tackle such a difficult undertaking. [On the call to help]: I thought it was excellent, because the reality of it is, one man can’t fix the problem … the problem is so enormous that it’s going to take the whole nation, so I thought that was very realistic, it was also kind of a precursor to let people know he’s saying ‘I can’t do it all, I need you.’

Wolfgang Rudolph

He’s the only hope we had, I think, between him and McCain … We’ve had too much selfishness for the last eight years, no doubt about it, that’s why we’re in the shape we’re in because of this greed. [We need to] see if we can help each other in some ways, try to be helpful to each other.

Matt Meeks

I thought it was an overwhelming amount of people [in D.C.] … that was pretty intense. Altogether, he did make a lot of promises, so he kind of set himself up for a lot of hard work to come, but he did also make it really clear the work to do is going to be tough … altogether I think he covered all the bases and he inspired a lot of people.

He’s an intellectual, and in times of grief and strife, like this, people are more motivated now than they’ve ever been to make any kind of change, and I think he understands that … so he’s using that and capitalizing upon it, saying, ‘Hey, here’s the time to buy an alternative fuel car, to start looking into alternate ways to power your house to spur the economy,’ because I think one of his major goals is going to be to building a new United States economy, not based on oil, but based on alternative energy… I think that was a call to do whatever they can to drive that forward.

Susan Miller

I’m hopeful. I think he’s got a lot on his plate but I think he’s evenly positive, he doesn’t get bothered by negativity and he doesn’t get bothered by grandeur or by winning. I’m hopeful that [his presidency is] positive … it’s got to be positive. If we don’t move in a positive direction we’re sunk.