02/19/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Just Four Words

I arrived in Washington too late to watch the concert on the mall, even on TV. But when I heard about it, I immediately thought of how appropriate it was that Tiger Woods made an appearance.

When Tiger first burst onto the scene, he played in a charity golf tournament at Pebble Beach, and my kids were dying to see him. They made signs at home and we joined the mobs following him around on the golf course.

Tiger was totally intense and focused on his play. He walked the course with his eyes straight ahead, barely seeming to notice the adoring crowds who held up signs and screamed his name. We were part of the multitude, and when Tiger walked in front of us, my 8-year-old son held up his sign. He'd thought it up himself and written it that morning in his children's lettering.

The moment was magic. Tiger looked up and noticed the sign. He stopped and flashed his huge smile, while the whole crowd turned around, wondering if Tiger knew my son.

And in a way, he did. Because what my son had written on his sign was the slogan from a commercial he'd seen on TV. The commercial featured children of all ages, sizes and colors each saying the same four words -- words that articulated everything Tiger stood for: a walking American melting pot, the poster child for possibility, a hero for any child who could dream. "I am Tiger Woods."

So when I thought of Tiger coming to Washington to honor our new president, I couldn't help thinking how his own history as a charismatic transformative figure fits this moment. And how just four words represent what this inauguration is about for every single kid in America: "I am Barack Obama."