Inauguration Day: Thoughts from a Conservative

-update: The report on the 6:30 news was well done. My fifteen seconds of fame included me talking about Big Bird and Reagan in the same sentence. Go me! You can view it here.
This morning, I attended an inauguration gathering sponsored by Quaker Oatmeal specifically geared toward bloggers. Fifteen of these gatherings took place nationwide, but the St. Louis party, hosted by Dana, was the only one catering specifically to conservatives. I was, of course, honored to be invited and thrilled to take part in this historical moment with people who understand and feel the same as I do.

I will be honest here. I really liked George W. Bush. Did he do everything right? No. But please, tell me what president has. Did he make some mistakes? Yes. But please, tell me what president has not. George Bush dealt with some of the gravest hardships of any president in recent history. There are no playbooks for how to handle such events as 9/11, a crushing economy, deadly hurricanes and extremeist terrorism. Could he have handled some things better? Yes, I believe he could have. But, I also believe that he truly loves this country and the people in it and wanted nothing more than to serve us all well. And he did serve us well. Though few seem to want to admit it (and why, I don’t fully understand), America is a safer place thanks to George Bush. Yes, we are in an economic crisis. And yes, I understand that that happened on his watch. But, I do not believe that he is solely to blame. I will not go further than that in this post, but I wanted to acknowledge the elephant.

I think what I love and respect most about George Bush is the fact that he is a man of deep conviction. There were times when I felt that he needed to be more open to the guidance and counsel of others. He came off as arrogant, which is part of his job. You have to be arrogant to be president – it’s the nature of your post. I think the closest I have ever seen to a truly humble politician is John McCain, but again, that’s not a tangent I want to explore right now. I think there were times when President Bush could have been more open-minded to outside counsel. Just because he possessed a grain of arrogance, however, did not make him a bad leader. He is sensitive and kind-hearted. How many countless stories are there of him reaching out to the American people who were grieving? How many letters did he personally write to the families of fallen soldiers? How many times did he sit with one of our wounded servicemen and cry? However you may feel about his policies, you cannot call him cold or heartless. He is a good man. And I am proud that he was our president.

Having said that, it is time to move forward. I did not vote for Barack Obama. I still do not agree with many of the ideals that he has placed before us as a nation. My number one reservation is his view on the right to life. I do not now, nor will I ever, agree with this policy and the implications that follow and I will not apologize for my feelings on this issue. And there are other policies that concern me, but outweighing all of those is the fact that Barack Obama is now my president and I will respect that, no matter what.

There is no denying the appeal of Barack Obama. He is young, he is a great orator, he is magnetic and filled with promise. His speech today was everything that I expected it to be. It was what I would have expected had McCain been voted to office, though delivered with greater aplomb, no doubt. It was lofty and ideal, in many ways unrealistic but motivating nonetheless. I want Barack Obama to succeed as president and I will be praying that he does. But I don’t want it for him, I want it for America. I want him to succeed because I want my children to grow up in a country that is great, a country where people take care of one another. A country that looks outside our own borders and seeks to protect and nuture others. I want Barack Obama to succeed because if he does not, then what does that mean for us?

I am proud of us as a country for coming so far. I am proud that we have elected a black man to be president of our country. I am proud that we can stand together and, despite our feelings about the policies behind the man, know that this moment, this day is historical. I love this country.

Today is a good day. My God is in control, of that I am sure and I do not waver in that conviction. And now President Obama has a full plate. I pray with every fiber of my being that he move forward in wisdom and that the values that make our country so great stay firmly affixed. Though the phrase has become somewhat cliche over the years, I say it now with the utmost reverence. May God truly bless America.

–Just fyi – Channel 5 (KSDK) was there today filming the get together and interviewed several of us at the end. We should be on either the 5:00 or the 6:00 news tonight so those of you who are local, tune in! I felt a little bit like Will Ferrel as Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights when they interviewed me. “I don’t really know what to do with my hands.” I told the reporter that if I looked or sounded at all like an idiot that they were to cut me immediately so we’ll see what happens!


  1. heresthediehl says

    Nice job, Kelli! I’ll be watching for you on the news tonight:) So glad you were able to go.

  2. Lovely post. I wanted to go to Dana’s but alas, work intervened. Boo. 🙁

  3. Cool! I have to go pick up a daughter from her college classes right during those news times so I’ll be taping the news. I wouldn’t want to miss it!

