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It's Your Party, And I'll Cry If I Want To
Brett Joshpe and I wrote our first book together. When I shot him a quick e-mail the other day to ask about his "views on the inauguration," I knew that he, like any true New Yorker, would wear his cynicism as a badge of honor. "Inauguration week in New York City will be like any other for me," he replied. "I intend to watch the historical moment (perhaps on mute to avoid the droning of talking heads) and will neither go out of my way to participate in it nor will I avoid it."
It was hard to find any conservatives in New York, in fact, who could put a happy spin on our grim situation. But I knew that if anyone could, it would be my friend Margaret Hoover, a political strategist whom I routinely bump into in the Fox News building. (Which, by the way, is the only refuge New York Republicans have. Walking into Fox is like slipping into a warm bath.)
Margaret is pep incarnate. And she's recently engaged, so it was impossible for her take to be anything but blindingly sunny. And it was -- in fact, she offered the first exclamation point. "We are all Americans, and should be proud the whole world is watching!" she wrote in a cheerful e-mail. "Regardless of who you voted for, next week will be an incredible moment in American history, marked by a peaceful transition of power to the first black president."
Though I appreciated her good spirits, they didn't really ease my ambivalence about the inauguration, especially considering how jubilant the mood in Manhattan will be. But as bad as we have it in New York, my conservative friends in Washington have it worse, and many are planning their escapes. Lobbyist John Goodwin is spending four days with 10 pals in a cabin in Maryland, skiing and playing board games. J.P. Freire, the managing editor of the American Spectator, hopes to rent a lake or beach house with some buddies. "You can't get away from this" in town, he wrote. "It'll be in the bars till 4 a.m. every night when you're trying to sleep, and it'll flood the streets with traffic when you need to get groceries."
As for me, I'll have to watch my fair share of coverage for my job. But maybe at some point I'll wander downtown to Wall Street, where George Washington was inaugurated, and try to imagine what it was like for New Yorkers to throw the first president of the United States his first inaugural ball. As much as I hate admitting it, I bet that like that first one, this year's inauguration will be a pretty good time. Just wish I could get in a partying mood.
S.E. Cupp is a political commentator and co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right."