New president cheered, old one jeered

January 20, 2009

WASHINGTON – They came to cheer a new president. Some came to jeer the old one as well.

As a helicopter carried George W. Bush away from the U.S. capital where he has served as president for the past eight years, those in the crowd sang the taunting sports anthem, “Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.”  OBAMA/

The 43rd president certainly didn’t hear them. But he might have seen the “Arrest Bush” signs waved by some spectators as he rode in the presidential limousine toward the Capitol with his successor Barack Obama.

He also might have heard the chants of “No more Bush” shortly before the swearing-in ceremony began.

The sentiment was apparently widespread.

“People have been coming up to me all day saying, ‘Nice sign, let me take a picture,'” said Washington prison guard Jewell Lee, 44, referring to her styrofoam sign that said simply: “GET OUT.”

Some in the crowd taunted Bush with his own words and slogans.

“We are the Deciders,” read one hand-lettered sign, in a jab at the man who famously styled himself “The Decider.”

A couple miles north of the inaugural festivities, a painted bedsheet hung out the window of a house in Washington’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood read “Mission Accomplished,” echoing a banner hung behind Bush at a rally shortly after the invasion of Iraq.

Among the hundreds of thousands jamming the Washington mall, Obama hats, buttons and shirts were common. Many said they had traveled long distances to witness the swearing-in of America’s first black president.

That goodwill might not last forever.

“I don’t care what color he is,” said Garrell Winstead, a 67-year-old real estate investor from Cincinnati, Ohio.  “If the economy doesn”t improve and if he doesn’t create enough jobs, patience will evaporate.”

(Writing by Andy Sullivan; reporting by Diane Bartz, Mason, Randall Mikkelsen, Paul Rucker, Andrea Shalal-esa, Jim Wolf, Deborah Zabarenko and Patrick Rucker)

For more Reuters political coverage, click here.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar (A helicopter carrying former President George W. Bush leaves the U.S. Capitol following the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Jan. 20)


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I will be happy when we can move past the color of his skin and just look at him as THE president… not a black president, not a democrat… simply our president

Posted by Barb | Report as abusive

I am thrilled that we have a President that we can be proud of, once again. The last 8 years I have felt as if i were living in ‘1984’. Americans were unable to voice their true opinion of the administration because of retribution by Bush/Cheney. Their connections were many and powerful!

Obama will try his best to bridge the divides that have been created. However, it will take much time. We, as a people, must be patient and supportive.

Much luck to this brave man and the qualified people that he has chosen to serve with him!

Posted by carla gaeta | Report as abusive

The disrespect and hatred directed at President Bush on this historic day is disturbing to me. He is not an evil man nor is he stupid. I would not expect Obama supporters to shower him with love as he leaves office but why all the viscious hatred for him? Does this bother anyone else?

Posted by barber | Report as abusive

You stay classy, liberals! Nice job. Nice respect.

Posted by Jimbow | Report as abusive

I find it disrespectful to speak about the outgoing President like this. Of COURSE the sentiment was widespread, everyone there is in love with the “Great Divider” and can’t wait for a government handout. Dignity and tradition does not exist in the Left and there is no one on the Left that wants unity. Obama will lie to you all and it will be a landslide in 2010 for the right but it may be too late to repair the damage this community organizer will cause. One man cannot save this country but they sure can cause a lot of damage.

Posted by Griv | Report as abusive

How sad and incredibly tacky. What a downer on what should be a happy day.

Posted by Charles Nicholls | Report as abusive

the government doesn’t “produce” jobs. There can be no viable central planning that will improve such a massive economy. Only millions of individual free decisions can, and they form the basis of a free market.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

Those Obama supporters sure are classy winners. Seriously, get a life… Today is supposed to be a celebration for Obama, not a last chance to bash Bush. We get it, you haven’t agreed with Bush’s policies for the last eight years… Well, guess what, he’s not President anymore, so you can get over it.

Posted by blueowl | Report as abusive

I will give the Lefts new president all the respect that they gave to the previous president..

Fair Enough?

Posted by Tom Yaz | Report as abusive

Gotta love them low-rent libs. May they all choke on their hubris.

