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January 21st, 2009
05:01 PM ET

Obama Inaugural Parade Walk: Brave or Foolish?

ALT TEXT US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave to supporters as they walk along Pennsylvania Ave during the parade following his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States. (PHOTO CREDIT:ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Most of them want to do it. Presidents during the inaugural parade often like to be outside the confines of their bulletproof, bomb proof, everything-proof limousine the Secret Service lovingly calls "The Beast."

It gives them a chance to get closer to the people, who in many cases, have traveled far and endured a certain amount of hardship for the slight chance they'll get to see the President, up close and personal.

Jimmy Carter was the first to do this in 1977.

When the nation's new first couple exited the car yesterday, people began screaming and cheering along the parade route. It was like Elvis had suddenly appeared in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

And while the Obamas appeared relaxed and enjoyed the interaction with the crowd, don't kid yourself. For the Secret Service, it was a very tense time. When he's exposed like that, they can't guarantee his safety.

You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when our new President decided to return to the safety of the presidential limousine.

Barack Obama lives inside the Presidential bubble now, and he doesn't have the freedom he enjoyed prior to noon yesterday when he became the leader of the free world.

Here’s my question to you: Was it brave or foolish for President Obama to leave the limo and walk several blocks during the inaugural parade?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Janice from Aberdeen, South Carolina writes:
It was brave and wonderful. I can't say I wasn't concerned for him, but he couldn't very well give a speech about the need for us to grow up and be brave to face the challenges that are ahead and stay inside the car.

Greg from Cabot, Arkansas writes:
Neither, nothing like a cheering crowd, a brisk walk and a breath of cold morning air to pump up the adrenalin for the job he was getting ready to start.

Gail from Centre, Alabama writes:
He is taking too much for granted. In his mind everyone is elated about him being the new President, which is not so. It was a very foolish thing for him to do.

Dave from Brooklyn, New York writes:
It was both, but necessary. He had to show courage, which often is indistinguishable from stupidity as we have seen. Yet it would have been the greatest tragedy in our history if something had happened.

Donald from Canton, North Carolina writes:
The DC bubble crippled George Bush. It was not foolish, if anyone penetrated that security barrier yesterday it would have been a miracle. Everything was well under control or the Secret Service wouldn't have allowed it.

Mertis from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
Jack, I think it was brave even though they chose one of the most secure areas along the route to take their walk.

Whether we want to admit it or not, his biggest threat isn't from people in other countries. His biggest threat is from some nut case right here in the U.S. Hence the beefed up Secret Service from day one of his campaign and the new armored tank in Cadillac clothing.

John from Vermont writes:
I don't think brave or foolish enters into it at all. I think it was the right thing to do.

soundoff (953 Responses)
  1. Mike Bravo, Maize, KS

    It was neither brave or foolish, it was just one of those things you have to do when you are in command.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  2. Arun

    Now that the myths of discrimination have been busted I believe the US should actively work to eliminating Affirmative Action. Also, all people who chanted discrimination now have no excuse to fall back on – they just have to deliver! Finally, I saw the lavish spending at the inaguration in Washington DC as well as the one in Raleigh, NC (much smaller scale but lavish none the less) and thought to myself that we are in an economic crisis but can still afford to spend all this money – something does not add up.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  3. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Jack it was neither of the above. Where he walked was about the most secure area of D.C. One side is all Government buildings leaving only the other side to clear and I am sure the Secret Service did just that. We need to show the world we are not scared of our own shadow and can not always be in a totaly controled enviroment. The world saw way to much of that the past 8 years.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  4. AR(minneapolis, MN)

    Neither brave nor foolish, I think "the walk" is a mandatory part of the role. You want to lead the people, then you start joining the people, walking amongst them, and greeting them. Clever move and not just common courtesy, but a sign of humility that will deem respect. I think he's a smart guy atleast!

    January 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  5. Tasha

    I think he was very brave to be out in the open all day like that with all the threats he has received.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  6. Gerry In Toronto

    Like I'm sure everyone watching, I was extremely nervous when Obama left the car and started walking.

    Thank God, the secret service and other security forces provided enough of a deterent to keep him safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  7. Char

    Neither. He cannot hide for the next 4 years. He will have to be out in public in situations of less than 100% security. Unfortunately, he may be more at risk, but the risk is always there for any President.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  8. Tom in Dubuque

    Jack, probably not the best idea; I'm sure the Secret Service was not thrilled from a logistical stand point. It only took one mediocre ex marine marksman with a cheap Italian rifle to kill JFK; if someone really wants to do something, how do you stop them? I think the message was; here I am the leader of the free world; I live in the best place on Earth.

    I'll bet that nut case Ahmadinejad does't feel that safe; without armed guards all over the place!

    January 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  9. Lynne in North Augusta, South Carolina

    Past presidents have walked during the inaugural. Why should Obama be any different? Stop treating him differently because of his race. We just proved we are past that.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  10. Terry in Hanover County

    I thought it showed courage on Obama's part. The terrorists and others who hate Obama will not get him or the rest of us down. Plus, it connected him with us common folk. He's a man and President who will work for us, not a man who would be King who expects us to worship him, which is how some of our recent past Presidents have acted.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  11. Matthew, Cedar Rapids

    If I had to choose, I would say that it was brave,but I would prefer to call it necessary. It showed that he is not a fearful president, and will not let the opinions of a few violent extremists rule his life.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  12. Jake

    Brave and foolish, but overall very admirable.

    Jake
    Evansville, IN

    January 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  13. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    It was a bit of each and I must admit that I was nervous at first, but the crowd responded so overwhelmingly the fear passed. For me it was one of the highlights of the day.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  14. Charles in Dallas

    No, I don't think it was stupid nor foolish for Obama to make the walk. Every other President has made it so why not him. Although it still make you a little scared when presidents to that but that's why they have the secret service, fbi, and local law enforcement agencies these people are there to protect our President and that's what they should be doing to the fulliest. Although I would have liked to see Obama go and shake some of the people hands that were on the sidewalks but I knew the secret service would have probably went into cardiac arrest. I think Obama thought about that but they probably advised him against it.

    January 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  15. John in Atlanta, GA

    It was his way of showing leadership, despite any threat that may have been issued. Unlike our previous, er..., President. President Obama, I'm sure could have dodged any shoe hurled his way.....

    John in Atlanta

    January 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  16. Greg

    I don't think the man is brave so he must be a fool.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It was neither brave or foolish-–but rather a President with confidence.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  18. ann parker

    i agree it was neither brave nor foolish but required of the leader of a democracy. he cannot cower out of fear anymore than the rest of us can.

    AMP Atlanta, GA

    January 21, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  19. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I believe the Secret Service selected the most secure section of the parade route for President and Mrs.Obama to get out of the car and walk. It makes for good TV and the American people want to see them. Keep in mind,any time the President is out in the open like that he puts himself in the Lord's hands. He was well aware of this while running for the office and accepted his fate. Let's all hope that the Secret Service continues the good work and keeps our newly elected President safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  20. Jayne

    Neither. He doesn't want to lose touch with the masses and will, most likely, struggle against the bubble for a long time to come. I have to admit though, I breathed a sigh of relief when he got back in the limo.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  21. JR in Norfolk VA

    I would say it was wise, meaning it would have been foolish if he didn't – every President is somewhat expected to do it. Besides – he had that cool bullet-resistant suit!

    January 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  22. David of Alexandria VA

    Bush and Chaney did it four years ago. God knows if anyone was at risk, they would have been.

    On the other hand, I had primo insider seats for the last inaugural parade. And, when you count the roof-top G-Men snipers, huge numbers of other armed and very serious-looking personnel and the vast array of protective vehicles in the procession, I doubt that even a snowflake could get through the perimeter to harm the President.

    You just don't see the extent of this security on television.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  23. Kiran Mandava Atlanta,GA

    Certainly it is a brave action. Obama sent a message direct to the people concerned that he is not only intelligent but brave too. So better behave or will be dealt with.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  24. Cristobal

    Cucamonga California:
    Brave? Foolish? How about unnecessary...
    So what if Carter started this quazi-tradition. I'm all for projecting strength and fearlessness, but really, situations like that are quite unnecessary.
    I'm more interested now that Obama's President, how is he going to hit the stump in 4 years when he's running for reelection? I have no doubt that the man will still be able to draw tens of thousands to rallies, but how's his security going to deal with that reality? One thing is to have a candidate standing and talk in front of tons of people day after day in public venue after public venue, but another is to have the President of the USA doing the same thing. Talk about stress.
    I'm sure glad I'm not on his security detail.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  25. John in Rohnert Park

    I think it was both brave and calculated. He chose a section of street that was lined on both sides with federal buildings that were clearly secured and controlled. Still, he was brave to do so. I'm proud that he is willing to appear before the people and not hide within a Pope-Mobile bubble. Life is about choices and chances and he is a master at both.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  26. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    In this case, if it was brave then it was also foolish. It would only be brave if Obama believed there to be a true danger in doing it. Considering what he did, the risk would not have been worth it, so it would also have been foolish.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  27. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    It was silly so I'm sure the news media salivated over his performance.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  28. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    It is traditional.......it's not brave to do it, but it would have been seen as cowardly not to do it. Obama will be at risk every day for the next 4 years, as is everyone that assumes the presidency. It goes with the big desk.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  29. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    No it wasn't stupid. He and Michelle were so thrilled to be the new
    President and First Lady. I'm sure they wanted to get out and smile, wave, and show their appreciation. Should they be any different than when Bush or anyone else won?

    January 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  30. Gip, FL

    Jack Jack,

    Im waiting for the day that we have a President who has the guts to walk the whole route and pays attention to the sacrifice people made on his behalf. Mutual Respect! then if killed lets the pundits argue , foolish or not!

    January 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  31. vern-t anaheim,ca

    it was brave and foolish both and i didn't want him to do it as there are plenty "nuts" out there who would want to harm him.the secret service does a great job in proecting the president but they cannot protect him 100% but i guess what he did goes with the territory,you don't want to show people you are afraid

    January 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  32. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Other than the fact that he made it, was that even after an 8 year period of disaster after disaster by a complete fool, he only won by a margin of 3 million votes instead of the biggest landslide in US history. That means that there are still too many people who would rather have a fool for president.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  33. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Jack,
    I think it was threatening to our nation and could have been damaging to life, limb and property, severe as any terrorist act. The raw emotions of the day and the coming together, shattered by harm to the our President could have created a calamity. Reminded the burning and destruction of two Los Angeles riots, the MLK assassination, one shutters at the consequences.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  34. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    Neither, nothing like a cheering crowd, a brisk walk and a breath of cold morning air to pump up the adrenalin for the job he was getting ready to start.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  35. Sue -Idaho

    Probably both Jack, brave because he is one of the regular people and wanted people to know that, foolish, well maybe a little, after all there are a good many crackpots in this country and hate mongers.
    I'm sure the secret service people were peeing their pants!

    January 21, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  36. jim Toronto

    It's actually frightening!....The thought of someone taking a pot shot at the couple. Is this how low the American society has stooped, to hide behind amour plating, to allow the thought of fear & terrorism to infiltrate into the office of the presidency?
    Their walk, ...waving at the crowds is heroic and historic.
    It is the icing on his speech that talks about a reawakening of the American soul, change, & hope. Not fear, not rhetoric, mistrust or division.
    The walk was meant to be part of the process of 'going forward' into the future.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  37. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It was both, but necessary. He had to show courage, which often is indistinguishable from stupidity as we have seen. Yet it would have been the greatest tragedy in our history if something had happened.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  38. Karen - Tennessee

    Neither. He's not just our president, he's one of us, and he won't spend the next eight years hiding in the White House.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  39. Terry "the hillbilly Hooser"

    He figured he might as well put his security team to the test, if they had'nt of passed, he wouldn't have long anyway

    January 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  40. Bob in San Jose, California

    What's foolish is the media preoccupation with dumb stuff like the ball dress of the new First Lady. She reached out and rewarded a 22 year old Asian-American designer, and most of the idiots in print and on TV want to focus their disappointment with her dress. Get with the program folks! CHANGE in thinking and service applies to those critics who have clung to a media "trash and slam" approach to getting ratings or making big bucks. Get a clue big mouths! The public LOVES the new president's emphasis on responsibility and inclusion. Clothes critics and pundants all deserve demotions or pink slips if they don't start realizing change is expected of them too.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  41. Lucille Coogen Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: If God is your courage and protector, then it was neither brave or foolish-it was faith.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  42. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    This is a regular guy he will not be comfortable if he cant be out there with the people of this country who are suffering in these trying times. Walking down Pennsylvania Ave. showed me that he will be very visable throughout his term.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  43. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    It was neither brave nor fooiish, Jack. It was Presidential. It's very hard to usher a new era of openess sealed behind 2 inches of bulletproog glass.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  44. Frank, Italy

    Brave for Obama, Jack. Foolish for an assasin.

    Jack, you had sharp shooters perched on top of those buildings who
    could pick a fly off of a horse's ass. Believe me, the President was safe.

    Frankie

    January 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  45. Independent for Obama

    Both. It was a show of unity for everyone who voted for him....but he must remember the dangerous world we live in-between racists and terrorists, the secret service will have their hands full and the President needs to be mindful that we WANT him to stick around for 8 years and help solve our country's problems.
    Janie, Springfield MA

    January 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  46. Mertis

    Jack,

    I think it was brave eventhough they chose one of the most secure areas along the route to take their walk.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, his biggest threat isn't from people in other countries. His biggest threat is from some nut case right here in the US. Hence the beefed up Secrect Service from day one of his campaign and the new armored tank in Cadillac clothing.

    Mertis is Atlanta

    January 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  47. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Jimmy Carter did it too. With the repeat of this "walk", please tell me that this presidency won't repeat Carter's screwed up mess.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  48. Venia PA

    It was truly truly brave and shows that he is a people person because even I was cringing watching the ceremonies knowing how many wackos are out there. They seemed to attend all of palin's rallies and judging by the looks of them they probably could not afford to get to washington dc and thank God!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  49. KarenB, Florida

    Just another aspect of the theatrical nonsense. – but a wise man would have stayed in the car. Not taking chance on his and his wife's lives. It's good that nothing bad happened. Someone said it would not have been "presidential" to stay in the car – that's no measure of a president.– if it is, we're really in trouble.

    you'd think he'd learn from the past.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  50. Janet in Phoenix

    Even worse is Pres. Obama's wish to be a part of Wash D.C. scene.I understand but feel it is much too risky to expose himself and his family .There are a lot of nuts out there.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  51. don Calgary,Alberta

    i bought futures in the rotten egg/tomato commodities wow did i get burned!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  52. Don

    Arun – who told you that the discrimination was busted? There is still a ways to go. If your implying that people of color were laying back and not doing anything until now, I've got a bridge to sell you. I know first hand how an African American man can be stymied due to no other charistics but being such. The inequialty in the justice system, the lack of management positions... Stop griping about affermative action because it is not really being pushed, it's antiquated and the people that it was designed for should'nt have needed it in the first place... THAT is the problem.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  53. Janice, Aberdeen, SD

    It was brave and wonderful. I can't say I wasn't concerned for him, but he couldn't very well give a speech about the need for us to grow up and be brave to face the challenges that are ahead and stay inside the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  54. Eric Godfrey

    It was neither brave or foolish. Since we spent over $116 million dollars(by the way 3x more than Bush's Innauguration and approximately $115 million 850K more than Sarah Palins wardrobe for all you wackos so upset about that) you would hope he would be safe. It is amazing that there has been very minimal talk about this from the liberal media.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  55. Gina in Racine, Wi

    Admiral.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  56. Denise

    Neither, it was a simple decision. Maybe he needed to stretch. This is 2009, why shouldn't he be able to walk down the street? Afterall, if George Bush could get away with it !!! He's the one we should worry about. Let's just enjoy having a president who has mastered the english language. The KKK days are over. Sorry you'll have to rely on some other fear tactic to get viewers. I am white, by the way. In case you want to insinuate that I'm an angry black woman!

    Denise
    Perryville, MD

    January 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  57. jim handy

    It was brave and neccassary. You can't lead the people of this nation if you are going keep yourself secluded from them and live your whole term in fear.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  58. Jeff in Lothian, MD

    Jack it was the right thing to do. President Obama and the First Lady understand the risk. I have to believe that the President is not fearful because he feels that he was placed on this planet to accomplish great things and inspire the masses. The mission far outweighs the risk.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  59. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    It was neither brave nor foolish, simply the Presidential thing to do. This is a man of the people. I am sure he will listen to the Secret Service most of the time, but he will occasionally need to do something that they tell him is risky, you know, like getting in an fighter jet and landing on a flight deck in from of a "Mission Accomplished" banner, or going to a war zone to hand out turkeys.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  60. mac from traverse city Michigan

    Jack he was wearing bulletproof and moving, plus he had a lot of security there. It was a measured risk on his part and painted an uplifting picture of the kind of leader he's hoping to be. I think it was worth the risk and a good thing to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  61. Pugas-AZ

    Hey, he made it through the primaries why not walk down the street. We should all be walking more. What an example! He talked the talk now he trying to walk the walk.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  62. Anne

    While it was dangerous, the Obamas did walk in what was likely the safest area on the parade walk - with Lafayette Park on one side and the White House area that is included in Secret Service protection at all times on the other side.

    I was proud to see that they are brave enough to walk but also glad that their two daughters were not out there.

    Anne
    Texas

    January 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  63. Annie, Atlanta

    It was neither brave nor foolish, just plain gutsy. However, it was easier to breathe once they were back in the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  64. Susan in Michigan

    Although I personally love the fact that the Obamas got out of the limo and walked part of the parade route, it really was not at all wise to do so in the world we live in today. Even with all the security surrounding Barack and Michelle, there remains no foolproof way to protect them from harm. I am very thankful that no tragedy ensued. My biggest fear pertaining to Barack's election as leader of the free world is that he and/or his family will not survive his appointed years as such, due to some nut job out there with a grudge going beserk. I applaud Barack's wanting to remain accessible to the public, but it must be a security nightmare for those who are paid to keep him and his family safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  65. Randy from Salt Lake City

    He had nothing to worry about. The Secret Service know what they're doing and they can protect him from wackos easily.

    As long as Obama doesn't mess with the power of the Federal Reserve, the Military Industrial Complex and Isreal (who really rule the US), he'll live a long life.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  66. Roger from Espanola,New Mexico

    It was what he had to do. President Obama represents a movement to bring government and the people closer together. It seems logical that if he is asking the people to take more responsibility and become more interactive with government, he himself would go among the people as oppsed to gazing down at the "peasants" from a mountaintop throne!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  67. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,everyone but the secret service agents,thought it was not only brave,but expected.the agents who been intrusted with their safety must have thought it was foolish!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  68. dennis northcarolina

    Neither!!!!!!!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  69. Tina (Texas

    To tell you the truth I did quit breathing when he got out of the limo but I am glad he did it because he is the president of the people and it would send a bad message if he stayed in the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  70. David in Ohio

    If you look at the extreme hatred of Obama still being spewed out on the web ("Muslim", "Communist", "Not Natural Born", "Has an Ugly Wife" to name but a few) despite all the obvious evidence to the contrary, you have to conclude that there are still many who would do him harm.

    I agree with the walk but still breathed a huge sigh of relief when he got back in the car!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  71. John

    Jack: A little of both, but some days you just have through caution to the win, and jump in the deep water. By doing so cleanse yourself of everyday politics and become a rare bird, " a Statement." Watch this next 8 years because it only comes along once in a life, if your lucky, Jack.

    John from Alabama

    January 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  72. Brian - Trinidad

    It was a great way to show America and the world that he is ready and willing to make bold changes and more significantly,to accept the accompanying risks.Good for him,good for America.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  73. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Whether it was brave or foolish am sure it was something he felt he wanted and had to do. He is such a people person and will not adjust easily to all the security measures being taken.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  74. Paul H from Los Angeles, CA

    It would have been brave (albeit in a stupid way) for him NOT to walk outside of the limo. Can you imagine the outrage our country would have if we had a leader who was afraid to take risks and just hides in his hole all day like Bush did for the past 8 years?

    January 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  75. Simpliticus

    It was THE right thing to do! Any idiot attempting to take out a massively popular president would die a thousand deaths as a result. Keep in mind that the last time a president took the same course, eggs were flung at him so as to keep him in the car without the expected walk. In addition, Bush was not as well received as only 100,000 people may have come out to see and to fling objects at him as contrasted to more than 2 million people who peacefully sought to see this president. Bush made many mistakes and had he attempted to simply land his plane after Katrina, so much goodwill would have ensued even though he spoke of taking police off of search and rescue missions to provide his security. Obama will not share in Bush's mistakes(if these were mistakes but expected contempt postured at teh average American because these kept his father from serving another four years).

    January 21, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  76. Esther M. Akron Ohio

    joyful to see him walk to the white house

    January 21, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  77. Pablo en Tejas

    Dude,
    C'mon, it's become something of a tradition.
    And a good one, too. What kind of a democracy is it when the elected president so fears the people that he or she won't even get out of his armored limo.
    Have a little faith.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    January 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  78. Lee in TN

    I would not say"Foolish". It was a good thing for him to walk out among the very people who hired him for the next four years to lead this country. Besides, he was well covered.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  79. carson

    i would say he was brave cos, he was not walking like his previous normal life now he has become the head of the states. so some people who hate him probably be there looking for him to assasinate . US have had enough lessons to learn from the past presidents assasinated records. Well jack , if i were him i would never ever get off of the US 1,

    January 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  80. el from Nova Scotia Canada

    Hi Jack

    Was President Obama's walk brave or foolish?Neither. I think it was done to show the people that their President is a Leader who is going to do whatever he sees fit to do. It gave hope to all the people watching, regardless of race, that he is not going to be unapproachable, he will be unlike any other President. He brings HOPE !

