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January 19th, 2009
09:36 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Countdown to the Inauguration

President-elect Barack Obama greets Sen. John McCain on stage after praising him at a bipartisan dinner.

President-elect Barack Obama greets Sen. John McCain on stage after praising him at a bipartisan dinner.

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, Anderson will be counting down to Barack Obama's inauguration live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  We're almost 14 hours away from the historic swearing-in of this nation's 44th President.

It's been a busy night in the nation's capital. Just moments ago, President-elect Obama paid tribute to Sen. John McCain at a bipartisan dinner at the Hilton Hotel. McCain is not being left out of the limelight, even though he lost the November election.

During Obama's speech tonight he poked fun at their months on the campaign trail together.

"I'm here tonight to say a few words about an American hero I have come to know very well and admire very much - Sen. John McCain," Obama said as he opened his speech. "And then, according to the rules agreed to by both parties, John will have approximately 30 seconds to make a rebuttal."

Then Obama changed his tone and called for bipartisan cooperation during his presidency.

"We will not always agree on everything in the months to come, and we will have our share of arguments and debates," Obama said. "But let us strive always to find that common ground, and to defend together those common ideals, for it is the only way we can meet the very big and very serious challenges that we face right now."

Do you think that can happen in Washington?
We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama hosted an inaugural concert tonight for children at the Verizon Center in Washington.
The Obama girls, Malia and Sasha, were on hand to watch the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and others take the stage. The event was in honor of U.S. military families around the world.

We'll have more on tonight's events, and look ahead to tomorrow on AC360°.
Join us at 10pm ET.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Hana

    I feel peace and love right at this time black and white.

    January 20, 2009 at 6:02 am |
  2. Debrah Pascual

    I am really excited to finely see a mixed American as President and I hope that now things will changes for us all and things will change in time for the best .May the world view the United States in a more positive way. As a world " We Are One"

    January 20, 2009 at 5:08 am |
  3. Jaime Mesa,AZ

    watching my daughter get drawn in to this large event that I did not know how to explain the scale of this inauguration,the eminence of this man.....suddenly she said look
    "look mom!Miley Cyrus is holding Melia's hand!" "Wow"! then she was so impressed they had a kids inaugural concert she sat down and reread one of our books on MLK! Thanks Miley Cyrus for bringing it home!jme

    January 20, 2009 at 3:21 am |
  4. connie

    I am a 65 year old white femal who marched with king 1963 and i have 3 mix children.I never dreamed this day would happen.I just hope that young people .know what this day means to people my age who remmbers what it was like in those day . I tell my children some when they seem to take things for granted. I tell them that people have died and spent time in jail for rights that they have today. I tell them to once stop and thank God that people were so brave to dare to stand and fight for their God given right to be free to live there llife and dreams to have a job ,home and educate there children so they can be all they want to be.I know God had a plan for him and he is going to be a great president. Go Obama make America proud I am praying for tou and your family

    January 20, 2009 at 2:42 am |
  5. J.V.Hodgson

    Common ground in Washington could start with a fair evaluation of Obama's inauguration speech, and a little less media hype of the expectations therefore he has to beat Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Live with the I have a dream speech of MLK.
    Each of these great people and speeches concentrated mainly on a single agenda item which made it easier. Obama's challenge is unique in that he has an Economy ( and global economies in crisis) a political crisis domestically and internationally, similarly with issues of crisis levels.
    Show a clear and unequivocal intent to respect the religous rights of Muslims and Islamicists, and American left and right religious views.
    He can start by saying one man alone cannot move or change a nation, but together the people of a nation can change everything along with no more gridlock , or pork but service to the common good.
    He can then as the leaders of other nations to work together with America not just for thier own political needs but for global peace and equality, and recognising each states sovreignty and international laws and protocols and not staying outside things like the Kyoto protocol.
    These are the things that Bush ignored and which almost destroyed America's reputation and dreams of his predecessors and MLK.
    United in these above causes America will be great again, divided, unilateral ( preemptive strike) gridlocked, pork and earmark ( money) led politics serves the media only and not the people
    America needs a big dose of government of the people for the people and by the people, not political dogma!! from either party.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    January 20, 2009 at 2:32 am |
  6. Herbert C. Daniels

    God bless America

    January 20, 2009 at 2:28 am |
  7. Davine Hall McGuire

    This has been one of the most emotional days of my life.I am the grand-daughter of David Hall, the owner of Campsite 1 in the Voters Rights March on March 21,1965 in Selma,Alabama. A daring farmer who never was able to vote.It has been nearly 44 years since Martin Luther King,Jr. and his devoted marchers camped out on that cold night , driven to make tomarrow (the inaguration of President Obama)a reality.I am so hopeful for what is to come for this country.My heart is filled with appretiation for the Dreams of Dr.King.My eyes are filled with tears because Dr.King nor David Hall are alive to see this Dream come true.However,my vision is not blurred,because I must focus on doing my part as an American.Today I am proud to be in this Great counrty because it has finally acknowledged that the color of my skin does not enable me.For once I am not Black,I am not a Woman,I AM AN AMERICAN.