Posted by cest moi | Report as abusive

My goodness, Carla – where have you been for 8 years? I have read so much Bush bashing, and heard it on the news around the world, that I am sick to death of it. No one has hesitated to vilify him in the press or to his face, and there have never been repercussions – unless you can prove that there have been, you are misinformed. How do you know we now have a President we can be proud of – he hasn’t done anything yet but give us the most expensive campaign (breaking his own promises) and inauguration in history! Not only that, but his learning curve must increase really quickly to be a world leader, and I am glad to see that he now understands and supports many of the Bush programs and staff in spite of his campaign promises. The president can’t invent jobs or make tax cuts on his own, no matter who he is, and if the Senate had not silenced Bush in the many times he went before them to warn of impending disaster because of the Fannie/Freddie mess, our country would not be in the terrible financial straits it is in now. Do some research and find out just who it was who supported those programs and how many times Bush tried to warn against them, and find out how much money those supporters made as a result of their power – you might be surprised at some of your favorite names now on your bad guy list. In the meantime, we’ll just have to see how Obama actually performs as president and give him time to make the changes that will bring our country back into financial security and worldwide respect.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Classy indeed. I did not think I could despise the media more, but here they go again. It is bad enough that people behave in such a way, but worse yet that the press is so happy to report it. I hate them, I will never get over this. Roughly half of America voted for GWB and elected him twice. Daily we have had to watch the press spit in his face. I hope they all go bankrupt.

Posted by Kate | Report as abusive

I am watching the reactions around the world to our new president. It is stunning. Obama was already “making a difference” even before he took the oath. I want Obama to succeed. So should everyone else. The only way he can be 100% successful is for all of us to 100% behind him. Many people fear change. Those who do, will be 100% resistive. Life is about change. Every day we live, we are faced with changes. Change needs to embraced. GO, Obama, GO.

Posted by eloise | Report as abusive


So what has the 44th President done to make you so proud?
Typical low class left wing Obama supporters who are so worried that someone might use the new Presidents middle name, have no problem acting like the true dirt bags they are.
Love and Peace to all, as long as you are not a conservative.

Posted by tim | Report as abusive

What has Obama done to be proud of? Nothing yet. I’m waiting to see what the media does with him. Will anybody criticize him and if they do will they be called racist.

Posted by lillapoyka | Report as abusive

Nice class Libs! Now remember this act because the day Lord Obama screws up and we start saying bad stuff, like thats going to happen, then dont get all upset about it!

Libs have such class dont they!!!

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

I was appalled at the disrespect for President Bush and that is putting it nicely. Some people have NO class at all. History may prove you “bashers” wrong, then what are you going to do. I wish President Obama well, but he cannot make everything right. Some of you people need a reality check!

Posted by Ellie | Report as abusive

I do not cheer this new president. I certainly am glad to see the old one gone in one respect but in another he will still be there. I doubt there will be much of deviation in American policy by in large and any will be approved by Democrats and Republicans anyways. It has remained the same for quite some time now…. To diminish American sovereignty and and expand the role of government. I do not applaud that. I do however applaud the fact that so many Americans could vote for a black man. I did not vote for him because he’s part of that 2 party system that divides Americans to illusively generate legitimacy. I do hope that it will take us one step closer to diminishing racial differences between people. Also, hopefully with Obama the White House will finally be getting some good music. I know if I was in charge of the music I would have to spin some Marvin Gaye. Start with some” What’s Going On” followed up by some “Let’s Get It On”!

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

you stay classy liberals!!

Posted by Tigger | Report as abusive

pace yourselves cons, you have quite awhile until you are in control of anything other than the supreme court!

Posted by taylor | Report as abusive

Yes, Carla, Mr. Bush IS stupid. Very much so. His actiosn over the last 8 years can only be explained by his being not very bright, and intellectually lazy to boot.

He has presided over the worst pillaging of the US citizenry by the Power Elite and the worst corruption of the US Constitution of any president. Mostly becasue he is stupid.

To his apologists and supporters, I can only say: “You exemplify the desparaging comments of everyone from Tiberius to La Boetie, to Goering. You continued voting against your own self interests in supporting this doofus and his shadowy handlers. “The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history”. You exemplify that too.

I hope Obama and his crew do a better job. He has my support so far. It wouldn’t be hard to do a better job than Bush.

[reactions from a lifelong registered Republican (Eisenhower/taft Republican, that is, not these cynical, lying, neo-con Fascists we have just tolerated.)]

Posted by WCH | Report as abusive

It is very heartening to see objective thinkers respond to the diatribes against Bush. He served our country well and we are safe and free today because of it. Craig Coal pointed out just a few of the positive results of the Bush presidency. Thank you and to all who see the good Bush has done for our country. Even Obama thanked Bush for his “service”.