    January 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  81. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    As much as I love the Obamas, I think it was much too dangerous to walk the two times they did. There are so many crazy and racist people out there. I felt a vast relief each time they got back in their limo! D.C. Security and Secret Service should be recognized for their outstanding effort in providing excellent security for this momentous event.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  82. HD Taylor - Arizona

    You could easily make the case for both. However, it was very refreshing to see Obama walk during part of the inaugural parade. Bush and his kind are such cowards who live in wasteful GOP extravagance that was gained on the backs of the middle class of this country. Perhaps Obama can restore some faith in the Federal Government.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    January 21, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  83. Charlie Ebert

    He's the most corageous, brave, U.S. President I've ever seen. He reminds me of FDR...

    January 21, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  84. Anthony Smith

    Jack;
    It was his duty. He can't ask Americans to join the fight if he is hiding in the corner. Personally, I came to 3 conclusions watching the inauguration. First, I expected more from Obama's speech. I hope that isn't a sign to come. Secondly, Obama will need to bridle or muffle Biden. He came across as a ham during the parade and a brownnoser the rest of the night. Today, he already inserted foot making reference to Roberts faux pas which annoyed Obama. Lastly, what are the people smoking in Midland, Texas? Watching them support Bush and listening to him was like watching an episode of the Twilight Zone...CLUELESS!!!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  85. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    It was both brave and foolish. Considering the times we live in, security yesterday was probably a nightmare for the secret service. They probably had a fit when he got out of the limosine, but he and Mrs Obama wanted to enjoy the moment and see the crowds up close, as was their right.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  86. Gloria Steinberg

    Arrogant.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  87. Richard Sternagel

    Yes it was brave for Obama to walk during the parade! Fear has dominated our country for 8 years and it was great to see him try to dispel it.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  88. Christine, Thousand Oaks Ca

    Neither – it just shows us how human he is and how he just wanted to greet the American people, albeit for a short while.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  89. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    It cannot be foolish if one believes that–like a soldier–you serve your country with honor and bravery. His parade walk was symbolically a march, to show our nation he is a president of all the people. Obama should use caution and only put himself in harm's way on the rarest of occasions–this was one of those moments. The security of the Secret Service is much better today then it was in 1963 when it failed to protect President Kennedy. Like JFK, great leaders show courage and take risks. President Obama cannot ask others to be brave unless he is willing to do the same.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  90. mayahh from ATLANTA

    It was non of the above, FEAR is your gereatest enemy,

    January 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  91. Anj in CA

    I think the Secret Service would have prohibited it without some reasonable level of confidence in his safety. But I must say I was terrified until he got back into the Beast.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  92. odessa

    if carter,reagan,bush,and clinton can do it, what's the problem for obama?..nothing..obama has a great charm to the public. he did this for the people who put him in office not journalists or crapstarters..there is nothing wrong for what he did because i voted for him and i feel that this was america's moment and it's our time...stop hating!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  93. Keith - Ohio

    Neither, Jack... DC was so secure that there was no one within 10 miles with anything larger than a paper clip in their pocket.

    Probably one of the best secret service efforts to date.... And this was only day-1... Imagine what the next 3 years and 364 days will be like.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  94. Jan from Iowa

    It was brave that they chose to walk – foolish would have been to have their daughters walk with them like Jimmy Carter did with Amy.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  95. Danny Avelar, Sacramento,Ca

    I would say brave, a man of the people born of humble beginnings as most of our population. Not the spoiled son of wealthy oil robber barons who see the highest office as a play toy like Harkin Energy and The Texas Rangers. A man who knows the struggles of everyday Americans, since he has lived them himself just like Pres Clinton. Remember how our country prospered when the national minimum wage was raised vs the trickle down method. When we grow our economy from the bottom up everyone benefits. When the top 2% are the focus 98% loose.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  96. Denis Duffy

    Is it safe for any citizen to walk the streets of any American city?

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  97. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Security has always been a concern for the President during the inaugural parade and other public events. There was concern for the President, First Lady, Second Lady and the public. But, I envy those who had a chance to witness the historical event up close and personal. I think they all braved the elements and the unknown.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  98. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Both, but I assume the President knows the security limits!

    January 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  99. nora CC TXAS

    President Obama reminds me of JFK. He is all about what the people want and the people wanted to see him, so I know that is why he did it. I was really afraid for him and I was getting text messages from family and friends who were very worried for him too. I don't think he should of done it, and hope he is more careful in the future.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  100. Marie Ontario

    I would assume the stretch where Obama's walk was going to take place had been well planned before hand and extensive security would have been used for this stretch.

    The plain facts are if someone wants to assassinate someone it is almost impossible to prevent them from carrying through.

    The present security would like be quite sufficient against normal people as it is the pros the CIA has to worry about and I would imagine full protection against these types would be pretty hard to obtain. Without professionals knowing exactly where the walk would be I would assume they would have no plans for any evil undertakings.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  101. Catherine Laporte

    Jack, although I have wanted to respond several times before to your questions nothing has prompted me to respond as much as this question.

    I attended the inauguration and was standing just beyond the water facing the Capitol. I arrived at 5am in line and by the time the ceremony began, I was as frozen as ice! I couldn't see the Pres direct, although I could see him on the big screen in front of me...however I could hear him loudly and was very moved his uplifting and motivating speech and our democratic procedures and ceremony! The experiencet was uplifting and electric! After walking for 2 hours back to my hotel room to watch the Parade on CNN...I was thrilled to see a calm and exuberant President respect the folks who also had braved the elements for hours to see him. His move of confidence was a great example of leading by example and trusting his security detail to do what they are highly trained to do!

    Note to President Obama: sign me up!

    Oceanside, New York

    January 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  102. Ed North Carolina

    Risk or not, the people deserve to see and touch their President. Any risk would be no more or less than any other President.

    January 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  103. John, Fort Collins, CO

    All I know is that he scared the tar out of me. I wasn't able to relax until he was finally behind bullet-proof glass in the parade reviewing stand. The Secret Service agents involved probably had to clean themselves up at a car wash that night.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  104. Roy - Chicago IL

    Jack, it is what it is...if he had NOT walked down the street, then you would have been asking if he is aloof and not interested in the people!
    I think it is part of the message in his speech that we will not be intimidated, and we will not back down from our way of life....how could he say all that and then hide in the limo all day?
    I applaud his action.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  105. karen-phoenix

    What a wonderful brave thing they did!!! Our country is truely in very, very intellegent hands finnally!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  106. Nancy, Tennessee

    I watched the Secret Service walking along with the President and First Lady in wonder. Their eyes scanned the crowd and watched the road in front of them for signs of any impending danger. As my family watched, we decided that these men protecting them must be exhausted because of how they had to be mentally alert every second as the parade continued toward the viewing area. We were holding our breath that everything would be ok. We could not help but comment on a tragic ending in 1963 when President Kennedy rode in an open car in a parade. We thought that it was a foolish thing to expose the First Family to possible harm so long ago and we thought about how foolish to make our new President and First Lady vunerable to those who might seek to do them harm for the sake of continuing a tradition.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  107. Donald, Canton,NC

    The DC bubble crippled George Bush.

    It was not foolish, it anyone penetrated that security barrier yesterday it would have been a miracle. Everything was well under control or the Sercret Service wouldn't have allowed it.

    It there a problem of him connecting directing with the people of this country? I don't think so, precautions were and will continue to be taken to safeguard his security, but not at the expense of alienating him from the everyday citizen like Bush and his cronies did.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  108. Lissa in Montreal

    It was simply *Obama*. While I worried about the potential crazies around, I commended him as I watched him be true to who he is, and do what he has done throughout his career: CONNECT with the people he serves. Security will be tighter than ever on the Obamas from here on, but I do think yesterday's short walk would have been conspicuously absent had he not done it.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  109. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    Brave. He's the President of the people in the truest sense, it would have been awkward if Mr. Obama didn't get out of the fancy limo and wave to the crowd...

    You want tense? Imagine the security around the first-family's children went he go to school... I can't ever imagine what the First Lady's nerves must be like.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  110. C from Boston

    Obama stepping out on Pennsylvania shows his true affection and that he is the People's President. I admire his class and respect for the people who traveled far and wide to see him.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  111. Kay in WV

    I don't think it was either, it was what most Presidents have done. I think it is foolish how the media keeps harping on it as having been "dangerous". Are you trying to goad someone into acting so you can have a REALLY BIG story to cover?

    January 21, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  112. Patricia

    Wow we're now worrying about whether he was brave enough to walk down the street of an American city...??? I'd be worried if President Obama would try to walk down a street in Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan. Because those areas are dangerous, but, the day a Black American can't walk down a street in America is the day this planet stops spinning.
    Patricia
    Palmdale, Ca.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  113. Jay in Texas

    In my opinion, it was neither brave nor foolish for President Obama to walk during part of the parade. It is part of his responsibility to show that he is accessible to the Americans he is supposed to be serving.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  114. Rob , NYC

    He's not the usual politician .At first I was concerned , but I'm glad he did it.. He's a man of the people so why not. I thought it was a brilliant move
    _ God has been protecting him and I'm sure he worked overtime yesterday

    January 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  115. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Jack, it was an extraordinarly brave act, demonstrating to all who watched that the path of freedom and openness can prevail. After these years of rule by cowards who insult the Constitution while hiding from those it is meant to protect, watching President Obama greet the nation out in the open was extremely refreshing, if not a little bit nail-biting.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  116. Tom Ft Lauderdale

    Jack

    Sometimes leaders do foolish things to prove a point. I'm sure it's only the beggining of change

    January 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  117. honest john in vermont

    I don't think "brave" or "foolish" enters into it at all. I think it was the right thing to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  118. Ed Reed

    Unlike his predecessor, I have yet to see him do anything foolish.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    January 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  119. Joyce from Maryland

    Neither. Perhaps "risky", in veiw of all the "Crazies" who could have been waiting for an opportunity to do harm.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  120. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    COURAGEOUS! President Obama wanted to be seen by the millions whom had come to see him!

    May God bless Barack Obama, guide him and protect him!

    HOPE WON!

    January 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  121. Sandy

    It was American!...Face the dangers, face the fears, step out with pride and love for your country and your fellowman – the things our military do every day. Could our newest Commander 'n Chief do less?

    Sandy
    Texarkana, Arkansas

    January 21, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  122. emma, San Jose

    So very risky! High praise to the Secret Service who will be preserving his life!

    January 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  123. just me!

    He showed unbelievalbe bravery while I sat watching scared to death that something would happen.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  124. Hope M. Madisonville, KY

    It was both brave and foolish. I was praying the whole time he and
    Michelle were outside the car but he is the President of the people
    and we all loved that he wanted to show his gratittude to all the
    people who voted for him. I know he wants to be accessible to all
    Americans but he has to be careful since there are so many nut jobs
    out there who would hurt him if they could just to get their 15 minutes
    of fame.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  125. Jim/Greenboro

    There was not one person in that croud that would have made an attempt to harm the Obama's. It was a lovefest. It was not risky at all.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  126. Robert A. Hoke

    Mr. & Mrs. Obama's walk outside the protection of the "Beast" was truly very reckless. I am sure their security detail experienced a heart-pumping experience – to say the least. I understand Mr. Obama, last week, has already indicated that he will not be able to keep some of those promises he stated during his campaign. Isn't that tipical f all politicians. I just can't wait to hear what other promises he will omit. Seen one politician – seen them all.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  127. Mickie

    I think they were brave just to run for such an office, but having obtained it, being in the public is part of the job. I pray for their safety and for the decisions Pres. Obama will have to make because it is a mess he has been left with.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  128. Gigi in Alabama

    During these times I suppose it was a bit of both. It did not surprise me at all because Barack Obama wants to be among the people and not be cloistered in the White House.
    I pray that the security around him is good enough that he can be exactly what he wants to be.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  129. erico mb33139

    As I watched, I was praying that the Secret Service would cover any rogue attack on the newly elected President. In these days and times, the specter of terror is all around. As a die hard Republican, I can only wish Mr. Obama the best for the next four years.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  130. Melissa

    Brave. He knew there was a very real chance he'd get shot but he did it anyway, directly thumbing his nose at those that would try to harm him. Great move.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  131. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    It was heroic. He won't be a leader who scuttles here and there in deep secrecy shielded from everyone but sycophants.

    As the Commander in Chief it is good for moral to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Greatness doesn't cower from its citizens. He's a leader America will follow..

    January 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  132. gail Centre, Al.

    He is taking too much for granted, In his mind everyone is elated about him being the new President, which is not so.It was a very foolish thing for him to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  133. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Not brave or foolish, it was American tradition...and cold...brrr

    January 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  134. Derek Wayne, New Jersey

    You can say both and you can say that this president isn't afraid of anything. What a way to show a good example.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  135. BD, Boise, ID

    It was brave and foolish both. And maybe that is why the American people love him so much. He's not afraid to take chances and he's not afraid to be among the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  136. Jerry Harris

    It would have been foolish on someone had they tried to harm the President.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  137. George from Tampa, FL

    It was Natural for Obama to step out of the limo. It is a quality of his down-to-earthness that Americans could identify with. Keep the Blackberry, Mr. President !!!

    January 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  138. Laura

    I voted for Obama and was enjoying the inauguration until I heard some commentators holding their breath and saying how brave he was to get out of the car and walk.

    I appreciated the significance of him becoming President but he is not Half African American President Obama, he is President Obama period.

    He's going to be doing that and much more over the next four years so lets try to do our part to further racial equality and remember he's just President Obama.

    San Angelo, Texas

    January 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  139. lou

    If Bush didn't get shot at after all the dumb stuff he pulled on us, I can't imagine anyone shooting at Obama so soon.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  140. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    Probable neither brave nor foolish. The Secret Service knew that the federal buildings were locked down and let the Obabmas walk along that section only of Pennsylvania Ave. Once they were approaching public buildings again, it was back in the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  141. Jay-San Antonio

    Neither, it was sensitive Jack and a means of connecting with the people with whom you have the responsibility to serve. Future Presidents should remember this. Dont lose the common touch.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  142. Dee (MI)

    Neither! From what I understand it was in a fairly secure area of FBI, Justice, and Court buildings. I'm sure that the secret service would not have let them do it if there was real danger. God bless President Obama and all those that work to protect him.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  143. Paula in Albuquerque

    In this country?..With its proliferation of guns?...Both, but, the President can be forgiven his obvious risk-taking, since his joy and exuberance overwhelmed him, riding in his limo...and, he had to stride, a bit, and share his happiness with his admirers...

    January 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  144. Joe in DE

    It was foolish, too great a risk.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  145. Sue from Redwood City

    I wish he wouldn't have done it. I was praying for his safety the whole time.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  146. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    i think our president decided if the Palin hate mongers want to show there foolishness let's get her done, It was foolish and put the secret service at risk, but he made his point.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  147. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    Jack, It's sad to say, but the Obamas walk yesterday, for me was a little frightening. Unfortunately, there are crazy people out there who might try to hurt him or his family. With Obama's election our country has crossed a significant threshold, but sadly, bigotry and hatred still lives in the hearts and minds of some.

    I hope and pray for our new Presidents safety and health.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  148. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    It is change, Jack, it is something Bush surely would not do!

    Jack

    January 21, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  149. Kellie, PA

    Brave. If he wasn't scared to walk hand and hand down Pennsylvania Avenue with his wife on Inauguration day, he's certainly no punk. I feel more confident that he has the backbone to be our country's Commander In Chief! But, I hope he doesn't do that again. I had heart pulpatations just watching.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  150. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    People get to see the ordinary man who climbed to the Presidency of United States of America

    January 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  151. Linda in Arizona

    Although it appeared impromptu, planning for the presidential walk started a month ago, according to reports. Residents of two condominium complexes at the location were required to supply the Secret Service with names of any guests they were planning to have on that day, and if they were not approved, they were not allowed to enter. Similar restrictions were also placed on rooftop access to the condominiums from the Pennsylvania Ave and 7th Street location where the Obamas and Bidens got out of the limousine to 12th Street where they got back, and beyond. Personally, I wish they had all stayed in the Beast, but President Obama doesn't want to live in a bubble. How ironic, considering he is under greater threat than bush or cheney, who demanded the bubble, ever were. I hope he cuts it out and soon because every time he does something that puts him at greater risk, I have heart palpitations until it's over. SS doesn't call him "Renegade" for nothing, you know, and I don't like it that they do.

    January 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  152. Meg Ulmes

    Jack–
    I thought that it was brave. I know that there have been several plot s and threats on his life that have surfaced in the past few months. I thought that it was important for him to show that he is going to follow the traditions of the past as other presidents have done. I think that he did the right thing.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  153. Barbara - NC

    Neither, Jack. He wanted to be close to the people and the SS allowed the walks in the most secure areas.

    THINK

    January 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  154. Jackson from Tennessee

    Good afternoon Mr. Cafferty,

    I think it is worth the risk. Having a connection with the people of America is extreamly important. It also seems so much apart of Pres. Obama's presonality that it would have been unnatural for him to stay inside his fortress on wheels. However, he does need to understand that a certain amount of seperation is nessasary..

    Jackson from Tennessee

    January 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  155. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Given that it was a predictable event, it was foolish. As you pointed out, since Carter, this has been the tradition. Obama has two elements of threat not faced by earlier Presidents, more active terrorists willing to attack in the US, and the whole white supremist threat. Despite the heavy security, some wacko only needed to get a little bit lucky.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  156. affy

    the bravest thing president obama did was trusting a bush appointed supreme court justice not to mess up during the swearing in..

    January 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  157. Merry, Georgia

    I thought that was not wise – however, To god be the glory. I actually turned off the tv set as I thought – "are they crazy?" I prayed and did not want to witness anything foolish on such a glorious day. It just shows that the Obama's have guts (exactly what this country needs). They have faith and trust in the American people to do the right thing.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  158. Sam

    It was very brave from him. The REAL CIA(THE CHRIST INTELLIGENCE AGENCY) is out there protect him.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  159. garrick

    hi jack
    it was bold,but he had faith in the security around him and he wouldnt have put his wife in danger,he knew they would protect him,great job to our security force.
    clearwater,fl

    January 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  160. Lesa from Jackson TN

    It wasn't brave nor foolish. It was courageous.

    If you have hate in your heart, you will see hate. He's a good man and doesn't see hate. And boy, oh boy the haters are out there and I pray to God that they stay put. Live and let live.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  161. James in TN

    I thought was brave, but I was really hoping he would. All Presidents since J immy Carter has walk in the parade and nothing has happened. Not to say it want in the future but it makes you feel good when the President can be comfortable enough to step out in the open.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  162. john marlton NJ

    I quess it depends on whether the risks were real or preceived?

    January 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  163. Jeff Crocket

    Neither! It was righteous! And from the heart!

    January 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  164. Maria

    When Mr. President got out of the limo with Michelle and walked about four blocks. The moment I saw that, I knew he believed that he was just like anyone else. He's a true rolemodel and I commend him for the journey he's been through.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  165. Meagan- Baltimore, MD

    Neither. I'm sure he knows there will always be a risk during his presidency, but if he's going to stay behind bullet-proof glass for the next four years, he should just give up now.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  166. Gaynor

    It was Obama living up to all that he promised for america

    January 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  167. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    I consider it brave. He has the courage to do it so all the power to him. I do worry though. All the people who hated Bush were primarily peaceful folk with good hearts. Most of the people who dislike Obama are mean and nasty – the type to kill.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  168. reggie riggins

    Nothing at all Jack, Nothing at all...

    January 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  169. Maria

    I thought it was very brave of him. But I also believe the Secret service were about to crap their pants.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  170. LaShawn Brown

    Niether

    It was faith, Jack. Pure faith

    LaShawn Brown
    Chicago, Illinois

    January 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  171. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    It was neither. He knew what it took for those Americans to be there. How thrilling it must have been for them when the Obamas exited the beast. I imagine the secret service advised them of the most secured areas to do this in. My sense is that this is the kind of president he will be, I only hope he will always always carefully consider the risks before exposing himself to danger. He's fighting the bubble, and I think the secret service has it's work cut out for it.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  172. Lynwood F. Mundy

    President Obama when he was a Junior Senator showed what Americans needed to hear: Change in the way government is run ,a possible way out of Iraq, a change in the nations economic woes, loss of jobs, foreclosures and a new respect around the world.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  173. Phil from TX

    I think it took great courage to get out and walk with all of the past events of violence against African Leaders.....But listening to the crowd when he did get out made me think the Beatles had come back!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  174. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    I read that he wore a bullet-resistant suit. It was what he and everyone who waited for hours to see him wanted, so I think it was appropriate.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  175. Tom from Philly

    Not cowardly is a better word. Everyone knows the most dangerous murderers are young white males. The separation of baby boomers to generation X is the difference between pre and post racist america, about 45 years old now. The people that hate obama the most are old white southern republican men and the top 5% of income earners. Old white southern republican men are only dangerous in the senate or presidency(bush, mccain), and the top income earners prefer white collar crime (madoff). I think even the ignorant masses has figured out now that assinating a pivotal figure only deifies them (consider jesus, jfk, and mlk) it helps the oppositions cause, it doesnt hurt them. While bush tried to bring us to a government like hitler's, he thankfully didnt succeed. You'd have to kill ALL blacks or jews everywhere in the world or their is a recoil and strengthening of their cause...

    January 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  176. Karen - Missouri

    Michelle and Barack showed respect to the American people regardless of the risk. My hat's off to them!

