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The multi-tasking President

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Barack Obama takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Photo: Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press

If Barack Obama hadn’t managed to squeeze in any serious work on his first day as President Obama, it would’ve been hard to hold it against him. After all, our 44th President had to make it through an oral obstacle course of an oath and a lengthy speech that referenced the American Revolution and condemned the anti-terrorism tactics of his predecessor as well as prayers, a benediction and a poem.

Barack Obama arrives for his inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Barack Obama arrives for his inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

After the official business came the official parties. Decked out in their finest evening wear, the first couple danced on national television with only a minor misstep and ball-hopped through 10 inaugural parties with an ease that would make Cinderella jealous.

Busy day, right?

But in the midst of all the pomp and circumstance, all the smiling and waving and wining and dining, Obama took the time to – gasp! – actually do some presidential work.

Within hours of becoming the big man on Capitol Hill, the President began to take action to stall the judicial machine processing 9/11 war crimes cases at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama directed Defense Secretary Robert Gates to request 120-day stays of prosecution for 21 detainees charged with war crimes connected to 9/11. Presiding Judge Pat Parrish granted the motion, effectively putting the trials on hold to give Obama and his team time to review each individual case.

The move followed on the heels of Obama’s inaugural address, which alluded to his feelings about Guantanamo Bay and many of the actions taken by the Bush administration in the name of defense.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

A man who can put rhetoric into action and shake a tail feather in during his first 24 hours in the White House? That’s my kind of president!

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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