It was also heartening to see the two leaders embrace several times during the inaguration, the last time when the Obama’s escorted the Bush’s to the helicopter. I do not remember any time in history where two presidents did this. It is obvious the two men and their wives respect and like each other.

Bush was so at ease. In the end, it doesn’t matter what his detractors think of him. He has a strong Christian faith and he knows he will answer to a higher power than to the people he governed. I know God will say, “Well done, true and faithful servant!”

It showed a lack of class when Obama supporters outwardly booed, called him names and sang chants about good riddance. As I have stated before, I am worried for our country because those haters also profess we should all love and come together. What hypocrites. Love is love and comes from the heart. It has no political boundaries. It shows how irrational the liberal progressive left really is. They are not people who practice what they preach and are morally bankrupt.

There is a frenzy going on, but remember this one thing. This is only the third election in over 50 years where a democrat received over 50 percent of the vote (in this case 52 percent). The other times were 1964 (Johnson) and 1976 (Carter). In both instances big ideas were at the forefront. But in both instances they did not serve past their one term. Johnson was wildly unpopular when the Great Society program bloated the federal government and the Vietnam war was raging. Carter entered the presidency with a 75 percent approval (Obama has 80 percent), but lost in disgrace for years later.

Big ideas don’t mean success. I wish President Obama well and I truly hope this “hope and change” he talks about will amount to something positive, but we will see.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

I do not want Obama to be successful because I do not agree with his policies and ideas and the great Socialist state he wants to create. I don’t want him to be 100% successful in passing the Freedom of Choice act to facilitate even more abortions. I guess killing more of the unborn is a great change for our country. I find it interesting that all of these Obama sycophants are lecturing all of us to get behind Obama 100%. When the Democrats and their liberal groups have spent the last 8 years actively demonizing and undermining President Bush, at the expense of our soldiers. They didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. They started it right after the 2000 election. Stopped for a minute or two right after 9/11, when it would have been unseemly to be so blazen. And then started it up again in 2002, using demonization of the Iraq War (and by extention, our soldiers efforts) as their vehicle. A war they all voted for and supported when it was to their political gain earlier to do so. They even had memos from Teddy Kennedy in exactly how they were going to do this starting in 2002, using the media as their propaganda arm. And the people who support Obama bought it all hook line and sinker. Now they are even calling for President Bush to be arrested, at the same time they are telling us all to come together! It is they who are hate filled people and who have created any atmosphere of hate and division that exists in this country, as evidenced by their performance today. And they want all now to just be forgotten. They are like the bully kids they are, who throw a fit and mock and tease until they get their way, like they have been doing the last 8 years. And now that they have it, they still behave badly and tell the rest of us to shut up. How I loathe them. They can “come together” among themselves and worship the great and mighty, media trumped up Obama. And be the cult that they are. But count me out.

Posted by Yellow rose | Report as abusive

Addendum: Thank you, TC, for your comments. You are dead-on. Lack of class, indeed, and a smack in the face to the very “hope and change” President Obama is said to represent. Actions speak louder than words.

Posted by BAB | Report as abusive

Carla Gaeta, what ARE you talking about?!! Unless you can present some factual evidence of the Bush/Chaney administration bringing “retribution” to anyone who disagreed with them, well, all I can say is that you are delusional! I haven’t even heard these kinds of unfounded accusations from the left-wing media! The only reports of journalists and private citizens being reprimanded or investigated because they disagreed with a person of power were those who spoke out regarding now President Obama (Joe the Plumber, the journalist in Florida who lost her job just for asking Joe Biden in an interview if Obama’s stance on redistribution of wealth wasn’t socialism, and another reporter in Pittsburgh who asked a similar question). If a private citizen can’t even ask an honest question without being investigated or chastised, then we ARE in trouble. Never once has that happened with the Bush administration, at least never has it been reported in the news. It’s time for you to put your hatred aside and pursue unity. That kind of talk isn’t going to get this country anywhere.

Posted by BAB | Report as abusive

Whether or not you like the man, you should respect the office. The far left does not understand this. If you undermine a President you do not like, you undermine America. The President is the President of all. Today was a great day for all Americans, marred only by those who showed such disrespect to President Bush and his entire family. In doing so, they disrespect this country. It is possible to have differences without being disrespectful. If that were not true, the peaceful transfer of power that serves as an example to the world, would not be possible. How sad that those who cry out most for tolerance, know the least about showing it. I cannot imagine what this country would have been like the last 8 years if it were in George W. Bush’s personality to respond in kind to the venom heaped upon him. He put this country first; always, something the far left haters should learn to do. But if they could not even do it today, a day in which all Americans should be proud of and celebrate country and not differences, will they ever be able to do it?