    January 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  177. Grace, Florida

    I am surprised that President Obama continues to be as open and accessible as he was throughout his campaign. He seems so warm and caring to the American people that I believe he will continue to draw detractors and skeptics toward him. His stated hopes for the presidency are refreshing and reassuring. I'm really glad to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world, and I am inspired to go out and do more for other people because I feel a greater sense of duty and fellowship with my fellow citizens.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  178. George

    Risky yes, brave maybe, but nothing could have fit the moment more perfectly. The streets of American should be safe for all to walk, at any time of day, or night, or any time chosen to do so, but unfortunately there are some who make victims of people in the street. It is my belief that this will not be tolerated much longer. That is my hope...

    January 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  179. Sheila Welch

    I am Canadian and like many here watched the inauguration with great interest and yes like many others held my breath when he and Michelle got out to walk. It showed he has the strength and courage to face his presidence head on and not hide behind bulletproof glass. He is the peoples president, I hope he stays that way. Whenever Ceaser rode his chariot a man rode behind him and when Ceaser started to get to proud the man would say, "remmeber you are only a man" I will pray that Presisdent Obama keeps that in mind. He is only a man and that with Gods help will serve his people well

    January 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  180. Pete, Fla.

    George Bush did it twice and survived, and apparently everyone actually hated him.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  181. Natalie Dayton Ohio

    In my opinion his walk was neither brave nor foolish. I think it was the choice of a man whose faith in God and the American people permits him to do what others are afraid to do – trust in God's blessing for what he deems is "the right thing to do" – no matter what that might be. Jack, I just hope that people will give him the room he needs to be himself as he tries to clean up what has been a mess over these last 8 years. He'll make mistakes but lets trust his judgement and that God will continue to keep him safe from the whack-o's out there.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  182. Crystal Hill Newport News, VA

    I think it was very brave of him to walk. He already knew the risks of stepping out the limo. I did feel relieved when he got back in though because there are Foolish people out here!

    January 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  183. Lesley L.

    Wasn't brave or foolish. It was choreographed. The secret service knows what they are up against. I am sure that he walked only at heavily screened areas of the parade route.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  184. Joe ,, South Carolina

    Jack I think Donna het a home run.. Obama never brought up the race issue one time. He ran as an American with a visionm and that is why a 79+ year old southerner from South Carolina never saw his color.. We saw just a very talented man.. When I was a kid if someone told me that I would ever see a black president, I would ask what is he drinking..

    January 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  185. GD

    What surprises me is the fact that Pennsylvanian's would vote for a black man for President. I never thought I would see the day. But we did; overwhelming did it. I love Pennsylvania now, it is a great State to live in.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  186. Ed

    He didn't get shot therefore it was brave.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  187. frankie

    It was cool. And he is walking the walk not just talking the talk today in the Congress, too.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  188. Naeem

    He was compelled to do it: how could he leave all those paraders, wishing for nothing more than a glance of him, hanging?

    January 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  189. john menke

    Twice the voters showed disinterest in the importance of quality of mind (roots in intellectual curiosity and inqury) in selecting George W. Bush; then they suddenly selected Barack Obama, who is an icon for that trait.
    What caused them to suddenly select intellectual and ethical excellence?

    January 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  190. D - Atlanta, GA

    Perhaps a little bit of both. I applaud his efforts to put himself out there for the people who elected him. I felt as though it was his last hurrah before he moved inside “the bubble”. I truly believe President Obama is “the people’s president” and he wants to be in touch with us as best he can, given the circumstances. I was pleased to see that they did not expose the girls; however, that simple move made a lot of people’s day and, considering it worked out okay, I was happy to see him take that chance.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  191. JIM FALLBROOK CA

    We all know what happened when Jimmy Carter was elected president. He wound up being the worst president in history and was a Democrat. This may be a prelude of things to come. President Barack Hussein Obama may give Jimmy Carter some competition.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  192. Ken in NC

    It was neither brave or foolish. It was courageous. Even greater than taht, it was the decision of The President.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  193. Leo R.

    My wife and I couldn't believe our eyes. Frightening images of JFK haunted us, and as African Americans I know we felt the collective lump in the throat as we watched. We were thoroughly relieved when they got back into the limo. Funny, I hear there were zero arrests by the police in DC yesterday. Could that be a sign of something?

    January 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  194. Hen, Jacksonville FL

    Regaurdless of whatever its brave or foolish, Obama has the protection of the secrete service. Obviously they must have some security around him. Otherwise he would probably be parading in "the beast" which won't look good.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  195. Dave from Maryland

    I have to admit that I was a little scared when they got out of 'THE BEAST' and started walking. I can't say I was surprised because this leader is truly one of, for and by the PEOPLE.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  196. Albert

    It's a sad commentary on any society when a person, any person... not to mention the President of basically "The Free World" can't walk in the streets of this/his "Home of The Brave" Will this ever change? Can he help change that too?

    January 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  197. geri

    Nothing surprises me about Obama's ability. What does surprise me is the voters ability to get it right this time.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  198. Sherry Benedon

    Great decision, shows he has little fear. But "as if Elvis suddenly appeared..." sorry, if that were the case there would have been a lot MORE than just screaming and cheering.... think about it!

    January 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  199. pHil

    It was nice to see his bravery and wanting to connect to the crowd. But it seemed very risky and maybe not needed at this time. First we need him to be as safe as possible to atleast enjoy the presidency for some time.

    His security team seems to be doing an extraordinary job but I hope they diligently do their job because I know it may be many threats.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  200. Andre Hamilton

    Obama lives his life like he will run the country, without fear.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  201. Luther

    Niether. A cockroach in gym shoes could not have gotten into the walking area without secret service knowledge. We the people have no idea how secure President Obama was at that time.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  202. Jasper Lucas - Sicklerville, NJ

    The thing that has surprised me most about Barack Obama's climb to the the Presidency is the passionate support he has received from white Americans. As a black man, I knew that race relations had improved in America, but this election has shown me just how much. Some white Americans have been just as moved, if not more, by Barack Obama's election and inauguration as black Americans have.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  203. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, the walk was neither brave or foolish. It's a shame that we live in a era where these types of questions are even asked. The best man won the race and we as Americans should get behind the guy. We want to see Obama succeed, period. He's the only American politician, other than Bill Clinton, who can inspire people both in America and around the world. Other countries around the world want America to take the lead once again and with Obama, America will lead.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  204. STAN - ILLINOIS

    I thought they did what the croud wanted them to. The President and Michelle are so down to earth and care about people, you knew they were going to get out and greet everyone.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  205. Jasper Lucas - Sicklerville, NJ

    I don't believe it was either brave or foolish for President Obama and the First Lady to leave the limo and walk several blocks during the inaugural parade. It's been obvious for some time now that President Obama puts his faith in God to guide and protect him, as well as the Secret Service. Why, on the biggest day of his life, as well as in the lives of millions of Americans, would he do anything different?

    January 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  206. L.M.,Arizona

    I still don't think the news media understands the deep hatred of Bush
    I really feel and I think Obama understands that right now there is no one gunning for him. I don't feel there is a general hatred of American throughout the world maybe it is naive,but I think Bush and his gang were hated both here and aboard and we have a honeymoon period to get things back in order and that might mean leave people alone.

    L.M.,Arizona

    January 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  207. Lynn, San Diego County

    I think it showed good sense, he walked where it was the safest that could be afforded by security and then trusted God and the people- it took courage that's for sure, but not fool-hardiness – pure OBAMA and lets here it for the First Lady – she was right by his side – and the Bidens were not shrinking violets either – America has chosen well.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  208. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    It was both brave and foolish. In his defense, he only walked down an area where Federal buildings were under total 'lock-down.' My guess is the Secret Service advised him accordingly. It was obviously unplanned– you could see the discomfort of Michelle. But it was brave in the sense that this is not just a new President ... its a new Era ... one where the connection of the government and the public will be enhanced like never before ... something historians will write about in years to come.

    Rick, Medina OH

    January 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  209. Cori from Colorado

    It was a little bit of both; foolish bravery. Foolish because he walked knowing he received threats on his inauguration day, and brave because he didn't let it get to him and took the risk. Brave fool.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  210. Karl from SF, CA

    It wasn't foolish, so I guess it was brave, but as long as everyone knew where Rush Limbaugh was, it wasn't all that brave, either.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  211. Nuwan

    Neither Jack, Obama is peoples president. He is peoples leader. He wanted to pay tribute to those people who eagally waiting to see with pride and hope. There is no heroism of foolishness in that. I think he did what he thought he must do.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    January 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  212. David in Raleigh, NC

    Can you say foolish. With all of the crackpots who don't want an African American President. Making yourself a target is not a smart thing to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  213. Beverly-NYC

    Jack:

    The President is damned if he did and damned if he didn't. I was glad to see that he did not put himself in further jeopardy by going over to the crowd and shaking hands. How could he not get out and walk when hours ago he said that Americans shouldn't apologize for their way of life or change it. The President walking on Inauguration day is expected.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  214. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    Considering this countries history, certainly foolish, but also very historic. He can't live his life in a bubble, the security was top notch!

    January 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  215. Lynn

    It wasn't brave or foolish, but merciful. Honestly, I didn't think it was possible for cars to drive slower than a turtle can walk. I'm grateful the president took mercy on us by getting out and walking to speed it up.

    January 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  216. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    Yes it was brave, but absolutely needed. No matter what, he has to be there and open. Bush hid behind security and that was part of his downfall.
    I am quite sure the Secret Service knows their job and would not have allowed him out if there was a credible threat. Although watching Obama, he may have ignored them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  217. Darren

    He's a president for the people and you can tell by all of his actions, great and small.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  218. Ralph Nelson

    Foolish. There's lots of racists in this country and lots of poorly educated people and lots of people who never got their 15 minutes. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  219. johnr

    What surprises me is so far he is not acting like a self-serving, looney left liberal – we'll see how long that lasts.......

    January 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  220. gina

    brave and foolish x2. god bless him and us all.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  221. Richard Cayce

    Neither......It was political!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  222. Angie-Ohio

    He was brave. He wanted people to know he is not afraid. If he can take on the mess bush left behind, walking a couple of blocks was nothing.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  223. Cap

    It was great. He showed us that you can't live your life in fear...good for him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  224. Melanie in Arkansas

    Both!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  225. Alexander Riccio

    Jack,
    Bravery is the greatest form of insanity.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  226. Kristi

    I don't think it was either foolish nor brave; I think it was necessary. If Obama is going to be a peoples' president, then interaction with the people is paramount. I also think it was a move of faith on his part that the American people should be perceived as basically good.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  227. Steve, Waverly-Ohio

    I don't think it was foolish at all, but more of a modern tradition.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  228. Stavan Desa,i New York

    Foolish... But I respect him for it. You can't govern with a fear of assassination.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  229. Erika

    It was cold...

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  230. Nancy

    I think he was brave and I think it was important for him to do. It showed a few things. I am here, and I am not afraid of you. I am here and I am in charge, I am here and I am human.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  231. Ron from SF

    It was neither. Unlike Bush, Obama didn't have to fear Eggs being thrown at him, ala 2001 or...shoes.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  232. Ryan F. Oxford, MS

    It was perfectly ok. Yes, he is the leader of the free world. However, he is a human being. I would bet he is in no more danger taking that walk (or even less danger) than flying in an airplane or traveling any other way.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  233. Phlegon

    I think it was brave because, for him to walk about, i dont know two miles without protection then thats brave, He's bold for doing that.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  234. Jeff, Marietta GA

    Obama wants to show the American public he's still one of them, even if he is forced to live in a bubble. The highest office in the land doesn't have to be so high that normal people can no longer see it.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  235. John

    We may think of it as brave, but President Obama most likely thought it was something he should do. He realizes the people are responsible for his success and, unlike many politicians, placed his trust in those who have shown so much trust in him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  236. Sofia

    I think it was crazy!! I mean, it's great that he wanted to let the people see him, but I was holding my breath the whole time praying that he wouldn't be yet another assassinated president!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  237. Tina

    It was brave and presidential for President Obama to walk the parade. He is the president, and walked the walk of a president. Please Mr. President, don't do it so often.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  238. Amy Nelson

    If it has to be one of them, then it was brave. It was what he had to do. He cannot talk about "hope over fear" and then stay in the limo the whole time. He is a leader and needs to show that he is not afraid.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  239. Ken S

    Neither. I hope that he would, considering the history that we are making. I would expect it.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  240. Michele

    If it is foolish to show the world you are brave and strong then so be it. I think it was essential to exit the "wonder car" and be a president for the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  241. Calvin

    Obama walking outside the car was necessary for his image. Obama won the election partially because of the symbolic value, because Obama was viewed as a youthful, optimistic face of the future of America. It's a lot harder to be inspiring if people can't see you.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  242. Kacbz

    It was brave and foolish – it is what they people were there for, we may not get a glimpse of him much going forward. I am sure it was a nightmare for the Secret Service, but I am glad he did it, both times...

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  243. Liz in CA

    It was brave. This is a man who understands that our military are under threat of death every day in combat. Our new President showed he has the courage to be open and available, especially to those who helped elect him. Bravo!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  244. Monique

    although it was stressful for the CIA, it was expected by the public, and celebrated by all.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  245. Diane

    Probably a little bit of both. I'm sure the crowd of supporters were happy to see the Obamas, but I must admit I would breathe a sigh of relief when they got back in their limo. Whew!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  246. Scott

    Brave for sure. He wanted to get up close and personal as much as possible as he wants to be the President of the people, all the people, not just a select few if you get my point. The last 8 years.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  247. Peter

    It was neither brave nor foolish. It was something that had to be done to show the American people that he is one of us, and not just an image of an American like so many past Presidents.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  248. Darian

    I think that it was very very brave, but for a President like himself who continues to state the importance of staying connected with the people, he had to get out of the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  249. April Jimenez

    Niether foolish nor brave, but expected. Maybe I'm used to it with a husband in Iraq, but it comes with the job.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  250. Rod Washington

    It was brave of President & Mrs. Obama to walk during the parade. I'm sure many of us were nervous about the decision. But, this President want to remain in contact with the American people. He does not want to appear elitist or sheltered. He showed that during his campaign and I think he'll show it during his Presidency.

    Rod Washington
    Monroe, LA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  251. Paul

    Jack,
    Fear no more. People are more than bulletproof. Remember, this was in DC not Texas.

    Paul
    Chantilly

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  252. Debbie

    I thought it was very foolhardy. I hope he won't do anything like that again, as we want nothing bad to happen to him.

    D.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  253. Mia-Stafford, VA

    It was the RIGHT thing to do! If people can come out and BRAVE the cold to get a glimpse of their President the very least the President can do is get out of the car and BRAVE it. Secret Service has a job and they have done a good job so far and I expect them to keep doing it without complaint.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  254. Carol

    It was human.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  255. jay

    I think that it was brace but at the same time I pretty sure that Obama knew what he was doing, I"m pretty sure it was planned, and that secret service had every thing under control.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  256. Chad Foster

    I believe he was neither brave nor Folish, He was just being him knowing God I walking along side him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  257. Becky - nyc

    Body double!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  258. Becky

    It was American! He knows the people need to see him and know they can trust him. It's AMERICAN!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  259. Norman

    I think it's great that President Obama and the new First Lady were able to walk on Pennsylvania Avenue. Yes, it might be considered a security risk, but at the same time, what is America if the President can't take a quick stroll in the Nation's capital? It was a risk worth taking, in my opinion. We can't spend our lives living in fear.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  260. Andrew

    I don't think it was foolish at all. The president must balance his safety and his need to be seen. It is Important to the American people to get to know the President personally, and have a sense of closeness to him. If the Secret Service keeps the president out of the public eye that would be impossible.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  261. Sharon L.

    VERY bad idea, very foolish, I had to turn off the TV while they were walking, he made ME nervous.. All you need is one nut and he put the lives of the Secret Service agents in jeopardy.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  262. Dan from Chicago, IL

    Of course it was brave, u can't show the world that you will hide from it's dangers, but confront them

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  263. Andrew Crivilare

    Can't it be both? He knows there are risks when he is exposed like that, and sure it's a foolish thing to do, but it was also very brave thing at the same time. Wasn't lying to the American people about the WMDs a foolish thing that took a lot of bravery?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  264. Ash

    Foolish, Foolish and more foolish.. as an Obama supporter.. even standing out in the freezing weather, I'd rather he be safe...

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  265. Debra Brown

    It was brave, but I held my breath and prayed the whole time! It made want to be brave too! God bless our new leader. Debra

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  266. Antonio from Champaign, IL

    I think it was brave and foolish. He is the first African-American president and I'm sure many are upset by that and may be out for him. I am very excited that he was able to get out and walk around with any problems!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  267. Doc Jim

    Neither – it's tradition.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  268. Craig Ciccone

    The decision was brave if I must chose between just those two options. This was the possibly most public moment of his presidency and breaking with tradition over fear of his own citizens would send a terrible message. He did the right thing.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  269. Mando

    Jack, I think this was a way of him laughing at all the threats he had received. He sure showed all them people what a brave leader we now have. I applaude him and congratulate him for pulling this feat.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  270. Wyatt Bryson

    It was neither brave nor foolish. It was a necessary statement being made to his supporters. He is still one with the people and needed to show that he is very different from George Bush.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  271. Patrick Jean Baptiste

    It wasn't foolish at all. He's the president so he's expected to interact with the people publicly. If people remember the inauguration at all, they'll precisely remember that moment as he exited the limo and interacted with them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  272. Michael

    No, it was not foolish. If he misses doing things like this, then let him do it. Its not foolish, its just what he likes to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  273. patti dilley

    I have never seen anyone like this in my lifetime. He needs to be careful. He is the hope for all the world!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  274. Katherine Layton UT

    Is this really even a question? By him getting out of the car, he showed us that he is very brave and courageous and has faith in his countries citizens, which is what need need from our president, especially now.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  275. Thomas Wall

    I think it was very brave of President Obama to walk for several blocks during the Inaugural Parade. In some ways it was also foolish! I kept waiting for something (another JFK tragedy) to happen but thankfully, it never did!

    Thomas Wall, 23, Ottawa Canada.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  276. Jacque

    He was Brave (only because I have to choose between the two options). I can expound on my choice, but I think the scripture below explains it enough.

    "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  277. Daniel M.

    well it might not have been the smartest thing to do, but hes the president and he needs to interact with the people as scary as it might be hes a brave man.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  278. Michael Roberts

    Brave AND intelligent. A calculated risk maybe, but an important symbol of accessibility and connection. Franky, I think Bush was at a bigger risk riding his mountain bike or eating pretzels.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  279. Jean L

    Nuts and terrorists like a challenge. The Obamas walking around unprotected is child's play. They would rather put their minds to tacking on "the beast." I think that limo makes him more vulnerable! The walk made him part of us. The SS picked the best spot.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  280. Diana

    It was neither brave or foolish- It was presidential.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  281. Hello Long Island, NY

    The "assasins" wouldn't be ready for him to get out(as nobody was) therefore not prepared with a weapon.. But also he needs to show the "assasins" 'I'm not afraid of you"

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  282. Kenneth Leidal

    It was foolish. I mean, didn't Kennedy want to get closer to the citizens too by riding in a convertable? Obamas election is a big step, and there are always those that are against big changes and are radical enough to try to do something against it.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  283. Shawn

    I think it was very brave of him to do so. He showed how he wasn't going to halt a presidential tradition, that would be letting the 'bad guys' win.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  284. Gail

    Barack Obama wasn't being brave or foolish for leaving the confines of his secure vehicle. He was just being...

    Gail S. • Milwaukee, Wis.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  285. Chris

    Both.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  286. Marlene

    It was both brave and foolish. Yes, we are all concerned for his safety (except those on the dark side, no pun intended), but he can't be accessible without making himself appear normal, even though his life is no longer anything near normal. I'm glad he did it, but I'm glad nothing bad happened.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  287. Matthew Samuelson

    I think it was brave, it signifies his refusal to live in fear; A good quality for the leader of this country.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  288. Kevin

    Obama's parade walk was foolish because the US is relying so much on his leadership. However, I must commend him on his set of brass balls.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  289. Yola charbel

    I think he showed courage getting out of he presidential car and walking a few blocks with the first lady. They seemed at ease but I can feel the tension of the secret service surrounding them. I think it was courageous and showed how powerful he really is.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  290. CPT LANGLEY

    I believe it was a BRAVE move....and I believe the PRESIDENT was trying to show the people even more he is for and of the people....I think it was great...let the people see their PRESIDENT!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  291. Susan

    Neither, it was inspirational.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  292. Caitlin

    I think it was presidential of him to get out of the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  293. Suzanne

    Both...but neccessary to show that he is willing to face fear head on. I too held my breath when President and Mrs. Obama walked, but was thrilled they did so. That's when I cried tears of happiness.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  294. MDS

    Jack,

    In a time where the media is telling us we need to be pee-our-pants scared of something new every ten minutes, I appreciate that President Obama did something simple yet potentially frightening.

    It's a time to stop being scared of every turn of the corner. Time to lay off Shark Week and terrorists in your closets. Toughen up, bunker down, and remake ourselves. If he can do it, why can't anyone?

    Maggie,
    Pittsburgh, PA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  295. Terry

    Jack, I think we should start keeping track of how many "who cares, these are mindless questions you pose each week." Your carbon footprint could be reduced.
    Terry
    New Jersey

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  296. Alex Caraballo

    I feel it was neither foolish nor brave. President Obama was in no immediate danger because washington was completely locked down and anyone who was on the parade route had to go through security checkpoints. The Secret Service is the most dedicated agency in the government. Still, in this world anything can happen and it is a bit of relief when he got back in the presidential limousine.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  297. Mark from Buellton CA

    Neither brave, nor foolish. It was simply the right thing to do.

    Everything you or I do has an element of risk. Some things are, inherently, riskier.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  298. David M.

