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John Marshall Headshot

Day One, A.B. (After Bush)

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New eras don't usually start right away. The Pleistocene Era didn't get going for at least 40,000 years, and the Sixties didn't really start until 1964. But the Obama Era kicked into gear right away. I could barely keep track of Day One. Here's what I remember:

The media was all abuzz about President Obama's refusal to laugh at Vice-President Biden's weak joke about Chief Justice Roberts. Experts say this could lead to serious consequences for all lame humor - the nation could lose its supply of mimes, impressionists and those people in Times Square who hand you a flyer and say, "Do you like stand-up comedy?"

Obama re-did his swearing in, since Roberts mangled the oath the first time. This was nothing new. Chief justices traditionally screw over the newly elected president, as William Rehnquist did in 2000, when he wouldn't let Al Gore win the election.

Obama revamped to allow viewers to receive e-mail updates directly from the White House. Obama will thus reach more Americans than previous presidents, who used more primitive forms of communication - such as FDR (fireside chat), Carter (call-in show) and Clinton (semen).

Hillary Clinton was finally sworn in as Secretary of State, although Republicans vowed to continue investigating her husband until the end of his life. Although he does not hold elected office, experts believe he will become the first ex-president to be impeached.

Making good on a campaign promise, Obama will close Gitmo, which houses 245 of the dangerous inmates in the world. It is expected that they will be relocated to a place they will fit in, like the DMV or the Post Office.

Obama pledged to make his administration open and transparent, encouraging the free flow of information. This is in stark contrast to the Bush administration, which relied on a more cumbersome system of spying, leaks and Bob Woodward tell-all books.

Finally, Bush left his successor two things to remember him by: a note on the desk of the Oval Office, and Iraq. By all accounts, both are hard to figure out and full of mistakes.

Day Two of a presidency is usually not as momentous as Day One. Yet Obama's Day Two is looking like another Day One. I could make a joke about how Chief Justice Roberts is causing another do-over, but that would be a) lame and b) so two days ago.