    January 20, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  8. lorraine

    My grandfather came to this country from Armenia after all his family was murdered in 1915. He loved and found freedom in this country.
    I know that he would be so happy as I am to know that this country is
    all that we hoped. For the first time in so long I feel hopeful with the intellect and vision of President Obama that global peace might be possible. My heart is full and I feel our prayers are being answered.

    January 20, 2009 at 1:11 am |
  9. Emerson, Las Vegas NV

    I just viewed numerous people reciting the "I Had a Dream" speech of MLK Jr. That was tremendously moving and very well done. Congrats CNN for your great coverage.

    January 20, 2009 at 12:36 am |
  10. Christopher Neep

    On January 20, 2009, with the election of President Barack Obama, the world will become a safer, fairer place.

    History will be made. The dream of Martin Luther King will be fulfilled. Our fragile environment will be in better hands. Sustainable measues to protect the world economy will be found and a desparately needed civility and integrity in politics will flourish again.

    Huge aspirations? Of course, but Present Obama, his administration and the people of the United States will prevail.

    Congratulations President Omaba. Congratulations America.

    Chris Neep. Vancouver, BC. Canada

    January 20, 2009 at 12:16 am |
  11. wanda lawson from columbus ga.

    Why is it that this whole issue is about obama being black or white,why can`t it be he`s the right man for the job regardless of his color....let it go,because when you get right down to it we are all mixed with something,you can believe that.

    January 20, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  12. Chris in South Carolina

    I'm sure John McCain would have a lot to offer President Obama and this administration. I have hope that they can get over their differences and come together for the goodness of the country.

    January 19, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  13. Colette, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I

    I am filled with excitement once again on the eve of the inauguration...Although I am not American, or I am too young to remember what African Americans went through, my father knew well, for he too marched for freedom and for peace, and made me aware of what happened in order for African Americans to be considered equal...That's why I was moved to tears when I learnt that Barack Obama would be the new president of the United States...

    January 19, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  14. Linda

    The humor shown between Obama and McCain is refreshing. And their outward expression of willingness to work together seems genuine.

    I appreciate the fact of Obama's African American heritage but I wish as much emphasis could be placed on his caucasion side as well. That's something that seems to be forgotten. His mixed heritage is what makes his character.

    January 19, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  15. KIm

    That's an effort of great truths to unite in a bipartisan spirit.

    January 19, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  16. Lynda

    What a truely magical evening. I along with the rest of the WORLD are looking forward to our future where anything is possible. With 13 hours left before Barack Obama becomes our 44 President I can only be hopeful for a new beginning for this great country of ours!!! I only wish that Dr. King could be here to witness this moment in time. He is looking down at us with such pride. CHEERS!!!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  17. Barbara Stone

    If anybody can repair the dissension & vitriol in Washington, McCain and Obama can do it. We have a chance to see McCain's strengths again instead of his deficiencies.

    January 19, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  18. Frank, New York

    We are so lucky to be part of this historic moment in political history. Our soon to be President, Barack Obama, encapsulates the best qualities and ideals of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. May we stand united with our new President, in service to our country and help in the rebuilding of America.

    January 19, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  19. Carolyn

    I am excited about this historic moment. Yet I am anxious about our current economic situation.

    With no intent to overshadow this historic moment, I must question the need to spend $150 million on the inaguratioon celebrations(almost four times as much as other recent inagurations),

    THis does not support Mr Obama's words. His actions should support his call for everyone to sacrifice - How can we justify such an expense for so little tangible results (his security being the exception).

    January 19, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  20. Cynthia Carr

    I am proud to be a Black American today, however I am more proud to simply be an American.

    January 19, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  21. Doug Keller

    Republicans and Democrats need to do more than just use the phrase bi-partisan. We hear the politicians in Washington use this phrase constantly, but the problem is that neither party wants to put this phrase into action. Talk is a dime a dozen, but it's time we all put aside our political differences and work together. Without this, the United States will continue to go down the tubes.

    January 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  22. Fulton Wilcox

    As a measure of how far we have come and what it took during the Civil War, note that the West Wing porches of the Capitol in 1861 functioned as a bread bakery for the Union Army.

    From the book "Hard Tack and Coffee, "...in 1861, the vaults under the broad terrace on the western front of the Capitol were converted into bakeries, where sixteen thousand loaves of bread were baked daily. The chimneys from the ovens pierced the terrace ...and for months smoke poured out of these in dense volumes..."

    Fulton Wilcox
    Colts Neck, New Jersey

    January 19, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  23. crystal, 16 st.louis, mo

    It is amazing that we have (as americans) come from hearing the I have a dream speach to living it in 2009 go obama!!!

    January 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Deborah

    I think it is great that President-Elect Obama embraces Mr. McCain this way. He doesn't just say we should cross the aisles, he demonstrates crossing it. Members of the government will have to embrace a bipartisan view in order to get things cleaned up/straightened up for this country. We have already proven that the existing views are not the most effective way to really reach the American people. It is time for change in many areas, and the President-Elect is constantly telling us this in so many ways and it is the same message Dr. King echoed to us so many years ago. Dr. King dreamed about it, and President-Elect Obama along with all of us can "be about it". If we can "get over" our differences here, maybe the rest of the world will take note as well.

    January 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm |