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"I Really Believe in This Guy."


The crowd watches the festivities. | Image by Jeffrey Anderson

At about 11:45 a.m., Associate Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens administers the oath of office to Vice President Joseph Biden. We are about a quarter mile from the nearest JumboTron and maybe a mile from the action. A woman behind me asks her companion (maybe her daughter), "did you see it? Does he have a red tie on? 'Cause he said he'd have a red tie on!"

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The crowd is screaming: "O-Bam-AH, O-Bam-AH!"

"This is so cool!" the woman says. Her name is Kathy Arnold. She is wearing a purple cap. She came from her home in Lancaster, Pa., where she is in office manager for a small business and works also for her high school alumni association at McCaskey High. Go Tornadoes!

Arnold came on a bus chartered by the Young Democrats of Lancaster. Lancaster was a "battleground" county--"It's a very Republican area," she says--but she voted for Obama on Nov. 4.

Arnold says she began volunteering for Obama in Jan. 2008. She had not previously involved herself in any political campaign, she says, but she did for Obama. "Because I really believe in this guy," she says. "What convinced me was when he spoke to the Democratic National Convention [in 2004]."

The woman next to her jumps in: "You said right then, 'That's our next President.'"

"Yes, I did," Arnold says.

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