While crowds cheered Obama during his inauguration, the reception wasn’t as warm for outgoing President Bush – some booed him while others lined up to throw shoes at his effigy.
Many in the crowd began booing and shouting obscenities when President Bush and Vice President Cheney were introduced during the inauguration ceremony, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Kevin McDermott wrote.
“The booing was, in fact, pretty shocking, regardless of your political bent,” he said.
Vice President Cheney recently injured himself while lifting boxes. McDermott said some people chuckled at him.
“When they showed VP Dick Cheney in the wheelchair, the booing was joined with some laughter at his predicament,” he wrote.
MSNBC hosts called the booing “bad form” in their coverage.
“[I]t was a little surprising that just one voice piped up in opposition, saying things like, ‘Don’t do that,’ and ‘Hey, we don’t need to do that,’” McDermott wrote.
He found the one person who spoke out, Alven Muladdic, an Italian immigrant, and asked him why he chose to go against the crowd.
“He’s still the president of the United States and I think we should show respect, regardless of how we feel ideologically,” Muladdic said. “I supported Obama, but I feel the president should be given due respect. … I don’t feel the need to boo him now. The elections are over and we can certainly give him his due. We have change now; we have enough change to spare.”
Crowd decorum was similar later in the day.
Protesters with Arrest Bush 2009 carried anti-Bush signs along the inaugural parade route.
Prior to the inauguration, crowds gathered around a two-story inflatable blow-up doll with a Pinocchio nose to “Give Bush the Boot” at DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C.
“That felt so much better than I thought it would!” exclaimed one woman, according to New York Magazine.
“I could watch this all day,” another person declared.
When Bush climbed aboard Marine One to retire to his Texas home today, some in the crowd cheered and erupted in song, chanting, “Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.”
But Bush had the last word when he spoke at a welcome home rally in Midland, Texas. He listed achievements, announced plans to write a book and said, “I’m coming home with my head held high and a sense of accomplishment.”
“No matter whether you agree with my decisions, one thing you have to agree with is that we have not been attacked in the last seven years,” Bush continued. “When I get home tonight and look in the mirror, I’m not going to regret what I see – except maybe the gray hair.”