    I don't think that his walk was foolish by any means. WHile he is now in the bubble of the presidency, he was walking down pennsylvania Ave. between government buildings that are excessively secure. The secret service, while unable to guarantee his safety at that time, did not let him out at any other point on the route. He was let out only during the most secure times. Had this been main street USA, the situation would be largely different. Also it was a must for him to get out of the limo, due to his popularity, connection to the people, and the precedent he has now set with his election.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  299. Marcia Blake

    Brave? Foolish? Neither. It was _necessary_.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  300. eric arrington

    Jack: the Obams's inaugeration walk was neither brave nor foolish. It's just what is required of competent leadership of a government "by the people, of the people, for the people"

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  301. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    It may have been both brave and foolish but it has become something of a rite of passage. It's a chance for the new President to show he's not afraid of his people!
    Dicky Neely
    corpus Christi, Tx.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  302. Gino

    Brave move on Obama's part. Not only does it speak volumes on his trust in the American people but his confidence in his secret service detail not to mention the safety measures put into place for inauguration day.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  303. Kyle- 19

    The action of leaving the protection of his vehicle was a brave action on Obama's part. He understands the danger in doing it, and was willing to make that decision. He has always been a man who prides himself on his ability to make the risky call, and so far it has worked out beautifully. He shows he will not be intimidated. I wish him furthered success.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  304. Todd Christian

    Neither brave nor foolish, just characteristic of President Obama's desire to be connected to everyday people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  305. Dorcas

    I think it was brave but it's what the public wanted & he belongs to the public now. I have to admit I held my breath. I hope America has grown up now.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  306. Thomas Roy

    Brave. There is always risk, just by being President. Mister Obama and Mrs. Obama spoke of the risks as they entered into the fray, she saying, in words close to this, "Just being black means you can got shot at." So I salute them, for their bravery, for their wondrous audacity.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  307. Lin Gamel

    Foolish

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  308. Jan - Gibson City, IL

    Jack, I think it was really BRAVE. I was scared the entire time he was out there.

    One thing I've been concerned about, knowing that Obama is going in to his gilded cage, is that we, the PEOPLE, won't ever see him just being "a guy". That's his pull for me, watching him talk and seeing him smile, and now that he's president I'm not so sure we'll see much of that. The cold WEATHER has kept me stuck in the house for a week; I can only imagine how he must feel.

    So yes – I was terrified while he was out of the car for all the reasons everybody knows. But I can't deny I wasn't glad to see it.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  309. Sage from Annapolis, Maryland

    I am mixed on this one Jack. On the one hand, it was one of the highlights of the day and put a lot of joy into the hearts of the Americans watching. On the other hand, it was quite risky. The question is, why does a free nation such as ours harbor these monsters who place our Presidents under deadly threat simply because they disagree with the politics of the President.

    These people should be rooted out. Maybe they should be sent to Guanamo.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  310. Jeffrey Thompson

    It was neither, Jack.....it was necessary.

    Obama has shown himself to be a master of the media and communication to the public who elected him. This was a full body message to that public – I am accessible to you, as I promised I would be.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  311. peggy

    Brave. I was nervous...Glad they left their kids in the car. I am so proud of this family.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  312. Reggie

    It was both. Unfortunately, in this climate we live in no matter how much security Obama has in place, there are nutso's here and abroad who want to harm this man and will blow themselves to smithereens along with anyone else to harm him. It was brave because it shows he's a human being and wanted to give thanks on this historic day to the people, you know the the people who elected him President as as someone who lives in that region, no better place for the people to embrace you than a stroll down Pennsylvania Ave.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  313. Brian Cline

    Of course it wasn't foolish. Secret Service was obviously well-prepared. It's tradition – why shouldn't he? The act was another testament to his being a little more down to earth than we've been accustomed to of late. I don't see the big deal.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  314. Henderson Mitchell III

    It was neither brave nor foolish but rather presidential.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  315. Karen L.

    Jack, this is one situation where it's loose-loose for President Obama. If he puts himself out there, he's a fool, if he stays behind glass and guards then he's too uppity, too scared, and doesn't connect to the common person. While I held my breath the whole time too, I couldn't help but admire his courage and faith that allowed him to show that he has accepted each aspect of his presidency, including the risks.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  316. Sam, Tulsa, OK

    President Obama leaving the limo to walk a few blocks was very brave. It helps to show the citizens that he wants to be in connection with the people. The President's security is very well trained, so the President was in good hands.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  317. Kevin Kelly

    I thought that is was great to see President Obama and the First Lady get out of the limo and walk for a small portion of the parade route. If he cannot walk safely down the street of our own nation's capital, then where can he? I think it sent a great message to the citizens of the US and the rest of the world, that he is not afraid and ready to face the challenges ahead.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  318. Carolyn

    I was nervous when he and Mrs. Obama got out of the car so far from the White House, I kept thinking to myself "please get back in the car so nothing happens to you" and was relieved when they finally did.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  319. Michael

    I was abrave of President Obama to get out of the limo because it continues to give the image that he and Michell are regular people just like us all and the power and prestige will not change them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  320. Dil

    Of course it was a brave thing to do. It says to the world that he is peaceful with the people who put him in charge.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  321. nancy

    I thought it was great to see the new president and first lady walking. He wants to be close and in touch with the people. He also wants to enjoy his life as a person and as a president. Nancy, Baton Rouge

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  322. Nick

    I Think that it was bad think about it he should not of did that verry bad i hope he will not do that

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  323. Kevin

    President Obama has been under tight security since he was elected in November. Even thought the threats are real it was necessary for him to walk down Pennsylvania Ave. to make a statement for Americans and his daughters–that fear is no longer going to control America.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  324. ginger

    we loved it when he got out of the car-what a treat for the American people-we are so thrilled that Obama is our new president-our American pride is back-I grew up in the south during segregation and know how the blacks were treated-I am a 60 year old white female and think it is about time that "all are treated equal"

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  325. Colin

    It had nothing to do with bravery or being foolish, The people came to see Obama, they feel a connection to him and he showed he is still human.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  326. Derek

    Obama stepping out of the vehicle was a symbol of the trust he has in the American people. We trusted him with being the most powerful man in the world, he needed to show that he trusts us back.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  327. Nikolai

    I strongly believe that what president Obama did was brave and not stupid, because what he did represents in a way the treaths and risks he is willing take to uprise this economy again.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  328. Boniswa Zondani

    I think It was both foolish and Brave. It was foolish of him to leave the "beast knowing what kind of danger he's in, However he has shown that no threat can keep him from the millions that supported and voted for him. Seeing obama get out of that limo made me nervous though, i was praying for him to get back in the whole time for his security. Brave Man, i hope he stays that way forthe next 4 years.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  329. Sam Mountjoy

    It was brave for him to step out of his limo.
    He understood the risks and probably felt the benefits of his people seeing a strong unabashed president walking amongst them outweighed the risk of assassination.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  330. Gustavo Garcia

    it was the right thing to do. If we can't protect our President here in the USA, how can the world expect us to lead in some many trouble areas of our planet.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  331. Sherman Gordon

    President Barack Obama getting out of the armed limo to greet the several thousands of people vying to get a glimpse of him indicates to the American public that he wants them to trust him as he trust them. He is not the first and should not be prevented from doing such because of the enormous popularity surrounding him. At some point faith requires you to act bold.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  332. Stefan

    That was the highlight of the day for me! Also the fact the he got out twice made it even more amazing! I do have to admit I also was holding my breath when he decided to get out of "The Beast" but seeing him with that smile and with all those people screaming and cheering just showed the world that he isn't scared to show himself in order to please the people he is leading. That is something that I will always remember and will always wish that I could of been there.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  333. Brandi

    Brave & Refreshing. With everyone so afraid for him it was so wonderful to see him get out and walk... it showed true confidence in the American people. He means what he says and consistently shows it. Even if it worries the secret service.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  334. Fred Nance Jr.

    That was a foolish move for President Obama. President Obama needs to understand that you cannot please all the people, all the time. President Obama put our hopes and desires for a new direction in jeopardy when he left his protection. We as a people, the United States of America, need him alive so that he can carry out his mission of healing and finding new direction for our country. It is okay to say no sometimes.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  335. CM

    Jack, it was brave and foolish. It was brave because there was the potential to be a target from a protester and he showed the world that he was not afraid. It was foolish for the same reasons, but he is President so he can do what he wants. I felt proud and happy for the audience to be able to see and interact with him. Thanks.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  336. George

    Pres Obama understood the risks and his stepping out of the limo was a risk he was willing to take. Good begets good and Obama proves just that. He has nothing to worry about – not yet anyway.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  337. Parker

    Obama is smart to maintain his connection with the very people who elected him. Sure, some care needs to be taken, but some risk is inherent with the job and shouldn't stop Obama from getting out of the protection bubble.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  338. Storm

    It was very brave. I was excited yet nervous when the Obamas got out to walk. With so many backward-thinking racists, who knew what to expect. I applaud President Obama to move the country in the right direction with just a simple showing of faith.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  339. Dave in Nashville

    Jack, Obama's walk was neither brave nor foolish. It was simply presidential.

    Dave in Nashville

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  340. Ian from Los Angeles

    There were always be brave a foolish moves made by any President. Whether in a "Beast", with a pen, or just by the comments he makes.
    But when it comes down to such an historical day, a day that will live on in the memories of today and tomorrow, that a brave or foolish doesn't apply here. It is the moment in which a President, expecially President Obama, thought of it more of circumstance then the question asked.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  341. craig johnson

    Can you Dallas 1963? I agree with the Secret Service. All it takes is one laspe in security and history will be altered twice in one day. The President knew coming in that he would be living in a bubble.

    Craig Johnson
    Oshkosh, WI

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  342. Gary

    It was good that he wanted to get closer to the people but foolish in that not only does he have the same security concerns as any sitting president but also the security nightmares created by right wing hate groups who wish him harm because of the color of his skin. Other presidents have never had the latter concerns.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  343. David Magnusson

    Neither Brave nor foolish: But truly needed! A real leader. Why did Patton jeep up to the front with nothing more than a pearl grip 45 caliber sidearm? Same reason. To exhude true leadership.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  344. Bobby W.

    It definitely was not brave, and I wouldn't say it was foolish either. I would say it was very risky, not only because he is the newly found President of the U.S, but because his is the first Black President of the U.S.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  345. Jonathan

    I don't think it was either foolish or brave. Considering that there were federal buildings on one side of the street while he was walking. I understand that he probably felt that he needed to get out and follow suite but he picked the most secure place on the parade route to do it. I don't blame him and glad that he did only walk there though, as I didn't vote for Obama, he is out president and would never want anything to happen to our commander in cheif.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  346. kathy

    I think there comes a time when a man has to take a stand against ignorance and show that he is not afraid.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  347. Scott

    when they walked in the parade, it was a show of force!!!

    right on!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  348. ME

    I think the task of running for president is Brave.. He is definitely a people's president, and I think he is willing to show himself to his employers up close and personal. Michelle and Barrak are an amazing couple for this country to have in office.. That being said I think our honeymoon with them will be a lenghty one :)

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  349. dijackson1978

    I don't think it was foolish or brave, but an expectation. I believe it the implicit duty of all freely elected leaders to, from time to time, greet and meet the citizens of the nation he or she is running. What better for the President to greet the citizens than during the inauguration? Yes...dangers exist, but they will always exist for the President of the United States. Fear should not manage any decision. This has been a consistent message of Obama's for some time now and I think he is walking the walk.

    De' Marcus Jackson
    Columbia, TN

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  350. Matt

    Jack, considering that the places where President Obama would walk where pre-planned, I think that there was no bravery or foolishness. The public wanted to see thier new leader, and the secret service and police made sure that they could, by keeping him as safe as possible.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  351. Richard S

    It was a great move. It showed faith in the American public and a strong president. If he stayed in the car it would show he has no backbone and isn't ready to lead our country.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  352. James Mckee : Peoria Illinois

    This was a very brave and needed move for Obama to take. He is going to be the President for the next four years if not more, and he cant live his presidency behind closed doors or in a limo. This step is a sign of belief that Obama believes that America as a whole can come togather and erase All Prior Racism and accept him as "Our President" and not as an "African American"!!! I think it was vital that he did that walk during the parade. Obama sees hope in us as Americans and we should see hope in him as President!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  353. Brent Fairfield CA

    I think it was great to see President Obama getting out and walking the parade route. He is about change and hope. By getting out and walking he is showing that we cant let the world put a blanket on us and make us scared. He wont be doing this all the time, we all know that. But Yesterday was a day that will go down in History and people needed to see him and see him in the open and not hidden behind 6 inched or glass and metal. I am proud that he is now our new President and I hope that He will keep up the HOPE for all of us to hold on to.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  354. Clare Braham

    It was wonderful to see the President & First Lady walking among the crowd. It was exactly what I would have expected from them. I'm sure it was a security nightmare. However, I couldn't help but think that if JFK had been in a "Beast" like the Obama's have – things would have been very different back in 1963.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  355. Marcia Kendall

    Of course it was brave of President Obama to walk along Pennsylvania Ave. It it sad that we as Americans have to worry for the safety of our chief executive officer in a country that prides itself on security and freedom. We must not allow ourselves to succumb to fear, and Mr. Obama is an admirable example of what can be achieved by setting a precedence of non-resistance and American values..."the land of the free and the home of the brave". I am proud of him!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  356. Alex Rincon

    What is bravery but ignoring what we know to be foolish?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  357. Margaret

    He can choose to do what he pleases.

    How could a man who believes in hope and the goodness and spirit of the American people stay in the limo? If he had not gotten out, what a message of fear that would have sent forth.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  358. Marsha

    I believe that it is always courageous to choose faith over fear. I am not surprised that he exited his vehicle and in a way dwelt among the people who elected him. It was to say that we are all in this together. It was a great moment.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  359. Delbie

    It was brave and courageous of President Obama to walk a couple of blocks. It brought him and his wife closer to the American people. It was a smart move in light of his colossal popularity. I don't think he should go into the presidential bubble that you are talking about.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  360. Paula Super

    We have an overblown idea of bravery and heroism in this country, mostly blown out of proportion by the press. They so love to hype everything.

    It was neither. It was a man doing what other presidents have done and letting the people see him in person. If we start putting him behind glass, what kind of image does that project? I hope he stays safe, but you can't live your life based on what others may want of you.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  361. ejmounsey Granville Ohio

    Both. EJM Granville Ohio

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  362. Alex Grant

    The new first couple getting out and walking is a sign. it shows that they are not afraid for their safety. Barack already has enough on his plate, he doesn't have time to worry about people who would wish to do harm. He trust the secret service to do their job and so must we.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  363. Dora, Round Rock, Texas

    He is a man of the people. The people are his passion. That is why he ran, why he felt the urgency of need as it relates to the times, and he felt the need to be near them. Just like Martin Luther King, courage trumps fear on this earth and the hereafter.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  364. MelissaInWpg

    I think it was incredibly brave for Obama to walk along Pennsylvania Avenue. I believe people around the world see it as a form of proof that times are changing and that he’s putting faith in the people to stand with him more than against him. I believe if he chose to stay in his vehicle the entire ride that people may begin to change their opinion of him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  365. Jeff Newgard, Oregon State University

    I find it impressive that the President got out of the limo to walk alongside everyone else in the parade. It showed that the leader of the free world is not fearful of enemies and that he is ready to face those who are against freedom and equality, both domestic and internationally.

    It shows the American people, and the rest of the world, that he is ready to lead and to be the People's President, just as many people thought of JFK to be.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  366. Rick

    If someone wants to shoot him they can at any time. What's to stop a sniper from shooting him as he was being sworn in?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  367. Venita Ross Franklin

    President Obama has always expressed a desire to remain as "normal" as possible. We know this is not possible being the most powerful person in our nation because of security reasons, but, I believe his decision to walk in the Inaugural Parade was their expression of "oneness" with us, the people he serves....and the decison to keep his Blackberry......are attempts to not be kept in a Presidential "bubble". Many Presidents in the past have made the mistake of not being in touch with the American people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  368. Kasey Beymer

    Neither, i understand that the secret service would be very tense about it but i know the security was VERY high there from the secret service you saw to the secret service you didnt see, plus SNIPERS and other law enforcement. so i would say he was safe to an extent but there are people out there that think they could expose a weakness in the secruity.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  369. Jennifer

    Just proves to everyone- When Obama said "We the People – He was including himself into the we.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  370. William Fenner

    It wasn't brave or foolish. It was necessary. When two million people come to see you, you have a responsibility to let them see you be it only for a few moment.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  371. Raymond Johnson

    That fact that President Obama exited the relative safety of his limousine was niether brave or foolish on his part. Not only was it in his nature to reach out to the crowds he has complete faith in the web of security that his Secret Service provides. It was simply something that he was compelled to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  372. erica

    I think it was courageous for him to get out and walk . It shows that he's not fearful (prime example of him running in the first place). Wow..my president is BLACK!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  373. Mary

    I think it was neither foolish nor brave but expected by the crowd, so the President and First Lady acquiesced. However, I, for one, was absolutely terrified for them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  374. mildred

    We were there for love, we have a president we can love, we have a president we would die for. He was safe yesterday with people from around the world and home. For the first time in years we can pray for our president and the prayers be heard. We love President Barrack H. Obama with all our hearts and we were there in Washington to say so! We love you Mr. President Obama

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  375. Sara Volk

    It was incredibly brave of both of them, and I was terrified for them both times. I've been terrified for him since he started running for the presidency. I was especially concerned when I saw that little banner with the sniper alert on the bottom of CNN's screen. What the hell was with that!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  376. Kelena Savala

    President Obama and Mrs. Obama where brave to step outside of the Secret Service scope of safety. To live in fear is to not live at all.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  377. Anug Saha

    It was both foolish and brave. For one he is he president and can't be scared by the people. But there are always some people that don't want Obama as president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  378. L.Sarrafzadeh

    I think it was very brave and also very necessary for President Barack Obama to get out of his limo to be seen by those he represents. I do believe that he walked in a more secure area, (government buildings) and that made it okay. He knows what he needs to do for those he represents and who also elected him and I believe that he will use good judgement in his decisions.

    Lidia S.
    Dallas, TX

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  379. Ashley

    I have to admit I was very nervous for the O'bama's as I saw them get out of the limo and start to walk the various blocks down the street. Looking closely i saw Secret Service men behind some people in the crowd.. but i was scared someone may have been in the buildings lining the streets. I think it was very brave but also risky!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  380. Nick

    I Was Verry Brave Though

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  381. Tasha-The Bahamas

    It was the greatest sign of his bravery.He was brave to enter the race and this was another way of showing how real he is.No matter what you do to protect yourself,when your number is called;you just got to go.President Bush did not see those shoes coming.Bet he was protected......He took a worthwhile risk.
    Bahama for Obama

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  382. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    getting rid of that bubble slowly is not a bad idea in itself since if people want a government of the people, and we are proud to say that our democracy is run and won peacefully; then our leader of the free world should aspire to be a free leader...at least reduce the risks!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  383. Mike in Studio City (CA)

    Love ya, Jack, but this is a silly question. I'm sure the secret service had Obama covered for the portion of the parade route he and Mrs. Obama walked.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  384. Brad

    Jack, President Obama made a great decision yesterday by exiting the beast. It wasn't foolish because the man is almost a GOD here on earth, but if Bush was to do it...ouch...I think he'd still be hearing Boo's

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  385. Alex

    It was definitely a brave move. He conveyed the message of "I'm not scared of you" to all his enemies. We don't need a coward as a president. Truly an admirable move.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  386. Daniel Beckwith

    I think Barack's walk shows that he's not afraid. He knows that he has a higher risk of assassination. Just like he knows that his new job will be strenuous and possibly scary with the state of things in this country. Take his walk as a metaphor of his fearlessness in the political arena as our new President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  387. Brian D

    I think each new Commander-in-Chief has to take the "walk" to appear to remain accessible to the masses. The general public cannot just walk into the White House and discuss our particular problems. The President should at least for a short while appear to be easily approached by the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  388. Diane Davis

    I think that if President Obama had not gotten out of his lemo during the Presidential parade, it would have shown the world that he is afraid and does NOT trust the protection the Secrete Svs. provides

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  389. Ray Victory

    It was without doubt a brave act. The personal danger is real and ever present. However,in a popular democratic society, as we like to describe ourselves, it is an important political act for the President to be seen as accessible, even if the reality is somewhat different. Any bystander wishing to advise the new President would have found out that accessibility is a mirage at best.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  390. Sterling in Texas

    Jack:

    It was neither foolish or brave. It was important, needed and courageous.
    I'm happy we were able to show-case our new president. We need to wave our flag, celebrate our new beginnings and shed the old image we used to have.

    I just hope he doesn't do this again.

    Sterling, Knot-2-Shabby Airport,
    just down the road from the Crawford Ranch.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  391. Cali

    It was more brave than foolish of President Obama to walk a few blocks after the inauguration. It shows the people that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to his safety and he trusts the security and has faith in a higher power. Just because he is now the President does not mean that he will be totally out of reach and won't listen to the people who's lives he has promised to improve. Barack Obama is in more ways than one, the man elected by the people and for the people because of his many acts such as this one.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  392. Lawanda

    I think he was being hisself not foolish but a man who knows the risk and at the same time is not scared of still being hisself. It was wonderful...........

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  393. Leslie Anne Davey, Canada

    Hi Jack,

    I think he was neither. He was very presidential and his people wanted to see him. I haven't seen this much excitement for a President since the Kennedy era (although perhaps I should say since the Reagan era).

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  394. Terrill Leff

    No....I thiink he realizes that you cannot live in fear. He took a leap of faith to run and won.....When he got out of the limo he took another leap and wanted to make the statement that he was the President of all the people and that he was not afraid to walk among them....