  4. blessedpath says

    well put! We will be watching down here too!

  5. Anonymous says

    I dont really see a point to anything you said. You pointed out that he is a good christian which qualfies you to do what?

    He mishandled all of those tragic events the same way some guy down the street from you would have?

    You dont like Obama because he is not a completely impose right to life on you person and follows the law that was set before him? and even if you are against abortion great…more pressing issues then that…what about the millions of kids whom are alive that starve…first things first..

    but in the end doenst matter…OBAMA WON! he is in charge…Bush’s finger is now off the button…and a smart person is in charge…what a concept…being smart counts more then just loving jesus…and btw obama goes to church so relax…

  6. Hmmm…so, I realize that by writing this post, I open myself up to criticism but really? Did my anonymous commentor even read my post? I never said I don’t like Obama. Just the opposite, in fact. I quite like him. But, just because I like him does not mean that I have to agree with him. And I don’t agree with him on many things. But, that doesn’t mean that I will disrespect him. I have every right to vocally oppose the ideas that he places before me that will indeed affect my country and my children. But I will not attack the man personally because he doesn’t deserve that. And neither did George Bush, incidentally. I am cautiously optimistic about Barack Obama as my president. So I liked George Bush. So what! I don’t like him just because he is a christian. I RESPECT him because he is a good man.

    Listen, folks, you can disagree with me about Obama, I have no problem with that. But please, if you are going to do so, have the dignity to use your name and let’s be nice, ‘kay? Thanks.

  7. Three Against One says

    Very well put Kelli you have a great way of putting feelings into words. I was sad today when I saw Bush get on the airplane and waving goodbye he truly is a good man.
    BTW, I saw you on channel 5 wahoo!

  8. Hyser Family says

    Anonymous commentors drive me nuts. Especially when they lack basic grammar skills… 🙂 Nice post Kelli.

  9. I could hardly make out Anon’s quasi-illiterate comment. Good grief.

    “Mishandled” is perspective. Hard evidence says otherwise, if you’re referencing Iraq. Only a fool argues against fact.

    Having faith is being humble enough to admit that there are things greater than yourself. I like a man or woman without pretense.

    Obama just now started going to church again since Trinity, fyi, something about which I am truly glad. I hope the Obamas find a good church home in D.C.; they will need it in that atmosphere.

    To say that we need to take care of the kids who are “already here” suggests ageism, a form of bigotry. People are valuable regardless of their development, ethnicity, sex, et al.

    Also – no one is ever truly anonymous online. Watch those IP addresses!

  10. Stefanie Allen says

    Well put, Kelli!! I agree with you completely. Wish I could have seen your fifteen minutes of fame!

  11. Ok that link didn't all copy (or so it appears from here). Try this one.

    Then view the video in the upper right of the page.

  12. The Intellectual Redneck says
  13. I am so glad you had the opportunity to be invloved in the Inaugural party. Sorry we never taught you the difference between Big Bird and Reagan. You were too busy playing outside to ever watch t.v.! It is great that you are teaching Sloan about his Presidents. But “Rocco” did call him!

  14. so did you go to Dana’s house? now you are REALLY cool…..i’m jealous.

  15. after re-reading that i realize i sound kinda freaky…like stocker-esque. but you know what i mean kel.

  16. As liberal, I want to tell you that it is great to see GWB supporters giving the administration a chance. Thank you. Sincerely. On the issue of abortion, we (and also the royal “we” as in left v. right) are probably never going to convince each other to change positions. I would never vote for anyone who desired to restrict my rights in regards to my own body. Funny how people can have the exact same level of emotion on totally opposite sides of the fence. However, I was inspired by last weekend’s This American Life on NPR… a conversation between Ira Glass and Dr. Joel Hunter, who I gather is a pretty respected Reverend,; he spoke at the DNC convention and he stated that while he disagreed with the political stance of Obama, the left and the right share the same goals: reducing the number of abortions, reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, and increasing healthy and educated women worldwide, or something along those lines. So I think, as long as we and “we” can all try to keep those things as our goal, we may feel a bit closer together? Just my rambling thoughts. Thinking good thoughts for the future!


  1. […] – The Inauguration: Thoughts From a Conservative: This was one of my few ventures into politics on my blog. I don’t do it often, but sometimes the urge to comment on the political temperature of our country gets the best of me.  Political posts always lead to interesting comments.  I also ended up on the news during this particular event.  […]