When you live in or near Washington DC, it’s impossible to not become embroiled in politics. The local news here is also the national news, and at this point, I don’t know (nor would I have it) any other way. Most of us are firmly entrenched in our beliefs from early childhood, and can argue any number of legislative issues as (or more) coherently than some of our elected representatives.
My first inauguration was Bill Clinton’s first, in 1993. I was twelve years old, and I really don’t remember whether I was enthusiastic about going. What I remember is losing my friend Jamie in the massive crowd – I think she decided she wanted hot chocolate, and who could blame her? I’ll never understand why the Founding Fathers decided to throw out a freezing mid-January date and make it a constitutional requirement that the inauguration occur on that date. What’s wrong with May? Anyway, we spent most of the parade looking for her, and my parents have very different recollections of whether we found her or not. Either way, she survived and there was no harm done, but we didn’t take any family outings to inaugurations after that.