    Terrill Leff
    Charleston, South Carolina

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  395. ted bonebrake

    I dont think he was brave or foolish. He wanted to be close to the people, and it was decidedly more dangerous to walk. However, I dont think his motivation was to be hero, but to be a president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  396. EyeAm

    It was perhaps 'brave' (but not courageous – as courage requires there be a presence of fear, and I don't think Obama is one to really fear what comes). Foolish? I don't think so, in this case. I seriously doubt anyone is ever going to try and hurt him. He is not the previous President, which of course saw several attempted acts of violence (even if with shoes). :-)

    We've just left The Worst President In U.S. History...for one that is on the other end of the scale. With the state in which the union finds itself, I think even detractors of Obama (few as they are) will give a wide berth, and plenty of leeway.

    I suspect we'll see Obama ditch the Secret Service more than a few times during his term, to go off to places like ice cream shops and so forth – and it'll probably drive the Secret Service nuts when he does.

    Nothing bad will happen to Obama.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  397. DG

    It was brave of him to walk the couple of blocks. He knows that some people would like to assassinate him, he would rather face it head on instead of running like a coward. He knows racism is still alive and well, just look at the comments Rush made yesterday.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  398. Rita Ihekwaba

    I believe the Obamas (a strong team, by the way) were brave in walking down the streets to greet the cheering crowds. If the U.S. Secret Service cannot protect its President on his own street, i.e. if Pennsylvania Avenue was not fully secured on January 20, 2009, then this President will never feel safe throughout his regime. He cannot be expected to live in a cocoon for the next four years!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  399. Kevin Kanooni

    I do not think it was a question of whether it was foolish or brave, but one of necessity. It has been precedent and for all the claims he made regarding a more open Whitehouse it was almost required. All we have to really look forward to in regards to his protection is the watchful eye of the secret service and "The Beast"

    Los Angeles, CA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  400. Teddy

    It was brave of him. I was there waiting to see him since 7:30, it worth the waiting.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  401. matt

    hi cafferty,
    it is a foolish thing.because i dont know the reason of the limo and the secret service then.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  402. Curtis

    Jack,

    It was absolutely the right thing to do. Obama's entire campaign went in the face of insularity, and as a populist president, he had to show that continuity by showing his face, un-abashedly, to the crowd.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  403. Gordon Bell

    I feel it was brave. I wonder if there is there any truth to the rumor that President Obama's suit and shirt are made of some bullet resistant material? I told the person who told me this that JFK was hit in the head.

    One of the channels said the area was considered safe, wonder how they learned that?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  404. Carol in Georgia

    I think it was brave for almost 2 million people to attend the inauguration, with all the conditions they could have encountered. Because of the enormity of the situation, they threw caution to the wind to experience a moment of history. President and Mrs. Obama returned the favor, even in the face of possible danger. They showed the world their faith and their love of the people of this country. I, for one, appreciated seeing them walk the streets of their new neighborhood.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  405. Mike Montague

    Why can't it be both? It certainly requires both to want take on the job to begin with. It is a select few who will risk it all for the service of their country from the foot solder on up to the Commander in Chief. One can hope his risks become Americas rewards in due time.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  406. Reynald Georges, New York, NY

    It was sort of those things you do when you become president. It's a way to thank the people who supported you, and show then that you care. Not getting out of his limo would be understandable, but disappointed to a point to all those who, like me, traveled and stayed hours outside in 10 degrees temperature.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  407. Linda in Iowa

    I thought it was very risky and foolish for the Obamas to walk part of the way in the inaugural parade. I was practically holding my breath while they were out of the Beast.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  408. Alex Waltham MA

    Barak Obama's exit from the presidential limo was a perfect compliment to his innagural speech. He spoke of the end of the age of fear and his walking down Pennsylvania Avenue proves that he is a man of his word.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  409. Tara Fatula

    It was what I would certainly call brave. He can't live in fear every single day, especially on one of the proudest days of his life. Millions of people came to see him, and as president he was doing his duty to thank those who had supported him. Staying inside the car would have seriously made me question how able he is to handle every day life. Now I don't have to worry about that.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  410. Nanook

    Previous presidents that were knocked off were victims of an inside job, not random shooters. If Obama is in any danger it's from those same people.

    There is a reason why the documents concerning Kennedy's assassination are sealed until hell freezes over. A random shooter wouldn't result in records being shielded, the killers were on the inside and they still are, else the records would have been released.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  411. Ronald

    Foolish, not at all, I think it shows how in touch our new President is with normal people. I just hope Obama have new Secret Service because the ones in Iraq for Bush, reacted very slowly!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  412. Alfonso Lopez

    Bush had rocks thrown at him. The American people did not trust Bush the "PIMP". Obama is credible and has shown a strength in character. HMMMMMM what was Bush ? A Whole lot of strength in character. The people needed to connect in this way to Obama. We need to see our leader as a human being. Touchable as a person and as a leader.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  413. Matthew, Asheville, NC

    It's safe to say Washington D.C. was secure yesterday, given the unprecedented security. A more difficult question: to what degree did this temporary security shift weaken the security of other parts of the country?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  414. karoly

    I think that it was the Secret Service nightmare of a lifetime, but essential for Barack and Michelle Obama's own satisfaction to walk those few blocks to connect with the "real people"...the very people they energized to get into the White House. I think the Obama's feel it vital to the success of his Presidency to continue to show they have not, and will not, changed or forgotten for whom they work.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  415. Jiminie

    I think what the President was wise. He knew it was expected didn't mean he had to do it, but he walked among the people he has touched. He also outsmarted all the news people about the when and how he walked, which meant the bad guys couldn't be alerted. It's always fun to watch the supposed news experts trip over their tongues..lol.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  416. george german

    a little of both jack
    show's everbody else that he dose have guts...................and faith in the peopls assgned to protect him and the rest of the first fam.
    maybe it was a bit foolhardy.....................but im still glad that he and the first lady did take the big walk.
    it was great.
    george
    chester,ct.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  417. Roselyn

    Good afternoon,

    It was brave and I hope he continues to share himself with the people of the United States. We the people are best to protect our President. We can keep our eyes and ears open. We the people have been and always will be our own best defense.
    Let's care about one another, let's protect one another. We are neighbors, we are Americans. Let's change our country with our own actions.
    Let's not give our power away, we have to power to protect ourselves and one another by caring and revealing unwanted behaviors.

    Thank you.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  418. Jasko

    Obama made a good choice to walk down Pennsylvania avenue it showed people that he is with them and not hiding behind closed doors during harsh times in the economy it's time we all unite, I feel Obama is brave and understands the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  419. Don L

    I don't think his public parade walk was either foolish or brave. It was Obama. Everyone should pray daily for his safety and the well being of his family. I do several times a day. I don't think he will disappear into a shell.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  420. Carlos

    BRAVE, VERY BRAVE he is telling us, THE PEOPLE who voted this election , you will see me work harder for you, THE PEOPLE. That also said " I AM NOT AFRAID".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  421. Caroline Soto

    I think it had to happen otherwise it would appear that he was afraid. It showed his confidence and was a nice reward for all his supports who traveled so far to see him. If I had my choice he would just stay in a protective bubble for the next 4 years.

    Caroline
    Elk Grove, CA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  422. Allen Johnson

    It was a brave move but with the right outcome, it could have easily become the most detrimental move in our nations history had an incident occurred. Among civil distress that could have been caused it would have given the US an image to the world of an insecure nation.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  423. Starr

    When I saw the first couple emerge out of the vehicle, the first thing on my mind was "Get back in the car!" But I also know that Obama wanted to at least make an actual appearance for the people who were waiting for them for hours during that motorcade, and I think it shows that he is not afraid of whatever is out there. It was brave.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  424. Mary San Diego

    I thought it was amazing. It to me showed great courage that he would put him self out there like that. Part of me was a fraid for him and didnt want to see him do it but, I was really happy in the end that he was strong enough and confident enough to do it. It shows that he is not afraid of the road ahead of him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  425. michelle

    i believe that obama was brave and its foolish for people to think that obama was being foolish when he walked !i love obama! finally a change has come!congratulations to the new president!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  426. K2

    Both.

    Los Angeles, CA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  427. Thanh

    i believe what the president did was BRAVE..to get out and trust OUR NATION with his life. It shows that he OUR PRESIDENT is a strong and courages man.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  428. evan brown

    I believe it was brave every move Obama makes he becomes closer and closer to the american ppl he isn't just the president u almost feel like you no him personaly and all he was doing was takin a walk with and for the American ppl

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  429. Jaime

    I Believe it was brave of him to do so because he shows that he is not afraid of any threat that could that could had happen to him (God forbid). He shows inspiration and courage. Walking through the streets shows that he is a human, just like the rest of us, giving him more respect from others because he shows his personality as our leader. And walking though those streets showed he is fearless and bold.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  430. john alt

    Sometimes bravery can be foolish, but fools are never brave. Barack Obama is not a fool

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  431. Ex-Rupublican Paul (California)

    The walk is what makes American democracy great. While recognizing it is challenging and risky, seeing my president walk down the street gives me confidence in him and in the American people. President Obama made Chuck Norris proud yesterday. If Chuck Norris were president, he would walk the route too.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  432. Calvin Davis

    FoolishlyBrave!! ...But Barack Obama is a man of the people and for the people of this great country!!

    May all his steps be guide by the Angels of Goods and Mercy!!

    God Bless you and your Family!... President Obama!

    Calvin

    San Antonio, TX

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  433. Ryan

    Jack,

    It is neither brave nor foolish. Simply a way to give back to those who have come to see him, and receive their cheers in return.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  434. Neel

    Its is very brave of Mr.Obama to walk few blocks to receive the cheers from his supporter

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  435. Sara Barton

    When I saw President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walking in the parade, I felt tension. In the moment, I wasn't sure if it was brave or foolish. Perhaps my moment of tension is representative of the great tension in which Obama will live over the next four or eight years. I'm glad he did it; I think it shows he cares about people and wants to stay connected as much as he can in his new role.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  436. Jeremie

    i dont think that it was either brave or foolish, it in a kind of way shows the public that he is not scared of what kind of things have been said about him being assassinated, and that he will remain strong in the eyes of his people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  437. tedd, Oahu

    I was not surprised he did that but I admire his courge for doing so. It was a measured risk, one I believe he will repeat at other select occasions. I admire him for that part of his leadership.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  438. Joel W Gonzales (Upcoing Star Actor)

    i dont think it was Foolish due to the fact like the Man said change is here and yes it Is. The Whole world is also affrected by the change including the Mid-East And I think dont hold a grudge against him they would love to work with Him he will be great and Obama I really feel it. Will Be One of the greatest Presidents Ever And Will keep his promises.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  439. Bill

    bravery sometimes is foolish jack. he knew the risk of walking the ave and i think it was almost the same risk as running for president in the first place. although we think its a safe america, there are way too many crazies out there. lets hope his bravery outweighs his foolishness throughout his presidency

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  440. Kyle

    It was not brave nor foolish. Just the right thing to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  441. Ebby

    Both. Foolish because he could have been assassinated! I resumed breathing after they got back in the limo. Brave because he is a man who does not make decisions based on fear. We really love him for that.
    Ebby
    Boston

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  442. Dylan, Victoria BC

    Jack,

    It was neither brave nor foolish. It was pragmatic. President Obama, I believe, understands now more than ever the importance of connecting in a real way with the people who've entrusted a troubled Nation to him. This is a democracy, not a monarchy. These symbols of accessibility are morale-builders and part of the job description. Unfortunately, some safety risk is unavoidable.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  443. william fitzwater

    Brack did not anounce exactly where he would get out of his car did he ?
    Obama is a man of the people he loves to see the people he govern. There are people out there and I have no doubt they will wish him harm. However you have to be very brave to put your private as well as public life out there is front of the public . Obama has to a role leader . Be a great father to his two lovely childer bew a grerat husband and be a perfect leader . Plus he has to get out in public face people who would like to harm him and I hope no one will .

    He is far braver than me and I wish him every sucess.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  444. Christopher in CT

    An assassination attempt is not a question of "if" but of "when?" Those of us who voted knew that we were most likely voting for Biden or Palin as our next long term President. McCain had health issues coupled with his age. Obama is making history in a world where unfortunately, there are far too many people out there who are ignorant, scared or just plain crazy.

    I have every bit of faith in the Secret Service. However, even if they take a bullet for the President and/or First Lady, its still a waste of life for something that could have been avoided in the first place. It was cavalier and brash. We love our new President. But, he's not Superman.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  445. Lisa, Ashford, Alabama

    Obama knew the danger but he might as well enjoy it because sooner than later, laser weapons the size of a ball point pen will be available due to our ever increasing technology.
    And then what will high profile people do?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  446. Gil L'Italien/Deep River CT

    Since it was a random exit from the limo, it was a lot less risky than a pre-planned (ie announced) exit. I'm sure that the Secret Service had approved of it, as long as no one knew in advance when and where they would exit.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  447. Joey Cipriano

    I don't understand how much danger he could actually be in if he's just walking. I tend to believe with the country being the way it is, if anyone wanted to attack President Obama, I'm sure that person would have more to fear, not from the secret service, but from the surrounding public that might take the law into their own hands if the president was hurt. I'm sure the public was watching out for Obama just as much as the secret service was.

    San Antonio, Texas

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  448. Ms. Billie M. Spaight

    I think it was outright crazy. The experience that Dr. King had shows that there are white supremacists with murder on their minds. Obama being President is likely to make these nutcases more angry and more murderous.

    We need Obama and we don't want him dead. He should meet people–after they go through stringent security. When he is outside, he should wear a bullet-proof vest and have bullet-proof glass all around him.

    It scared the dickens out of me when he walked around like that. Thank G-d nobody took any pot-shots at him. It would have been devastating.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  449. James, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    It was neither foolish nor brave. He was being himself and try to draw himself closer to the ones who put him where he is. He is one of the greatest leader in many decades his charisma and his abilities to gather people surely prove it

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  450. Matthew

    I would say neither. He has spent the last three months after being elected moving around Chicago in the open without being surrounded by bullet proof glass. For all that is made of the threats against Obama's life, they will continue to come and continually investigated by the FBI and Secret Service. He has the best protection in the world and is at no larger risk of assassination than George W. Bush was. We cannot expect our Public leaders to be so afraid of their Public.

    Roswell, GA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  451. Elizabeth Cushman

    Both brave and foolish - thank God for the Secret Service! I wept in appreciation for their brave and foolish presence to give Americans such joy to watch our beautiful new Presidential couple.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  452. Thomas Holst

    As popular to the public as it was, Obama was very foolish. I was really concerned that his might end up being the shortest presidency in US history. There are lots of terrorists and crazys out there and the Secret Service can't protect him from all of them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  453. Marc

    It was a very brave decision for Obama to get out of "The Beast", and walk for several blocks. I was very nervous though when he got out because he was exposed to everything and everyone. Im sure that when he got out he was nervous at first. I was very pleased though to see how the secret service handled everything.
    I wish him the best of luck, and god bless the USA.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  454. Larry

    Very foolish on his part. His innauguration made a lot of people unhappy.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  455. Richard

    It was neither. Perhaps it is confidence in our nations securiy system and a show of force to the world that we are not so afraid of terrorism that we can't even walk down a street. As President Obama often does, he took a calculated risk.

    Richard
    Miami Lakes

    January 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  456. Joseph W.

    I was freakin' out when President Obama and the First Lady got out of the limo. In my opinion it was BRAVE & FOOLISH and seemed like the longest walk ever until they stepped back inside the safety of the "Beast".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  457. Jammie

    It was definitely Brave but it also is a confirmation to the people that voted him into office, and went in the cold to Capitol hill to watch him take his oath, that he is here for the People. I am Estatic that he made the decision to take the walk.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  458. Will Walk

    Jack:

    It was foolish even though I understand why he would want to do it. There are still idiots out there who don't like him even though he hasn't had time yet to offend anyone.

    I didn't vote for him but I hope he does well on behalf of the country.

    Bill Clinton could get away with it since he was a draft dodger to start with.

    Will,

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  459. Diane Davis

    If our new President had not gotten out during his parade yesterday, I think it would have shown the world that he does not trust the secrete service protection.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  460. regina wilson

    I dont think it was either i think it was his way of putting his trust in the people, the way he wants us to trust him. He was letting us know that he want to keep it real.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  461. Cat Greene

    I thought it was great! President Obama is a people's President and I think by walking those few blocks conveyed that to the people and brought them in touch with those who were bearing the freezing elements.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  462. Modesto

    It was brave and it was exactly what our president should represent, confidence and trust in his surroundings, especially here at home. To me it meant he should and could be able to go out and walk with the people for the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  463. darkendes

    I think it was great. He showed that even though there was a risk of somebody shooting him, he wouldn't let that stop him from connecting with the people.

    It was good to see him walking in the parade.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  464. Elizabeth Bankston

    Perhaps we modern Americans do not fully understand the truth in FDR's statement, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." It was not meant to assure us there were no forces against us, or that tragedy might not strike. Rather, it was to remind us that when we respond in fear, we have have succumbed to failure.
    Do I think the Obamas walk was brave? Perhaps, but also symbolic and wise.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  465. Dan

    I believe that it was foolishly brave. I believe that Barack Obama was trying to prove the point that he will not run and hide in the face of terror. But I also think that he got away with one. He the new leader of the free world. He has provided the people of this nation with new hope for a brighter America. If he were to be assassinated it would be devastating to our future. I think that he proved his pints that he is not scared, but I also think that from now on, he should be much more cautious.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  466. Brad, Athens, WV

    I honestly believe that this was a very good move for President Obama. Change is beginning from the very beginning. He feels safe enough to walk down the street, and so should everyone else in this nation. He should not be hiding in the White House rather than facing those who he is expected to lead.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  467. Eudene Rossi, Maryland

    It was a risk, but a calculated risk. They got out only opposite goverment buildings that had been thoroughly searched, as had everyone in the crowd. It would have been extremely difficult for anyone to get to them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  468. Shawana

    It was both brave and foolish for President Obama to walk. Brave because he understands that he is not president in and of himself, but due to the millions of people that chose to believe in him. Foolish because there are all kinds of people out there, even those supposedly making sure he's safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  469. Arjun and Laxmi

    We think it was brave! Glad he did what he did, which shows his respect and love for the American people. Surely, our new President is For the People, By the People and Of the People!

    We love the Obamas!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  470. mike

    I think it could be considered brave for obama to walk down pennsilvania ave, but it was also the right thing to do. Obama needs to maintain the openness he showed during the campaign, and one way for him to do that is to not always hide behind the bulletproof glass of the beast. People in the US voted for change, and I think this is one small way to show that it is in fact changing with Obama.
    Mike
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  471. Ole

    Although he took a risk in exposing himself to harm, it showed strength of character in exhibiting to our nation and those around the world the principal value of standing up against fear. People who live in fear are cowards. Those who live in hope are tremendously courageous.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  472. Martin, Parlin, NJ

    I was brave. VERY brave. There are definately a lot of individuals that don't want him to succeed. But that's what you have to do when you're "the man". I love it. God Bless you Mr. President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  473. Francis

    LOL.... If the president of the the free world cannot walk the street of Washington on inagauration day then we should not say free world rather fear world. It was a the right decision, how can you be scared in your own backyard.....

    Francis E
    Houston

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  474. Amir

    President Obama's move to walk out with his wife was a very brave move as he is now the people's president, which I doubt will ever fade; that's the power of the Obama presidency and his motives for getting here.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  475. M Vigurs

    In Obama's inaugural address he asked for the help of the American people. This surely is a job that cannot be done alone. Exiting the "beast" and walking down the street was a symbolic gesture to the American people that he is willing to rely on them as much as he asks them to rely on him. I don't suspect that this type of behavior would be typical, therefore i would classify this act as brave, or trusting.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  476. Vincent

    I think it was incredible.
    The Obamas stepping out of 'The Beast" for a mere few blocks says something to everyone watching. To persons filled with hatred, it says "I love you." To those who wish to install terror, it says "I am not afraid." To those that supported him it says "Thank you." To those that said he doesn't deserve a chance, it says "HA! Guess who you have to call Mr. President?" And Michelle Obama walking next to him says "I support him 100% in all this says!"

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  477. Shyla Batliwalla

    I don't think it was necessarily brave nor do I think it was foolish. President Obama is a wise man who does not make whimsical decisions. I'm sure his secret service told him the best part of the drive to step out and when to step back in. Furthermore, he showed all of the cowards who had any thoughts of violence on their mind that he is not afraid because the entire world is behind him. Time to Barack and Roll!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  478. Tyson Haeg

    I believe it was very brave. Seeing as he was unharmed, it's another direct refection of change, by showing how far we have come since the racial turmoil from the 50's and 60's.

    It transcends politics, if you were to show these images to someone from the Jim Crow era, they would feel like they were in a different universe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  479. Megan, North Canton OH

    I believe it was neither brave nor foolish. Obama walking those blocks outside of his limo were necessary in order for him to uphold the message that he has always preached. He will not allow his adversaries to change his plans or his policies. I think it was a great way for him to show his leadership and also a way for him to thank his supporters who lined the streets.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  480. Deborah in Houston

    It was nerve wrecking for sure. You know there are a lot of idiots in our midst. But the Obamas are people persons! How do you keep a people person away from people?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  481. Brittany

    Some may say its foolish however, the real question is: Was it foolish for each President since 77' to take that famous strool?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  482. Nicole

    While all he did was walk a few blocks with his wife, we saw our new leader step out and show that he isn't afraid to be our President; that he is proud, strong and ready to take on the tasks put before him; That fear isn't in his vocabulary; That he will be our leader and stand for the United States of America without fear of our enemies.

