Philip Baruth of Vermont Daily Briefing just kicked off the festivities here (officially) along with Charles Chamberlin of Democracy for America.
Baruth noted that Nectar's and Metronome (just upstairs) and were host to several groundbreaking pro-Obama politcal events in the past couple of years.
He also gave a shout out to Neil Jensen, who was first out of the gate in support of Obama and organized the original Vermonters for Obama group that both locked up Vermont's electoral votes and trekked to New Hampshire to help Obama win that state, too.
Baruth said this was "the impossible morning — years in the making and one that you were told would never come" because Obama was unelectable. "He was too black, too white, too inexeperienced and all of those things turned out to be utterly untrue."
Chamberlin noted Obama was one of the first candidates it endorsed shortly after its creation.They endorsed Obama, the "inspiring Senate candidate in Illinois with a funny name."
Chamberlin added, "I'm not sure if I'm more happy about Bush leaving or Obama coming in."
I'd say both by the sound of the crowd. Anything Bush-related gets a boo and a hiss, while Obama gets cheers, tears and applause.
I caught up briefly with Jensen. What drew him so early to Obama?
Aside from Obama's 2004 convention speech, "which stood out for everybody, it was his singular ability to reshape our reputation around the world."
As for the thoughts running through his head as the inaugural approaches, Jensen said, "As a veteran supporter of the Dean campaign, it's incredible to me that he actually won. The last two years have really exceeded my wildest expectations."
(Note: I'm going to take a bit of a break to watch the inaugurations)