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High hopes mark start of Obamas presidency
Barack H. Obama.


2 a.m. CNN starts live coverage
3 a.m. C-Span, Fox start coverage
6:30 a.m. CBS starts coverage
7:30 a.m. NBC, ABC, MSNBC start coverage

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was observed on Monday.

But today marks the dream of the slain Civil Rights leader as Barack H. Obama will be administered the Oath of Office on the steps of US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

He’ll become the first US President of African American descent, marking a historic occasion.

“It’s more than that,” said Keith Jackson, who was celebrating the birthday of his daughter, Logan, at Shasta Park during his day off from work. “He represents an opportunity for all people, man or woman, to reach the highest office in the land regardless of ethnicity.”

Jackson, who is San Joaquin County Office of Education’s network coordinator, admitted that he didn’t vote for the Democratic candidate. Nevertheless, he’s optimistic and even encouraged by the change promised by the Obama Administration.

Dale Fritchen will be strapped with meetings all day, making it unlikely that he’ll be able to catch any of the nationally televised 56th Presidential Inauguration.

The Weston Ranch resident, Republican  Party activist, and Stockton City Councilman is also hoping for change.

“We really need to get the economy straighten out,” he said. “It seems as if it has gone from bad to worse.”

For eight years, Fritchen sat on the Manteca Unified school board. Rex Holiday, a wireless communication engineer, has occupied Fritchen’s old post representing the Weston Ranch area since December.

He hopes the best for the new Commander in Chief.

“The new administration will be faced with many challenges ahead,” said Holiday, realizing that events in any presidency can change rather quickly.

Take outgoing President George W. Bush, for example. His years in the White House will be defined by the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 followed by his war on terrorism and Iraq not to mention a struggling economy.

Holiday, who, like the 44th US President, is African American. He more than understands the importance of looking past race.

“Dr. King’s dream is about being judged by the content of one’s character,” Holiday said. “Based on his merits, I think Obama has the gifts to face the challenges ahead.

“He believes in education and possesses many of the traditional values handed down from him.”

Education is one of the areas Wendy King said will be high on the list of the Obama Administration.

“I’m also hoping he’ll be able to get this economy in a much better place,” said the Manteca Unified board member.

She was also thrilled to hear that Sierra High junior Lorie Hoffman will be among those in attendance during this historic event.

The 17-year-old daughter of Carla and Buzz Hoffman is among five high schoolers on the Smithsonian Student Travel tour consisting of 68 eighth-graders from Wicklund School in Mountain House.

“I’m excited about witnessing history,” the younger Hoffman said last week. “This will be something I’ll always remember.”