    His actions showed bravery in my opinion, however I agree that there was a "sigh of relief" when he returned to the limo.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  483. Brent L.

    Jack, to answer your question....neither. It was SMART! I am a Republican but I was impressed that this was one example to backup his speech. He needs to show that Americans will not be intimidated nor live with fear that the terrorists depend on their activities against us.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  484. ARH

    It was a little bit of both. It was a little foolish given all of the circumstances surrounding this particular President but the overriding decision i beleive was the fact that President Obama will call on the work, sacrifice and support of the American people to assist him in governing and to also add some support or even pressure to those they may want to oppose his plans. If he can maintain a high approval rating and have support of the American people nationwide, how can these Senators and Representatives openly oppose him and come back and hope for re-election. This I beleive is a tool of his and why the social learning aspects of his campaign he will continue. So that walk was a down payment on his success as the President

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  485. Lauren

    The parade walk was probably the safest time President Obama will have for the next several years. The secret service was posted, ready and alert (as they always are). And the crowd would have taken down anyone who tried anything. I assume the street stroll was spontaneous and therefore not written down anywhere. Probably the last spontaneous stroll for awhile.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  486. Mckinley

    I am in the ninth grade and of course we watched some of the oath, speech and parade in class. Many of my classmates kept joking about the possibility of the president being shot. I literally heard people saying this all day. What they just don't understand is that there are extreme measures being taken to prevent such a thing from happening. I do not think that it was foolish at all; I think that it was something that the president just has and wants to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  487. Arturo (Los Angeles, CA)

    Decidedly brave. By exiting the vehicle the President and the First Lady showed us that they are fearless and committed to staying connected to the American people. Onward and upward!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  488. Stella

    I can't decide if it was foolish to do that but I have to tell you I was
    relieved when he went back to his car. It just another gesture to show
    the people in the United States that he is just like them and wants to
    show his appreciation. He is great. I am so proud of him and wish
    all the best in his new position as OUR PRESIDENT. NO MORE arrogant REPUBLICANS.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  489. RaSheed Lemon

    Very Presidential! On Inauguration Day, I feel it was very appropriate. The Secret Service is very capable. President Obama showed courage and valor as Commander-in-Chief as a many who has faced and faces many adversaries on all fronts.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  490. Kimberly

    Neither. It is expected. He isn't afraid to do what he is supposed to do. That's how he got to where he is now.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  491. dave singh

    There is a thin line between bravery and foolishness and mostly subjective. I think it was commendable nonetheless to show faith and confidence in your security team.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  492. Bob Horn

    Living is risk. I thought it said alot. Before they exited the car I thought: What a shame our country has come to the president riding around in a bullet proof tank. Makes me ask – who did we tick off to warrant such reaction!

    I thought the unscripted moment was a stroke of genius and a blow for freedom of expression for all.
    Yes we can!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  493. Thomas Stratton

    It was more than brave, more than foolish or political it was what a republic is about. The President's job is to support what the people want. He is the people and he belongs with the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  494. Kurt

    It was foolish for Obama to expose himself to the public like he did. He needs to think about the safety of himself and his wife.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  495. Nital Patel

    It was brave. With a shift in power and views, he is showing that the change starts from him himself – not hiding away like his predecessor did and being a part of the people – exactly what his entire platform is based on.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  496. Jorda

    It was simply presidential. He made a statement to the people of this great nation that may have jeopardized his security, but this statement is something we looked for in a president that we have not seen in 8 years. It's good to have the people's president back!

    – Jordan, Dallas, Texas

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  497. lucia

    OBAMA was not the only one walking god was on the front l have a job to do now its get on my hnees and pray for him he is a brave man dont worry about he is full of bless

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  498. Maria

    It was a little bit of both. I held my breath when I saw that yesterday, while a replay of the JFK assassination played in the back of my head. However, this was a message to the world that he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and will not be deterred by threats and fears that would set back any other "ordinary" president. I am originally from Europe but very glad to be in this country because of his presidency. I am inspired to offer more to this land than my own mother country because of him and what he stands for. Maria – Seattle

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  499. Zareen- Chicago

    I think President Obama made an excellent choice. His willingness to interact with the American people and the spectators around him is amazing. Im sure he's not fully used to the tightness of security, but if was still nice of him to personally wave to the crowds. He is truly, truly one of a kind.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  500. Braxton, Charlotte, NC

    Jack, did you consider that the answer may be neither? Yes, there were security concerns, but most of the 2 million people in Washington were excited to see President Obama and the First-Lady take power, not plot against him. The President probably decided to walk to make the event even more exciting and historical.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  501. Nicole From Canada!!

    Jack,

    I don't think it was foolish or brave.
    President Obama is a man of the people. How can he be of the people if he does not walk among them?
    Whether we find it dangerous or not ... I believe it is something he cannot do without. He will always need to connect with his people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  502. Debbie Troy

    It was awesome that the Obamas got out of the limo! It showed their trust and faith in the crowd. The fact that "nothing happened" shows that – for now, anyway – the 'crowd' has trust and faith as well. Pres. Obama has empowered and instilled a feeling of "belonging" and shared responsibility.What a mood has come over the country! I hope it lasts and we all succeed!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  503. Justin H.

    He was foolish because he is such a gem for the United States and the world right now and we need him so badly to heal the world... that I can see some whack job doing something stupid. And we can't afford to take that chance with him. Especially this soon in his presidency.

    Thanks.

    Justin H.
    Chandler, AZ

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  504. Shirley

    Hello Jack,

    It was very brave of The President and First Lady to get out of the limo. People traveled far and near for just a glimpse. I was among the crowd and was not in a place to see the events unfold, but I heard everything. I traveled to show my support for The First Family and it was very brave of them to walk the parade for a little while.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  505. Justin Kolpak

    Neither. It was necessary.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  506. Leighanna

    I thought it was both brave and foolish for President Obama and the First Lady to walk several blocks on Pennsylvania Avenue. I feel that it was foolish because there are many people that felt strongly about another candidate (and I don't necessarily mean McCain) and there are also many racist people out there. However, I feel that it was very brave of them, and I think it was a very good thing that they seemed to make a silent statement that said "Hey- we're not going to be afraid. We want the people to know we are just like them." I did not vote for Obama or McCain – I am proud to say I voted for Ron Paul (via write-in). However, I am hopeful that the future will be better. I am hoping Obama shows us some of that Change he's been talking about.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  507. Naomi Siemens

    I do believe that Gorbachev was called foolish for the same thing, but that began the thaw of the the Cold War.

    I call this another benchmark moment for The United States. The President is our COMMANDER and Chief; and he is going to LEAD, not follow, nor hide.

    History and character where never made without risk and/or challenges. President Obama is raising the bar for evryone, friend or foe, and I do believe he means business!

    Hail To The Chief~!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  508. Ian in Springfield, VA

    The move was neither foolish nor brave, simply confident. Part of the message it sends is the trust that our President puts in the inaugural comity, his secret service, and most importantly the people he serves.

    It is foolish to think that no one among the 300 million in the US or 6 billion people around the world, but it puts the trust that none would or could be there in Washington yeseterday.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  509. Valerie

    I believe this was a brave moved because he seems to be a man of faith. He seems to have had that peace that surpass all understanding and with that type of peace, he seem to have been very confident in the word of "No weapon that is form against thee shall prosper."

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  510. darrellwagner

    about being foolish getting out the limo,i am so tied stuff like this just because he is a african american president don;t mean that he should be worried about someone doing something to him,this is why all the voters put him into the white house so things like this could come to a head until people understand that this is a loving country anger will remain here and everyone with that anger god will handle them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  511. laura

    It is neither foolish nor brave. We no longer have to think in black and white, good or evil. Instead it can be seen as a slightly risky, human, positive thing to do!
    Laura
    Charleston, SC

    January 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  512. M. J. Hight

    The act of walking down Pennsylvania Avenue was neither brave or foolish but part of the job and the moment; two million people came out to wish him well. Asking if it were brave or foolish is liken to asking if you've beaten your wife today – asinine. If the president is promising change why don't you attempt the same and try a more substantive approach to your profession???

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  513. Michael, Bellingham, WA

    His entire campaign has been a display of bravery. He made the choice that his vision was worth risking his life. As long as he keeps his daughters out of the line of fire, as he did during the inaugural parade, there's nothing foolish about being seen by the people he now serves.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  514. LARRY

    Why should he be afraid? Nothing negative has been reported. Everyone has come for one thing, to bid congratulations and best wishes to the 44th President and First Lady. By the way, congratulations, President Obama!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  515. Robert Allison

    At that moment I was walking into my dorm room and checked the television, it was very surprising and I was hoping he would get back into the car, it was a very brave gesture, showing he is not afraid of the challenges in front of him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  516. Randy

    It was brave and expected of a Man that believes in the good of people. If you want to be for the people then you must be with the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  517. Benjamin Solotaire

    It was a necessary thing to do. He's promised a government of the people. To have stayed in the limo would have betrayed those who voted for him. It was an act of bravery to run for president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  518. D. Halpern

    More than foolish, it was extremely risky. As popular as he is he also has enemies within and without our country. And let's not forget the kooks. Let's hope he doesn't do that often or ever again. Lest he forget, the attempts (successful or unsuccesful) on past presidents and other political figures.

    DH
    Florida

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  519. Kimberly Swinney

    I think it was quite brave and thoughtful. As many people travelled far and stood out in the cold for a lot of hours to get a glimpse of the President Obama along with the First Lady,Vice President and his wife. I was so happy and a little scared that they ventured out. We cannot live in fear. President Obama said as much in his inuauguration speech. So refreshing to see them smiling and waving even though I know they were cold at times just being amongst their supporters was a brave and memorable event.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  520. Marika

    The President's parade walk was brave, but I thought that it was a good choice. I don't think he wanted to show people that he feared anything, but rather carry on the tradition and show his thanks to the people and their support for him.

    Los Angeles, California

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  521. Randy in Toronto

    Sad to say, yes it was foolish.

    As long as factories are allowed to churn out guns (for some reason) all it takes is one white supremacist.

    For what it's worth, we in Canada like to cheer for you. We went into Afghanistan where the real war on terror is and backed you on 911. It all went downhill from there.

    For the first time in 7 1/2 years, we're behind you again. Cheering for you to succeed.

    We're good friends, we think Americans are good people and you finally have the leader you deserve.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  522. Dustin

    I just think it's funny that all these services were out protecting the Obamas, and yet the President and First Lady snarled their noses everytime men and women in uniform would pass by them. Poor first impression for commander in chief.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  523. Clifton Williams

    Maybe brave and foolish, but more so admirable! Barack Obama has assumed the role as the people's President and it seems that he is stepping up to the plate to be a leader "of the people, by the people, and for the people" so why not assume the (calculated) risk to be among the people!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  524. Suzann

    It was not brave nor foolish...it was just Barack Obama showing us he is a President making changes....not only in his politics but in little things like getting out of the car and walking down the road.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  525. Dan

    Neither...it was the right thing to do in order to coinside with Obama's "bring government to the people" initiatives.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  526. Brandon

    I think Obama's walk yesterday along the parade route was meant to show that he's not afraid and many people admire him for that, but I believe he took a big risk by doing that and could have potentially be put in harms way. I don't know how the country would react if something would have happened yesterday.

    Brandon, Erie, Pennsylvania.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  527. Duvel

    I Think it was something he had to do to show he is a man of the people, but I'm glad he didn't walk the whole thing like Carter.

    Duvel
    Los Angeles,CA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  528. Linda ~ Spicewood, TX

    Brave, but probably not as brave as some thought. Where he got out was between buildings that gave some cover, not on the open areas. Regardless, I think it was a smart move, and a lovely one.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  529. James M., Newark De

    Dear Jack,

    I think what President Barack Obama did was exactly what the people needed him to do "CONNECT", this is why he was elected because he prides himself on being a DIFFERENT kind of politician. YEAH I can also admit when he got out of the car(the BEAST), as a black man I did breathe a little harder and I was a little nervous for him & Michelle, but they will spend the next 4-8 years inside of the WHITE HOUSE bubble, so I don't think it's a bad thing to want an escape sometimes, To conclude I trust and believe that the Secret Service will keep him and those they protect safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  530. Ramone - Iowa

    Not foolish at all. I would even call it BRAVE. It should not be considered a sacrifice to step outside, no matter how high the tension rises among the Secret Service.
    As a leader, you should allow citizens to witness vulnerability as long as you are resolute in your cause. The best way Obama can relate to the people:: RELATE to the PEOPLE!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  531. Alice

    Personally I was terrified. Beging a child (born 1960) that grew up thinking that people in positions of power, great people, never died from natural causes. I was afraid someone would do the unthinkable again.

    Not foolish really but risky.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  532. Amy

    I think that he was very brave. However, I hope he don't get too relax and think that no one is out to harm him. Despite of his approval rate, all it takes is for one fool to act out!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  533. Brian Young

    The President was both brave and foolish. He is the first president in many years to represent the people on that street that had been standing for hours to see him. Yes it was risky. Yes, he felt he needed to do it. And YES, we need a president that can relate to the average citizen. He IS that president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  534. David, Chicago

    Neither, He was walking in between a secure street, with officials monitoring the area with people on the roof and helicopters every where. He did the right thing coming out and waving because he is the President for the people, and the people need to see him, and he needs to see them, not observe/be observed through 8in bullet proof glass. This act shows that he is not afraid.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  535. Nkenge

    President Obama's decision to walk through many parts of the parade illustrate his gratitude to his supporters/America. While security is an obvious issue, we cannot live in fear. It appears that this small stance will live on due to the heightened level of security (unprecedented actually) and the "defiance" of our new first couple. I applaud them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  536. Jamal

    Foolish to some but brave to many. This is a man who won the electoral vote by a landslide and the popular vote over 50%. America for the most part, loves our new president. Foolish would've been to allow Bush to walk the plank. In that case the secret service really would've had a job on their hands and would have a higher chance of casualty.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  537. john

    I believe it was neither...he knew the risk of getting out of the limo! I think it was a message to us saying that although the danger is out there, I'm not scared and we the "People" shouldn't be either!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  538. Megha Uniyal

    It was neither brave nor foolish for him to do so! it was just a courteous gesture he has shown throughout his campaign and the closeness he shares to people. and if the limos and all the hi-fi technique has to protect the president then what is the secret service there for??

    Megha
    Canada

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  539. Ron Ouellette

    Jack,
    To me it was neither brave or foolish. This Obama movement is just
    that, they are a regular family who came from where most of us came
    from and they want and need to interact with the common folk. The
    last President (I can't even say his name) was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, was and is a spoiled brat because of his life of
    privilege and its wonderful that he is gone, hopefully to only be heard
    about when he is indicted along with "Darth Vader" for their crimes
    against humanity.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  540. Diana

    Jack, his walk was neither brave nor foolish....... The euphoria of yesterday and days to come was such as if anyone in the crowd had attempted anything towards the President and First Lady, I guarantee you, NO ONE was going to let anything happen on Our Joyus Day.

    They would have been brought down before Police could get to them, as a matter of Fact, the police would be a godsend for any individual trying to do any harm to our President. The crowd would have taken that individual OUT immediately.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  541. Leilani

    Oh God!!! I held my okole (buttocks) when he exited out of "The Beast" to walk along the route. I left the room and went outside and waited a few minutes before going back to watch. Not a good idea! Too many pupule ( crazy) people in this world. God Bless you Mr. Presidient....we love you. Aloha from Hawaii xoxoxo

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  542. Zach

    I thought it was brave you can't spend the whole time being president fearing you might get shot. Most of the time it comes with the job.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  543. Ty

    NEITHER! It was a MUST! President Obama is a God-fearing man. Simple as that! We CANNOT have a leader leading in fear!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  544. craig johnson

    Can you say Dallas 1963? I agree with the Secret Service. All it takes is one laspe in security and history will be altered twice in one day. The President knew coming in that he would be living in a bubble.

    Craig Johnson
    Oshkosh, WI

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  545. Isma

    Was is brave or foolish?

    It was both. Duh! :)
    Isma
    Sugar Land, Texas

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  546. Ghazal

    I t was wonderful & great that he walked in street & tried to show the entire nation how humble he is & his action confirmed that he feels still the same even after he became the leader of the free world. I believe Mr. Barack Hussain Obama is a much greater person as just being a president itself and I wish him the best in his journey.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  547. Heather

    It was probably a little bit of both but I also think it was something the Obama's had to do! As a Canadian watching the events of the day I too wanted to see them walk the route. Brave or confident? I don't know but he did say he put his faith in the American people and I truly believe it was something he had to do to show their faith! Congratulations to all of you! I think you got it right this time!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  548. Julie

    It was not the smartest move but it was almost necessary....

    He absolutely needed to reach out and be close with at least some of those throngs of people lined up there simply to celebrate the moment with him and it's the last blocks that most people "expect" to see him walk.

    I think we all drew a sigh of relief when he returned to the car- unfortunate -but that's life in our world today.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  549. Nicole in Utah

    Both. But I love him for it. Wanting to be President during these hard times is brave and foolish in itself.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  550. Gary in Conway, AR

    It was good that he wanted to get closer to the people but foolish in that not only does he have the same security concerns as any sitting president but also the security nightmares created by right wing hate groups who wish him harm because of the color of his skin. Other presidents have never had the latter concerns.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  551. Art Calva in Mt. Airy,Md.

    By the President exposing himself to danger by steeping out of the presidential limo was not the best thing for him to do but neccesary in order to prove and validate That our countries Safety and freedom are very strong and alive. Giving the people of the United states the reassurance that he is a strong leader.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  552. Boniswa Zondani (New York)

    I think It was both foolish and Brave. It was foolish of him to leave the “Beast" knowing what kind of danger he is in. However he has shown that no threat can keep him from the millions that supported and voted for him. Seeing Obama get out of that limo made me nervous though, i was praying for him to get back in the whole time for his and Michelle's security. Brave Man, i hope he stays that way for the next 4 years.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  553. JAN SANDS

    I think it was brave and a leap of faith to the people who voted for him . He has to be able to trust in the people so that we can trust in him . How would that seem to the people that spoke so loudly that they wanted Barack Obama as president to reply back with you scare the bajeezes out of me?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  554. Land of Marley (Jamaica Jamaica)

    neither brave nor foolish just expedient. This political wizard knows how much of a peoples president that walk would make him look like.(He was right see we are talking about it now)..

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  555. Dario Hinds

    Yes, the president decided to ext "The Beast" was indeed a huge risk, especially considering the fact that he is African-American. But I also commend him for his decision, getting close to the people despite the security risk, shows his genuine love for the American people. It is this love that won him this election. It was indeed brave of him and I Kudos to him. It shows that he is indeed charismatic and indeed a peoples person. Congrats Mr. President!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  556. Wilder

    The decision was not brave or foolish. It was more trusting than anything. He is willing to demonstrate a person who means what he says and say what he means.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  557. Lynda

    To me it was neither, President Obama is the People's President. It was good to see the President and his wife get out of the car with confidence to see the faces of the of the people of The United States lining the streets.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  558. Sujal

    I do not think that it was foolish that President and First Lady Obama walked several blocks. I do accept that it was a difficult task for the Secret Service as they could not secure his safety when he is exposed like that. However I think that Obama has got a such charisma and ability to reach out and has started a new movement that he wants to show us he is like any other American and not just be the President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  559. Denise Clark

    It was neither brave or foolish - it was human - It is the humanity in the Obama's that impress me as an individual...that impress us as a community...that impresses us as a nation. Hopefully the humanity embodlied in this family and Barack in particular will truelly reflect to the world the kindness and caring of the American People.

    Savannah GA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  560. L. Brown

    They knew exactly what they were doing. Both times the Obama's left their vehicle they were passing government buildings that were under lockdown. No doubt they got SS okay on exactly when to exit and when to re-enter.

    Prudence should rule the day but it would seem that showing up unannounced in a diner would carry little risk and no, he can't live in a bubble.

    I do worry for his safety though.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  561. Robin Wache

    Brave or Foolish for President to Walk?

    There are plenty of opportunities for President Obama as well as the First Lady to interact with "normal" people at the Balls and in other settings. Unfortunately, it seems too unsafe to put himself into a historically dangerous setting such as a parade route. I found myself too nervous to watch. As my Dad used to say...that an "uncalculated risk."

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  562. Jim Cox

    Foolish or wise? Unsure. I know that as a Christian I pray for Barak Obama every day, not only that he be given the gift of wisdom but for his safety. I've been praying for him for some time. That doesn't lessen my fears, but I trust God to hear my petitions and those I am certain are coming from many others.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  563. Senior Master Sergeant Williams USAF

    It was brave to us as protectors of the free world; however, from following Pres. Obama's path for the past 15 months, I feel he thought this was the least he can do, as thanks, for our new America.

    SMSgt LL Williams
    Seymour Johnson AFB

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  564. Tami Pate

    I do not believe that he was either brave or foolisih. He is who is is. A president for the people, for the people. he is incredibly interactive. He makes everyone feel he is speaking to amd for them. Did anyone, including the secret service think that he wouldn't get otu and interact with those who voted for him. He does not, can not live and govern in fear. Where would this country be if Martin Luther King, President John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy or even President Lincoln had lived and goverened in fear.
    Tami

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  565. Kevin Dean

    President Obama's decision to take part in yesterday's parade was one that resonates with what his message has been all along; that he is a man of the people.

    Kevin, Ohio

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  566. jack

    Foolish

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  567. Thomas Stratton

    It was more than brave, more than foolish or political it was what a republic is about. The President’s job is to support what the people want. He is the people and he belongs with the people.