God Bless President Obama and congratulations on your incredible achievement. God Bless President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, both have served this country tirelessly and faithfully with infinite grace and class. Thank you, President Bush, for your service, your passion for freedom, and for keeping this country safe. History will tell the true story of your Presidency.

And most of all, God Bless America! May she be forever free!

Posted by LCF | Report as abusive

The jeering just proves that the left is inferior to the right, which we already knew.

Posted by DEANE | Report as abusive

i sincerely hope qbama is successful as president,but the bulk of his support are a hindrance. the booing was a display of ignorance,and because the lack of control,eventually their screaming tirades will be directed at him.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Too much Bush bashing going on.

Posted by Avinash Machado | Report as abusive

Brian Lee….No Sir. Ignorant is the adjective you should aptly apply to the Bush Administration. Not on all fronts, but on so many. I was there sir, at the Capitol, among the ticketed crowd. With the policys of this failed administration, and the isolated bubble enveloping Mr. Bush, this was one of the only opportunities any of us had to express our dissatisfaction directly. I did my best to boo loudest, and I AM an elected public servant. George Bush did not leave the United States better off. He damaged our country, not just at home, but abroad too.
Had he been close enough to feild a shoe, hundreds of thousands would have left the Capitol and the Mall in search of the nearest shoe store. Disrespectful? yes. But with the Nation in the shambles he left it in, and since I couldn’t offer him a pair of walking shoes, the least I could do was allow him to hear my voice, our collective voice. I am proud to be an American, as an elected gaurdian of Public Trust, I know this….He gave us sooo much more then we deserved, he “misunderestimated” We, The People…the least we could do was share with him our level of pride we felt in how he “faithfully executed the Office of President”

Posted by Christopher | Report as abusive

christopher,perhaps the event has caused you some light headed ness.facts are obama is a very charismatic candidate,yet in spite of the fact that mc cain was a very weak opponent and bush ended his term unpopular,obama got only 52%of the vote.which indicates that there are a considerable amount of conservatives like my self still around.yes the momentum is in your favor,but do not be to confident.i hope the left get carried away and try to unfairly impeach bush,then you would see how subdued we is not going to happen obama,s not that stupid.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

“Mission Accomplished” wasn’t a banner at a rally shortly after the invasion of Iraq. It was a banner hung on a Carrier by the men and women serving on the Carrier in a form of salute to the President. During the presidents’ speech he talked about how their was still a lot that needed to be accomplished. The author of this article obviously has no clue what this banner in D.C. was referring too.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Then, if that was your response Christopher, I am SO glad you aren’t one of my elected public officials. Any elected official who would do as you brag about doing doesn’t deserve your position. But thanks for letting us know that it wasn’t just idiotic Obamabots doing it, there were actual people given a position of trust who showed they were no better than a child given the situation.

Sadly, you seem to feel justified in acting like a spoiled child in this case. I’m sure you’d approve of conservatives reacting to your hero in a similar manner. But, we won’t do so, we show we have a level of respect for the office, and regardless of who’s filling the seat we give them respect. Too bad you morons can’t do the same.

Posted by Pat | Report as abusive

I think you ALL need to take a TIME OUT and zip it for a minute. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS.

Say it again. AMERICANS.

One more time for those of you still bashing the other political party…A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N-S.

Stop pitting political parties against each other! Seriously, how ignorant and pompous are you people acting? You make yourself look like TERRORISTS in your own country! Saying the same things that TERRORISTS say about US as a PEOPLE. Calling democrats haters, and republicans whatevers. YOU PEOPLE NEED TO GET A GRIP AND STOP.

You are doing NOTHING but confirming to the blow-myself-up TERRORISTS that we are a divided nation with HYPOCRITES who say one thing and do another. No wonder some of our OWN ALLIES question why they support us. Look at this!

BOTTOM LINE PEOPLE. Obama made President whether any of you like it OR NOT. Ever heard the expression, “You can try to please the people 100%, but you can never please the people 100% of the time?” THAT APPLIES HERE.

Stop bashing your FELLOW AMERICANS and GIVE UP the pride and arrogance dance that so many of us are sick and tired of watching you people do.


Posted by Jaime B. | Report as abusive