Straight to work for Obama team

January 19, 2009 4:52:01 PM PST
Not all the Chicagoans and people from Illinois here for the inauguration are spectators.Some are members of Obama's administration and key staffers who have been told to show up at the White House right after the swearing-in to start working.

The new Obama team that includes so many familiar names and faces from Chicago will be at their desks in the White House starting their jobs almost immediately because Barack Obama wants to send the message that they're going to hit the ground running.

They will be able to party heartily at inaugural balls on Tuesday night and to see a piece of history up close when the 44th and first African American president is sworn in and then when he delivers an inaugural address at this uniquely challenging moment in American history.

President-elect Barack Obama's close friend and advisor Valerie Jarrett and the rest of the team will be on the job almost immediately after the swearing-in ceremony in their offices handling their assignments.

"We worked very hard for this day. We don't want to waste not a moment. We have, as you know, great challenges facing our country and the sooner we get to work, the better. That's what the American people deserve, that's what they voted for, and we're going to get to work right away," said Jarrett.

"I am convinced Barackis going to set the tone, that he understands the state of economic emergency in America and that his administration is dedicated to it," said Sen. Dick Durbin, (D), Illinois.

"We have this ideal that anyone can make it in america and any barrier can be overcome. But when it happens in such a spectacular way it's not just an affirmation of one man, it's an affirmation of our whole country," said David Axelrod, White House adviser.

For many, the swearing-in will be an emotional moment.

"I will be crying throughout the entire inauguration and his speech. Absolutely. Unashamedly," said Jarrett.

And it's fair to say several million tears will be shed at that moment on Tuesday when Barack Obama takes the oath of office.