    Denver, CO

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  568. Tim Richerson

    President and Mrs. Obama's walk down part of Pennsylvania Ave. yesterday was a little foolish but a lot political and emotional neccessity. Obama had to do it to bring the kind of transparency and good will he espouses to bear. His decision to step out of the 'Beast' presidential limo showed America his determination to show reasonable trust in us as he hopes for our trust in him. It was scary but wonderful.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  569. Rolan, Los Angeles

    Of course President Obama's decision to leave his limo was brave, but courage is mandatory for the position. From what I saw of Mr. Obama during the campaign, he might have preferred to be even closer to the crowd shaking hands and making a more personal connection. Besides, that "limo" must be an Autobot, capable of transforming into a secret service robot and protecting the Presidential family a a moment's notice. Honestly, from the looks of it, if it started talking would anyone be surprised?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  570. Clayton Benoit

    Definitely not foolish. I wouldn't exactly consider it brave as much as expected. A great walk down history lane.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  571. Monica Padilla

    I see President Obama's "breaking of the bubble" right on track with what he stands for. He is showing that he is ready to stand up for change. He is not going to stand down in the face of what can be considered a minority of dissatisfied people. I am proud to see he is standing up and being the strong and fearless leader we elected him to be.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  572. Larry Berry

    I think it can be argued both ways. I personally did not want him to leave "the beast" but in some way I knew it was necessary. Obama knows better than anyone the dangers he faces when exposed to the public. For him to expose himself that way proved once again to me that he will stand fierce and stare down the throat of danger, even when all odds are against him. He never seemed more powerful than at that moment of exposure.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  573. Gregory K Young

    Jack
    I really think it showed both bravery and foolishness. Bravery because those that remembers how our leaders were slain, collectively held our breath while he was outside of his car. Foolish because I and every other black person have been praying that he not become another slain leader. Real leaders don't do well in this country. I pray for my president daily. And if I could speak to him I would ask him" Are you trying to give me a heart attack getting out of the car like that?' damn it man!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  574. Judith Ann from Naples, Florida

    Being a man for the American people as he has stated time and time again, I believe President Obama was being brave to walk along in the parade. He is doing it as a symbol of positive change and showing this to all, even of those with so much hate for people who of other skin colors and political differences can see and want to participate in this change. Far fetched to happen?...there is always HOPE.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  575. AngieB

    I thought it was wonderfully brave for the Obamas to get out of "the Beast" and actually show albeit symbolically that he is accessible by the people. I think it just goes to show what kind of president he will be. And while I loved every moment of it, I held my breath in fear for him the whole time!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  576. Faye/ FL

    It was nothing foolish about it at all. It is evident that President Obama is a man that walks by faith and not by sight or he wouldn't be where he is now, as President of the USA.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  577. Nate

    I think that it was a brave thing and the right thing to do. This shows the world that American is "strong" and "free" and not scared of the threats of Al Quaida and who ever else is trying to put forward on the U.S. and the world.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  578. Andrew

    It was neither brave, nor foolish. It was wise.
    Between the Secret Service, the military and the police Washington DC was the safest place in the world yesterday. By stepping out of the car he showed that he is still one of us and that he would not be intimidated. He showed he is not above the American citizens, but simply an American citizen with the biggest job in the country. And as an American citizen, he refuses to back down and cower before every possible or perceived threat.
    Bush spent both terms cowering, and he tried his best to make everyone else in America do the same.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  579. Marie S Esime

    I think this was brave because some noname racist could have tried to make the history books, if the president keep raising our blood pressures like that, he needs to speed up his proposed health plan!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  580. mike

    I believe that it was both brave and foolish! President Obama wants to continue to keep his touch with the people, which is brave for him to believe that he is safe . But as elated and emotional those of us who support him are, there are those out there on the other end of the spectrum. Who would love to see him hurt!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  581. Richard O'Leary

    Brave or foolish? Who knows. The fact that President Obama was able to walk down the middle of Pennsylvania Ave. while the worlds chief mischief maker, Bin Laden rots in a spider hole on the other side of the world speaks volumes about our country and our people. George Bush ran the rats to ground and kept them there and we should all be happy about that. I'll bet Barak Obama is.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  582. Dario Hinds

    Yes, the president decided to ext "The Beast" was indeed a huge risk, especially considering the fact that he is African-American. But I also commend him for his decision. Getting close to the people despite the security risk, shows his genuine love for the American people. It is this love that won him this election. It was indeed brave of him and I Kudos to him. It shows that he is indeed charismatic and indeed a peoples person. Congrats Mr. President!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  583. Wendy Hogan

    I thought for President Obama and first Lady Michelle Obama to exit the vehicle and expose themselves to the public view was brave. We as americans have to stop living in fear. Think about when 9/11 happened and US flights declined because people were afraid to fly, that let our enemy win. We have nothing to fear, but the wrath of God and if it's your time to go home, then it will happen. I will say that I was holding my breath and crying to see such a courageous man and woman and was so proud to see them make it through the entire inauguration safe and sound! What's done is done and he's still here and he's still EVERYONE'S PRESIDENT......For those who can't get over the fact that we have a black man as commander and chief! God Bless America and God Bless those with closed minds!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  584. C.Chapman

    Mr Cafferty, you missed a option, President Obama was neither brave nor foolish what he was,was faithful. President Obama and his wife walk with faith and that is why he was able to make that walk. Several million Americans are praying for him that no weapon formed against him shall prosper. He is a man of faith and it shows...............

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  585. Andy

    It was both. However, it is unlikely that anyone would want to take him out before they get a feel for how he will govern. Even the most deranged anti-american factions are curious to see what does, and I would think, they fear the wrath of a reenergized nation if something were to happen to him at this point.

    That being said, if someone were to wish him peril the way to go would be an inside job. Buy off or pressure one of our counter-snipers, and game-over Obama.

    As you can tell, I watch too many movies.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  586. Manuel Orozco

    I found that it was neither foolish or brave, it was an act of humility and human. If you expected anything else than maybe you should create a robot that can be programmed.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  587. Kelvin

    I think it was kind of foolish, because he got more death threats than any other candidate because he is black. I was afraid for them whenever they got out the car. Why do you think they made his car like a tank.? MLK did not have the secret service, so President Obama should listen to his secret service team.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  588. Jeff Delli Paoli

    Jack,

    I firmly believe his act to touch the people was brave and we the people needed to feel his presence. The act is one that is foolish because our current economic state is fragile and America can not afford a tragedy. He needs to be safe so we all can bare the fruit of his leadership.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  589. Reine Diana (Massachusetts)

    I actually think it was very brave on his part. To me it came across as him telling all of America Whites, Blacks, Yellow and Red that he is their president, he does not fear any harn because they have developed that bond of brotherhood, which could only be achieved in mutual trust. Obama is not a foolish man, he knows that although some people might still be resilient to change, the overwhelming majority is with him, therefore he walked for all the millions of people who braved the cold to witness him take the Oat of office.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  590. Joe Burch

    It was neither brave nor foolish. It's a recent tradition, if he would not have gotten out, everyone would have been surprised, not to mention the viewing crowd would have been fairly upset. People who say this was some incredibly brave act are the foolish ones, it is just the presidents duty. Does it make Jimmy Carter a hero because he walked the entire mile and a half? No.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  591. Fallon

    I was excited to see President Obama and the First Lady to get out of the car. My heart was in my throat the entire time he was out of the car!I thought it was brave of him to do so, because there are so many angry and fearful people that would love to do him harm. Those that would want to harm him should know that this movement is much bigger than their small-minded, violent ways.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  592. C.E. Family

    It was foolish, but I understand why he did it. Each time he left the Beast we, [my household] held our breathes wishing he would get back in.

    America's history is not very good regarding leaders that can actually move our courntry forward in a direction that is good for ALL the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  593. Aiesha Allen

    Yes, it was a good thing that President Obama and First Lady Michelle walked in the parade. It shows how closely he wants to be connected to the the people despite security concerns. To see Biden and wife walk the whole parade, was a swift reality check. We should all pray for his safety.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  594. Jason Razon - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

    It was neither Brave nor Foolish. He is a President of the people and so he wanted to be closer to the people. I think it was a sign of respect from him to the people, and I respect him for doing it.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  595. Ramone - Iowa

    Not foolish at all, nor would I call it BRAVE. It should not be considered a sacrifice to step outside, no matter how high the tension rises among the Secret Service.
    As a leader, you should allow citizens to witness vulnerability as long as you are resolute in your cause. The best way Obama can relate to the people:: RELATE to the PEOPLE!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  596. Keegan, Telluride, CO

    While it was not foolish, I believe it to be very brave of Obama to have gotten out of the limousine. As president, it is important for him to demonstrate that he is accessible to the people, and isn't better or above us. This action, albeit it trivial to the magnitude that he has to prove himself, truly demonstrated how he is different from the past administration(s). Myself, along with many others, traveled a very long distance to see him, and in doing what he did, he made my, and I'm sure many other's, trip worthwhile.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  597. Darren in Idaho

    I thought it was one of the bravest things I've ever seen. What the real issue should be is that how sad we have become as a nation that our leader has to try and help us while his children are getting death threats. He's brave for even taking the job...

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  598. Joseph

    Neither. President Oboma's different than those before him. He's the Jackie Robinson of politics. More is expected of him than any of his predecessors. I'm sure he knows this and equally sure he'll deliver.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  599. andrew

    I think obama was foolish at first glimpse of it happening, but i think in a way it had to be done to show obama is not scared, and that he honestly believes that "all man kind can be good"

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  600. bonnieLemmons

    Hi Jack,

    I think he's a smart guy, but whenever a leader announces that he is going to change the world or is thought to be "The One" who will change the world--THEY KILL HIM. So I wouldn't get too far away from the SECRET PEOPLE (to quote his daughters). He was embracing a very special moment, but in the future, be smart, limit the access. It's a crazy and dangerous world.

    Bonnie from Detroit

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  601. curnell white

    I believe obama was brave, we live in a world where our president has to make brave decisions in order to interact with the people in which whom elected him, all because theres a couple of yahoos out there that dont care about anything, not even themselves.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  602. Colleen, Fairbanks Alaska

    Brave and necessary. He is our President and he needs to be as close to the American people as possible. Too long have our top leaders been sheltered from and disengaged with the people they serve. I hope and expect to see the Obama adminstration to overcome this and stay working from the people that elected him their President. The parade is just an example of staying close to his people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  603. Nathalie

    I dont think this is a question of whether or not it was brave or foolish but rather, was it necessary. These past few months have been extremely rough for Americans and President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have always found it important to reach out to Americans in any way they can. I do think it wouldnt have mattered if they stayed in the car, but I believe it was faith in all that surrounded them that made them get out of the car, even if just for a few moments. We all breathed a sigh of relief once they got back in but we are all thankful that we got those few minutes with them!! Thanks, Jack!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  604. Derek Elrod

    Everybody was watching the inauguration parade around the world. I do not think President Obama had much of a choice, because he needed to appear brave and strong. Staying cooped up inside the armored limo would have made him seem weak and scared. The Secret Service also needed to appear capable and effective. It sends a message. President Obama does not let fear get in his way.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  605. Vance McFadyen

    It was scarey but it was brave of both of the Obamas. I immediately thought back to JFK and got chills down my arms. However he is the people's President and what he did by getting out of the car was meaningful and courageous!
    He will be exposed more than ever now that he is President of the USA and in all reality as he moves around the world he will be in some danger for as long as his term lasts.
    I pray he will serve two terms so the next 8 years will be tense and it must be remembered that history tends to repeat itself.
    The Secret Service must be ever vigilante.
    Vance
    New Westminster, BC, Canada

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  606. Rebecca Anderson

    I think it was foolish, there is just too much at stake.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  607. O. Soliman

    I think pres. Obama is very brave to do that. It reaaly shows how he really care about the people. So it was like saying a personal thank you to all that came to share this moment with him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  608. Sergey

    It is not brave, not foolish. But it will be absolutely shame, if President afraid of walk in capitol of country, he lead. President Obama show the unity with people, with country, show that he do not afraid of americans, who came to greet him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  609. Candis

    To consider it act of bravery would be foolish. President Obama's commitment to stay connected with the people is admirable. However, his responsibility to the American people as their new President is first and foremost to ensure that he does not inadvertantly become the trigger for its destablization. Given the near Godlike status much of the public has accorded him, can you imagine how the country would have responded had he been fatally wounded while talking that stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue? President Obama does not have the luxury of jeopardizing his safety just to give a few hundred people a photo op. Keep the blackberry but when in doubt, stay in the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  610. Brent Wilder in arkansas

    I think it was very brave..considering what has happened in the past to previous president's...he is a man of COURAGE and PRIDE and he wanted the people of the United State's to know that.

    Paragould Arkansas

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  611. Peter J. Green

    This "walk-about" was prearranged. Note where it took place: the FBI Building, the Dept of Justice Building and the Federal Courts.
    This was an area where enhanced security could be provided.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  612. Chris

    In my humble opinion, the walk was neither brave nor foolish. Rather, it was gracious and considerate. Given the awesome historical moment, and the 1.5+ million people that braved the frigid elements to witness it, I believe he had to.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  613. Willie

    Jack, although risky,it was wise. President Obama did it for the tens off thousands who weathered the cold. If the enemy feels he can keep our leader bound behind a bulletproof wall all the time, they will feel as though they have the advantage. Seeing President and Mrs. Obama walking waa
    Like a breath of fresh air. By the way Jack, Martin was watching over them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  614. Steven

    Granted we live in dangerous times. This applys to us all. For President Obama to step out and trust that our highly trained Secret Service is doing all possible to protect him and his family shouldn't be questioned. Lets use our observations and time for something more constructive then weither or not he should be able to walk in the open. The last administration used the "Fear" word to worry gullible Americans. Grow some back bone and lets move forward America again like we use to be.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  615. Mike from New York

    I feel it was both brave and foolish. This is a time in our history with enormous significance. Obama wants to be as accessible as possible to the American people to make us feel a part of the democratic experiance. His actions show that he will take the nesessary chances to connect with the public on a personal level. On the other hand he has taken an incredible risk to his safety in order to do this.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  616. Jesse

    While I believe what he did was extremely dangerous, I would not say it was foolish. It was reported that the part of the route which they chose to walk was "relatively" safe as most of the buildings were locked down. He is the first African-American President so the target on his back is already huge. But the message that he has preached and the connection that he has built with the public most likely gave him the confidence and courage to get out of the limo. Foolish? No. He demonstrated once again that he is the people's President!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  617. Dorian T. Davis

    President Obama walking in the street with barely any protection shows that he is a true people person. It's because he love America and her people that he was willing to give it his all and in my opinion he had made an outstanding impression. I am happy that we are beholding something new in our lives. We need more Americans to step up and grip our country the way that he did.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  618. Renee, Reston VA

    Jack,
    It was a great moment for all of us (including our new 1st couple), to have them out of the limo & be outside on the streets of Washington DC, together. He is a man who obviously walks the walk, not just talks the talk and his proving it, beginning with that walk. Great moment.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  619. Donnell / Atlanta

    What President Obama did was brave. If he seeks equality he must take risk from time to time. However, was it brave or foolish for Limbaugh to make a request in code demanding that Obama be stopped? Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric is at the root of our questioning the bravery or foolishness of his walk down Pennsylvania Ave. I pray for Mr. Obama's safety and pray that the media will wisen up as well and put Limbaugh's hate on the witness stand.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  620. Brittany

    Niether, it was not brave he was in one of the safest place at the time in D.C. Also why would he hide from the pulic, when those very eyes that folled him through those streets where the ones that elected him comander of the free world.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  621. Evelyn Naomi

    It was brave but they should not do it again for society's sake and for the sake of the of the security officials.

    For once and for the historical moment it was not foolish.
    If other presidents walked why wouldnt Obama walk just for once in history.

    North Americans have to learn to be a little more positive. We use our tounges to say a lot of negativity and we curse our selves with our own tounges.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  622. Johanna Riddle

    Foolish or brave? Both, of course. To follow his compelling speech that included words about the last vestiges of (racial) hate in our country, It was wonderfully inspiring to see him get out and walk among the people with assurance and poise. Big statement. But, as our leader, with the potential of violence from both domestic and foreign factions, I also see the that the greater good must be served through prudence and protection. I was so veryvery proud of him yesterday–and of our country as a whole. And I hope that the secret service has recovered from the shock and stress of that brief but powerful pedestrian wander. Barack needs them, and we need Barack.

    New Smyrna Beach, Florida

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  623. Ian, St. Louis, MO

    When the Obama's got out of "the beast" to wave to the crowds and be alongside the American people tensity swelled inside those watching. For a moment I almost couldn't watch but when I saw their smiles I was happy they did it. President Obama is and will be a president of the people, that said it is necessary for him to be open with the American people. This was not just an act of bravery but a statement to the people of America and the people of the world that he is not afraid of his enemies and America is and will always be a place open to those who seek hope, freedom ,and a chance to make their lives better.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  624. Jo-Anne

    This President can do no wrong for me and my son!

    I was wild with excitement and gripped with fear for the entire time he was outside.

    Our vote ..."A bit of both"...but we love him all the more for it!

    So thoughtful of him to reward us in that way!

    Love and blessings Mr President

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  625. The Bear

    No I totally find it Okay not Brave not foolish.
    I am from Austria living in North of the US, and it remind me little bit what my mother used to tell me, that in old times Leaders where walking on the street like anyone of us, because there was nothing to worry about, since people liked their leaders. To bad this part can't be brought back since this will really would give the leaders a sense what is going on on the streets. But let be said one thing Obama is doing, he causes a good global warming of Hearts, at least for the moment.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  626. George Dixon

    In hindsight, brave (praise be). The man has guts. (Would YOU have gotten down like he did at some of the inaugural balls?) In any case, it seems it will have to be his last hail-mary play. Greater priorities insist that the man allow himself to be protected by his Secret Service doberman's and rottweiler's. But that's OK. We know he loves us. And Lord knows, we love him and his family. It's a new age, Jack. I'm glad I lived long enough to be in at its git-go.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  627. Angela Tacoma Washington

    Jack, It may have been a bit foolish, I was so afraid I sat at the edge of my seat. But how can he talk the talk of change and yet exhibit fear? His speech asked us to be brave that we had been living under fear to long. There is no way he can lead, if he is not willing to be at the front of his followers.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  628. Alfred

    It was neither brave nor foolish. It was just something that had to be done. Obama had an enormous audience there to see him. He just gave them what they wanted.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  629. Tommy Hart

    I am from San Francisco and I can't see anybody hear gunning for Obama, but to say that everybody out there love Obama is very wrong. There are many extremists out there and It is a scary but real fact that his life is more at risk than most other presidents.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  630. Dino Iommelli

    Brave of Foolish?

    Consider my Dino-ism...."To be Brave is to be Foolish". It all falls to the outcome...the people have spoken.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  631. C.L. Clarke

    I believe it was brave of him to step out of his safety zone and greet the people who were there to welcome him to his new office/position. His stepping out showed the level of trust between President and people – not only do they trust him, but he trust them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  632. Luis Nina from Elizabeth, NJ

    I don't think it was foolish for Obama to leave the Limo at all. I believe that was an exact proof of the whole concept of "Leadership". The sense that people around the whole world might think that Obama might be afraid that something might happen to him is out the window with that very same action He demonstrated that his need to help this nation as well as the whole wolrd is bigger than himself (his life), and for which it is ideal to be emulated.

    I admire this person, so much that Politics is my number 2 concern now days. He is a leader, he is our present Gahndi.

    Thanks,

    Luis Nina, Elizabeth Nj

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  633. Drew

    Jack I thought it was both foolish and brave. I was hopeing that he did not get out of the car. I really didn't think that he would do it and breathed a great sigh of relief once he and the first lady got back in the car. I thought it was foolish because he was so exposed outside of the vehicle and even though most of the people along the parade route were there to cheer him on, there are still a bunch of crazies out there. It was brave because it took courage to knowningly put himself in harms way. But all in all it was a great way to let the people who help to elect him to the highest office in the land, feel apart of the process.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  634. Clara Weyh

    President Obama has been protected by the Secret Service since 2007. The U.S. Government is keenly aware of the danger level among extremists regarding President Obama's safety.

    I positively believe the President and First Lady were instructed when and where they could walk openly and when to get back in the car.

    We should note that the daughters were in the car as well, but were not permitted to walk with their parents.

    I have great admiration for the Secret Service and their achievements in technological strategy beyond the visible bodyguards. There were countersnipers placed at all buildings, don't forget that.

    Those who would look to harm our new President and his family should take note that it is not possible, in this age, to pull another Oswald on the Secret Service of 2009.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  635. Mary

    I believe it was very brave of him and Michelle to get out and walk. If we understand how dangerous it is don't you think he knows how dangerous it is, as well. President Obama knew how many people had come to be a part of the inaguration and how many people had worked to help during his campaign and he probably felt that was the least he could do for so many who would only get a glimpse of him and his family up close and personal. I also believe that he thought about the strategy of getting out for a short period and then getting back in after a short walk. This would not allow for anyone to really know when or how long he would be exposed to any threats. This is the same way he has gathered information, processed the pros and cons then made thoughtful intelligent decisions. What a man, what a president we have to look forward to for the next four years.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  636. Fred" Enforcer" Esannason USVI

    President Obama was confident. Confident in the American people and visitors who travelled and braved the cold just to see a little bid of him. Confident in the security detail in placed for this undertaking. It is this type of confidence that made it possible for him to become the first African American President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  637. kenyon

    I think that he had to get out just to ease the minds of people who think negative.There a lot of people that think someone will try and assassinate Obama but I heh to differ.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  638. Debra Burch

    You have to understand that President Obama is a everyday person. Yes, it was risky walking right out in public as such, but at this point it does not matter. What matters is he will change this country not just for whites, black, hispanic or other cultures. He will change this country for the people, and that is what's going to count. He is a Godly man, sent from God. We as a people should respect his decisions and pray that God gives him the strength to endure what lies ahead for him.

