Mayor Rybak: Real inauguration energy was in sea of onlookers


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Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was one of the lucky folks with a seat at Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony. While he was up front near the action millions of people came to see, Rybak says the real action was out in the crowd that came to see history happen. 

Rybak took a moment by phone to talk to CP about his experience at the ceremony.

"There were great things happening on stage, but it was all about what was happening in the crowd," he said. "As you looked back on the mall, that's where all of the energy was." 

Rybak happened to have an aisle seat which allowed him to look back all the way to the Washington Monument. He said even his "old eyes" could see the masses stretched for for the full mile of grass. 

"It was just a dense crowd of people, but what was really wonderful was that someone had distributed thousands and thousands of American flags," he said. "You could just see this huge mass of shaking red, white and blue in the distance." 

Rybak was putting on his tux (hot!) for the Midwest Ball when we spoke. He said it's his goal to make it to the Lincoln Memorial by midnight. 

"My son goes to George Washington University and we went to the memorial once at night. It was so moving to stand there on the post where Martin Luther King spoke, but it was sadly ironic to be standing there where this man spoke and his dream wasn't fully realized," he said. 

He plans to go back to the same spot as a tribute to the MLK speech and to celebrate a new chapter in American history.