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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charting the inauguration applause



Who does the Democratic base love? Here’s a pretty good guide, based on audience reaction in Section 16 at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural.

Louis Jacobson of the Tampa Bay Times was seated in Section 16 amid many diehard Obama fans. Here’s a blow-by-blow rundown of which political figures got cheers from the crowd when they appeared for the first time on the Jumbotron. The magic formula for winning adulation was a mixture of populist charm and wonky cred.

10:36 a.m.: First big cheer of the day … for Secretary of State nominee John Kerry. (Who would have imagined that the day after Election Day 2004?)

10:38 a.m.: Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

10:38 a.m.: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (a big one).

10:41 a.m.: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (well, at least a smattering)

10:48 a.m.: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice (consolation prize)

10:52 a.m.: Beyonce and Jay-Z

10:52 a.m.: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter (clear evidence this is a Democratic crowd)

10:53 a.m.: Jill Biden (this crowd can pick her out of a lineup)

10:55 a.m.: First view of the president (rousing cheer)

10:56 a.m.: Hillary and Bill Clinton (biggest cheer yet)

11:09 a.m.: Sasha and Malia Obama

11:15 a.m.: Michelle Obama (a big cheer)

11:19 a.m.: Nancy Pelosi (a bigger cheer than for Joe Biden)

11:19 a.m.: The Obamas

Meanwhile, here were the biggest applause lines in Section 16 during Obama’s speech.

“A decade of war is now ending.” (This line received bigger applause than what immediately followed -- “An economic recovery has begun.”)

“We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.” (Economic inequality had resonance.)

“Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.” (A thinly veiled reference to equal pay for equal work.)

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” (An appeal for marriage equality for gay and straight.)

“Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.” (A reference to Florida?)

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.”

“We cannot … treat name-calling as reasoned debate.” (This one actually inspired widespread, and knowing, chuckles.)

“The oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction.”

[Last modified: Monday, January 21, 2013 4:34pm]


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