Hope, Challenges, Whatever

BARACK Obama began his historic presidency yesterday with an historic call for hope, renewal, blah blah, hard work, all that sort of stuff.

'Character, patriotism, things of that nature'

Across the great American continent ordinary citizens, humbled by history, stopped shooting each other for five minutes to listen to their new president talk about hope and challenges, before deciding to leave most of the actual challenges to someone else.

Following an historically emotional and badly fucked-up swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol, President Obama told the vast crowd: "Hope. Renewal. Challenges. America. All those other countries too. And, by the way, who'd have thought it?"

Bill McKay, a veteran of the civil rights movement and a close adviser to the late Robert Kennedy, said: "Let it be written that on this day, at this hour, this great nation was placed in the care of a ruthless, Chicago machine politician who also happens to be half-Kenyan."

The two million people gathered in the National Mall then followed Obama up Pennsylvania Avenue and crowded around the White House to watch him start work.

Grown men cried as he picked up a pen for the first time as president and started doodling during a national security briefing. Some said the doodle was an intense, graphic interpretation of the concept of hope, while others said it was simply a weird looking cat in a space helmet.

With his every movement relayed via CNN and big screen televisions, a thundering wave of emotion broke over the crowd as Obama used the presidential intercom to request some coffee, another pen and a selection of cream-filled pastries.

Alvin Booker, a retired postman from Baltimore, said: "If you had told me 40 years ago that a black man would be sitting in the Oval Office eating cake and using pens, I would have run away screaming because you were obviously from the future and by interacting with you I could cease to exist."

Obama last night faced an immediate challenge as a New York Times poll revealed that more than 75% of Americans were too chubby to applaud his inauguration speech.

Meanwhile in an historically moving display of national unity the country's powerful evangelical movement has promised to wait until mid-February before describing the new commander-in-chief as the 'Chocolate-Covered Satan'.