    Debra, Saginaw

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  639. Ernie - Appleton

    Very foolish...if something happened the liberal left will say that there was not enough protection for the first African American. Another story to blame the conservative right like 9-11.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  640. DC

    A very Noble gesture, it helps bring back an inclusive (For the People by the People) appeal to our Presidential office missing from the past 8 years.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  641. Mostafa

    Not sure if I'd categorize it either foolish or brave. A foolish president that cares about his people might do the same thing just out of passion, care and willingness of being close to his citizens.

    You can't have your president to be afraid of safety among his own people that put him up for the job and of course when there is secret service coverage.

    I loved it when he came out of the car! It made me feel that he cares, he is not separating himself. He wants to among us not above us.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  642. Juan

    When you are the President, you have to make tough choices.
    To sit inside the limo would have been scrutinized in the media. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. President Obama walking the parade route was a statement that he's not going to be forced to make a decision out of fear. As was mentioned in the news coverage, the area they walked was well thought out ahead of time.

    Juan/Los Angeles

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  643. Richard Cayce

    Neither..........................It was political!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  644. Demond E. James

    It was neither foolish or brave. What our new president did was who he is. Its not about him. It is about the people. There is just a few who are not on board. Enjoy the ride! You just might get joy in your life for a change.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  645. Tim

    It was certainly brave and necessary. Mr. Obama needed to show the American people and the world that we will not live in fear; while it may be a careless way to display this what kind of leader would he be if he didn't have the courage to stand out and greet those who elected him. I hope we could all have some faith in the men who have been given the responsibility of protecting him. However I could understand why people would be uneasy when it seems any run of the mill reporter can get a good shot at the leader of the free would if his weapon is a shoe. In fact that reporter got a second shoe off. I would hope that the secret service took that situation seriously and made some changes on how to protect this new president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  646. George

    The decision to leave the limo and walk part of the distance to the White House was most assuredly courageous AND SMART!! It is what the masses needed to see, sense and feel - a President who is from us, out amongst us and ready to govern FOR US. God, I love this man!!! It is so refreshing to see this after 8 years of The Ice King George.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  647. Hussein Shaarawi

    Foolish. Look at what happened to Benazir Butho when she popped her head out of the sunnroof of her limousine

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  648. Jon Remy

    Despite all the security, it might have been an unsafe move due to the possibility of an unexpected breach in security. When Benazir Bhutto left the protection of her armoured vehicle, well, you see what happened. President Obama can NEVER be too careful, and he will need to be protected at ALL times. We can't afford to lose a president like Barack Obama whose dreams and visions are the same that we ALL share. He may possibly become the best president the United States has ever known, and only time will tell. But, he needs to be guarded and shielded even more so because he, his wife and children are true "gems" of persons and, in my opinion, I believe he will change our country for the better. Congratulations, President Obama!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  649. Charlotte Guilmenot

    They indicated early on that they will not live their lives in fear.
    Too many past decisions were made in fear. That will not be the case with Pres Obama, and his choice to walk shows that he will not live in fear, nor make decisons based on fear. Actually the Secret Service cannot guarantee his safety..they can only take a second bullet or apprehend the shooter... only the Lord can guarantee his safety...therefore we must continue to pray for the safety of our president, vice president and their families.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  650. Denise Turner

    Jack, All I have to say is...NO MORE sarah palin and LET freedom and everyone being equal RING!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  651. Gundra Kucy

    Neither! He showed that which he sets out to do, namely: To end the Bush weakness/preaching to see in every shadow a terrorist!
    Only through his (Obama's) own actions can he set the healing course for America's future!
    The trademark of a 'dictator' is that he keeps his people metally overpowered- to see in everything a frightful thing....

    Edmonton, Alberta
    Canada

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  652. Todd

    Jack,

    I don't think it was necessarily brave or foolish, although it did make me nervous, I think it was very "Obama." He is a different man; a man who truly wants to serve the people, under his terms. He can only do so by taking risks and exposing himself in order to not lose touch with "the people." In doing so, he instills a sense with us that he won't abandon the nation; that he is within reach. It scares me to death, but it is admirable how important it is to him.

    Todd
    Phoenix, AZ

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  653. olumide georgia

    Obama and his wife walking was so scaring but that is what i called brave and he is the man of the people

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  654. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    Jack, it was both brave and foolish. President Obama knew everyone expected him and Mrs. Obama to leave the "Beast" at some point along the route and walk a little ways; the people would have been greatly disappointed if he had not. It was foolish, of course, because the secret service people could not totally protect him whenver he was out of the limo, but I'm afraid it was a chance he had to take, just for a few moments.

    Liz
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  655. Michelle S. - Missouri

    Very brave and perhaps a bit foolish in today's society. But I think it's important that he at least gives the appearance of being accessible to the people that elected him. Sure he'll be in a bubble, and so any opportunity he gets to interact with the public, he should take. He is very loved right now and I think that's how he got away with walking that short distance. During the campaign he was so accessible to people, he even had conference calls with his his campaign volunteers on a few occasions. That meant so much to us that were volunteering, even if there were 20-some thousand people on the phone at once. He needs to keep doing those types of things to keep people energized and to keep giving us hope. There is no doubt though, that there are those out there that would wish him harm so I would like him to make those types of opportunities in more secure environments.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  656. selassie

    i think it was a brave move since we travelled miles and miles to see him on such a historic and memorable day even though we were all scared or worried about his safety. we want to take this oppportunity to thank him for making that brave and bold decision to step out and wave at us

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  657. Fabrice Kandjanga from the Congo (DR)

    It was brave. It shows how President Obama can trust the great people of America and he knows how we love him. Most importantly, only God can propect our President as the Service Secret Agents are very limited.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  658. Denise Banks

    Both times he and Mrs. Obama got out of the car, I held my breath. Then I thought about it more and rationalized that in both cases, the Secret Service made an effort to ensure that there were eyes on top of the buildings as well as on the ground that had cleared the appropriate times that he got out. I did not feel that he just jumped out of the car without first consulting Secret Service.

    So I guess I would say..in both cases...the decision to get out of the car was calculated....

    I might add that it might be wise to re-think having inaugurations during times when people aren't so bundled up and have the ability to "hide" weapons under all the garb that they wear...

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  659. Peter from the Bronx

    50 heavily armed secret service agents surrounding you, untold amount of snipers on the roofs of buildings above. Police, Army and various security agencies located every 4 feet along the route. Not to mention the thousands of supporters in the stands... Brave would have been the fool that would even think of attempting to try anything

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  660. Steve, Los Angeles

    Jack, President Obama is the leader of the brave and the free, exiting the beast and walking was the only way to send that message to friend and foe alike.

    Steve
    Los Angeles

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  661. Dee

    The President and Mrs. Obama's walking a part of the parade route was neither brave nor foolish...I think it was just very human of them to want to share the joy of the occasion with their fans.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  662. russ

    it was very brave of him he showed the world that no matter what the color of his skin he is the leader of the us and a learder must walk among his or her people

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  663. Kelly K - Toronto

    I think it was both brave – he is a man who 'walks the talk' which is so admirable and at the same time foolish – he carries the hopes of the United States, and the hopes of many of us from other countries and he chose to put himself in a position of risk. We do not want anyone to harm him and there are 'kooks' everywhere – it only takes one.

    I was actually praying the entire time he was out of 'the beast' and so relieved to see a happy ending.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  664. John

    It was necessary but Obama must be very careful. If his life was to be taken by racism driven groups the effects on the country could be greater than anyone could predict. Any progress against racism could be destroyed by a single shot.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  665. harold

    Jack,
    This shows how connected President Obama is with the populace. He never felt vulnerable. He realised that the people are understanding his message, one of "I am your servant" and not "you are my subjects". We love him and many beyond the Secret Service will put their lives on the line to protect him.
    Congratulations to Mr. President & Mrs. Obama.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  666. Boyer Obama Ali

    Neither brave nor foolish. He's a good man and everybody knows it – even the deviants!

    Ali from Toronto

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  667. tj walton

    considering just a day before we had honored MLK Jr. whom had been assassinated by a sniper bullit from the upper echelons of some apartment building, i'm shocked that this man who shows great judgement in most areas would even consider stepping out of the beast. What was his wife thinking?
    TJ,Boston,Ma.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  668. Gary

    Only Americans call their President the "leader of the free world." As non-US citizens we didn't vote for him as our leader. No citizen of the other part of the world that you think isn't free is likely to be too fond of you telling them about their bondage and that you have just elected a leader for them and the free people as well. It is this systemic arrogance that makes people outside the US cringe. That can't make it healthier for a wonderful and charismatic man who has just achieved an apparent coronation to take a stroll. Oh, and by the way, we non-US citizens watch and wish President Obama well as long as he doesn't tell the rest of us what to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  669. B Sylvester

    His desire to show all he believes everything he has been saying. In other words ... FAITH

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  670. Vincent Ng(Canada)

    Brave but good to show closest to the people. This is his first inaugural and first day as President, and also there is the VP should he be killed.
    I would have done the same thing.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  671. Temi

    I think it was brave. It just showed that he was connected to the people directly. And something I noticed was that when he waved at the people, he did not wave as normal celebrities do, he looked at the people and waved at them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  672. Tashauna

    To think of if, it was very brave of him to get out of the limo and walk. He know exaclty what he was doing so he decided to walk and to pay respect to the people of this very nation. President Obama thinks of others as he think of him self.. And on the other hand he had the opportunity to connect to the crowd and i dont think he was trying to make himself a target.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  673. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    In my french newpaper we have the best first page of yesterday's inauguration that reflects the new White House and the main sentiment of taking care of each other and being there for one another : we see President Obama, hand on the Bible standing beside his wife and his two daughters!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  674. Susan Thomas

    President Obama "walks the talk." He is a man of unwavering faith
    Getting out of the car and being among the people who supported him is par the course. He's brave because he made the right decision to continue to connect with his constituents.

    Susan

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  675. Bettie Jimerson

    Foolish or brave?! Neither. Evidently the main point of this question focuses on safety, but the true measure of a man is not how did he die, but how did he live.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  676. Deborah Farquhar

    America is, unfortunately at times, a visual nation; it was brave; we need to balance our preferences (ice–individual coaching for effectievness).
    As a graduate of Bryn Mawr college, considered the most intellectually challenging of the women's colleges, we often only trust that which is seen.
    Deborah Farquhar
    Alexandria, Virginia

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  677. Tim

    Given the positive emotion fervor of that crowd it was neither brave nor foolish just approprate.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  678. Lou

    Considering all the Right-Wing, Neo-Con, Gun-Loving, Limbaugh-Watching, Hate-Mongering, Ideology-Obsessed, Oxycontin-Adicted people out there... it was a truly brave thing!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  679. Maria

    Well it's almost a "Duh!" type of awnser...yes it was dangerous but I don't think foolish... I think Obama really wants to stay connected to those that elected him and if walking down the street and allowing people to have a glimps of the man they put their trust in will help then why not? Plus that why they had all that security set up and all the secret service...right?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  680. Carl R Hines Jr

    It was Obama, that is why he was elected because he is who he is..Secret Service better get use to it. I for see a lot more pop ups. Besides, no one should have expected less!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  681. Barbie Mitchell - Chapin, SC

    President Obama did not say to the driver "Hey let's stop here". It was a planned event. Note where the President got out of the car, the most secure blocks before you get to the reviewing stand. And if you noticed, a Secret Service agent approached him to advise when it was time to return to the car.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  682. Gregg Wiederer

    It was neither brave nor foolish, it was imperative.
    Symbolically it shows that not only is he our President, but that he is also accessible, and most importantly we will not be cowed by the terrorists of the world and will walk where we choose in a free republic.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  683. Mary

    I have watched with great interest the unbelieveable presidential race as set by President Obama and his team. And now, I am a white American woman very proud to say to everyone that President Obama is MY president. We heard so much about the joy of our black American residents and it should be that way oever the last few days. Please remember that for many of us who are not black, he represents for us as well an incredible possiblity of hope for the future of this great country for all Americans.

    It is exciting to hear President Obaman say, "We can...we will....together make a difference. " And I believe we will.

    I send great prayers to the Obama family for every success.

    To President Obama, my respect to you, prayers, and every confidence, that you will provide the leadership that I believe this country has been hungry to see for such a long time. God Bless.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  684. Lisa in Yucca Valley, CA

    Jack
    I believe it was important to President Obama, and First Lady Obama to get close to the people. It was a celebration for America, and the President is part of that. He was "confident" in the moment. Yes there was a risk, but there has been that since he announced his candidacy for president.
    President Obama is a thoughtful, pragmatic man, and understands the need for "presidential security" but he also desires to keep the barriers as minimal as can be, between him and citizens.
    I think we now have a real president. One that is a real person, and cares about other people and desires to demonstrate that in any way possible.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  685. Nauman Syed

    Given that preparations and security measures for that event commenced long before his inauguration and if I'm not mistaken it was said that majority of the buildings in the surrounding area were government affiliated. That specific area would have been covered with local law enforcement. Walking those few blocks, exposed amongst the crowd, I'd say was brave and needed given that his base principal about his campaign was about the people of the United States. They needed that reassurance that their new leader is not only out to celebrate because of them but to tell them that he is not afraid.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  686. Darius Terrell

    The First Couple's walk was consistant with his philosophy of placing trust in the people around him and remaining accessible. He trusted that his security detail did a thorough job of securing his route and he rewarded those citizens who braved the cold with his warm personality.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  687. Gabriel

    In my opinion the walk was an excellent display of Ben Franklin's famous safety vs liberty saying which the President himself touched on during his speech when he was sworn in. President Obama's action in getting out of that limo was one of the best possible displays of his inherent belief in liberty and freedom over safety. The Secret Service, military and police had their job to do, so did the president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  688. Barbara J.

    I do not consider the Obamas' leaving the limos as foolish. I believe that because of their willingness to become closer to the people that they are both representing , it will be necessary at times for them to take some risks. Perhaps, it is their faith that causes them to not be as fearful as the secret service hopes they would be. I do not believe that the President nor Mrs. Obama will do things that can be classified as foolish. I pray for them as well as those protecting them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  689. Roxanne, Minneapolis

    In the early moments of his Presidency, President Obama courageously chose to stand down the record number of threats against him to give people everywhere what they wanted: A President by the people, for the people and of the people. It was a selfless act that speaks volumes about what kind of President he intends to be.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  690. Mary

    I think it was brave. It just showed that he was connected to the people directly. And something I noticed was that when he waved at the people, he did not wave as normal celebrities do, he looked at the people and waved at them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  691. Loretta

    Barack Obama is a true humanitarian in every sense of the word. His Inaugural Parade Walk is just another indication that our 44th President is truly "a man of the people, by the people and for the people."

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  692. Roxanne

    We all " held our breath" when the limo door opened...however it was in front of the area of government buildings which (I understand )were in a " lockdown". I am sure that he had been informed of where the " safe" areas were to get out. If you noticed ,when he came to the end of the gov't buildings..it was the secret service that brought the walk to an end.
    Risky?..perhaps...necessary..absolutely!!!...Obama showed Americans and the millions of people in the world watching ...that he would NOT be intimidated! Good for him!!!.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  693. A.P. Cooper

    There is a thin line between bravery and foolishness, but I felt this was neither. Rather, it was necessary. As a leader of a great nation, being watched around the world, to show fear by hiding in an armored limo on streets as secured as possible for the situation, would be a mistake. Given it had it's share of risk, the territory comes with plenty either way and a great leader accepts this with no fear and marches tall.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  694. mike Stevens

    President Obama was very brave and inteligent also by stepping out of the presidential limousine and walking. By doing so he inspired all of us to be brave. And to believe in ourselves and what we know. He knew that he was safe in the areas that he walked because of the tall buildings and the various government agencies inside.

    But there was still that chance, and he took that chance for all of us. To remind us how to be brave during these difficult times. So I believe he was brave. And very inteligent.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  695. Everette

    Jack:
    Obama needed to walk some of the way. If Obama had not walked , the perception of fear would have been raised. Obama starting his presidency with the perception of fear would have made him captive to the office of the President. He had to walk.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  696. Tashauna

    To think of if, it was very brave of him to get out of the limo and walk. He know exaclty what he was doing so he decided to walk and to pay respect to the people of this very nation. President Obama thinks of others as he think of him self.. And on the other hand he had the opportunity to connect to the crowd and i dont think he was trying to make himself a target. I guess at that time he felt really safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  697. Van

    President Obama’s decision to leave the protection of the Beast was both foolish and brave. By his actions he stated, I am the peoples President and I am putting your needs before my own!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  698. valerie

    President Obama and Michelle were both brave to leave the security of the "Beast" to walk in the parade. America faces many "threats" ,but we have to be brave. Maybe he appears foolish to those who want to live afraid. But because of the threats against him,he is brave enough to stare down a threat and not be afraid. This is the kind of president we need.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  699. Russell Brier

    Having had contact with the Secret Service on a few occasions I have never got the impression that they much to chance. Sure there was some risk. However it is my guess that the Presidental detail specified exactly what stretch of the route would be walked and for an exact distance. There are many ineffecive branches of government, I don't consider the Secret Service to be one of them.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  700. Jasmine

    I think it was very brave of him to get out of the car, he showed that you can't expect other people to brave without him being brave first. You can't be expected to run a nation in fear.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  701. Matt

    I wasn't even thinking about his decision to get out and walk...I was scared as hell!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  702. Richard

    Not only did he brave the weather and the detractors by walking FOR the people to see, he did it TWICE. He took a calculated risk and won. He'll have to do a lot of that as Persident of the United States to get the country and the economy out of this crash. Go long and be strong Mr. President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  703. Robert in Louisville, Kentucky

    The answer is neither. His action was simply human; what I suspect we will see a lot more of during his presidency. Like most folks, I worried that he would be in greater danger than anyone else if elected, but I feel differently now. I think the vast majority of Americans like him and his popularity will only grow as he begins to accomplish needed changes. More power to the people's president, and nothing but good wishes for him and his family.

    Nevertheless, I want the secret service to be ever vigilant because it only takes one nut, and God knows we have a bunch of them out there.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  704. E. Jones

    I believe it was neither. More to the point it was thoughtful and a sign of thanks and humility. Many of those people made great journeys & sacrifices to be a part of the day that their votes and support made possible. The sight of the president in person is a memory that meant so much to the many who braved the cold & distance. He provided them a much more personal experience than he could have through his limo window. I am sure that he would have walked the entire route if it were safe to do so.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  705. Quiana Jinks

    Barrack and the First Lady are people who live brave life's just running for president was a lot for me. So that walk was nothing but being brave one more time in there life.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  706. Rita M Dirrane

    I guess it was brave of Barack and his wife to walk in the parade for awhile despite the secret service uneasiness. It is understood that they would be nervous but I don't think it is a surprise the Obama's did it. This whole event was a slice of history and this man is one who has a need to be with the people. He posed himself to listen to the people from the start of his campaign and he continues along that theme. He is a man of the peolpe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  707. -

    Every president receives threats. He will probably get even more tomorrow than he did today. I don't see it as brave or foolish and I'm sure Obama and the Secret Service see it the same way. As one viewer stated above, that area of D.C. was the safest place on the planet.

    Personally, as long as the Secret Service has done their job prior to the walk and Obama is mindful/attentive to his security advisors...that's all that matters. Everything else is details.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  708. Richard Pikula Toronto Onario Canada

    I am positive that The USSS allowed the President to exit "The Beast" a.k.a. Cadillac One in the 2 locations where their containment percentage was high. He got out of the car in the blocks contained federal buildings under lock down. This means that the buildings would have had major sweeps and counter snipers. And admission to these venues would have been under strict scrutiny. Invitations and employee passes needed !!!
    The United States Secret Service does not employ Fools or Idiots!!!

    Richard

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  709. Sydney Trail

    I think this was a good move. No shooter would have selected that location because it wasn’t a vantage point. It would have taken too much of a guess work to get him at that point.

    Good job Mr. President.

    GOOD MOVE!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  710. brian

    we are so frightened about our presidents being assinated that it makes us paranoid, what the president did i think, was to show the world that he will not be intimated by any threats to his life, that he has a job to do and it must be done, it was neither bravery nor carelesness, just a president connecting with his people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  711. Glenda Stevens

    Jack,

    I think it's hogwash for anyone to become the leader of the free world and not be brave enough to take risks. President Obama is a true, once-in-a-lifetime leader; therefore, taking the risk of leaving his safety net known as "the beast" proved that he's for real. His inaugural address matches his actions. Kudos to President Obama!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  712. Sergio

    I think Obama's choice to walk the few blocks was brave. He can live his whole life in a bubble forever just because he is the first black president elected. The president and his wife are known to be very community driven, so i think getting out with the general public shows that he's not afraid of what might happen. He doesn't seem to think he's any better than anyone else, and can live a regular life like everyone.It was very historic and something every American will remember for the rest of their lives.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  713. Monica Sok

    I was on the national mall along with 2 million other Americans yesterday, and as I anxiously waited for the ceremony to begin, I feared that something might happened to our president. I thought his march to the White House was extremely brave, and I, too, gave a sigh of relief when he decided to retreat into the presidential limousine.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  714. Jodi Ingham

    It was both brave and foolish. The President has a responsibility to the U.S. citizens to protect his/her life. He was brave however in taking the risk and only reaffirms his image as a "man of the people".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  715. Jim

    Brave-he is showing he is one of the people, not just the leader elected by the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  716. Fonso

    From day one, President Obama proved his ability to be the better one on the campeign trail. His ability to get out his presidential Limo proves his bravery, and love that he is willing to die for his country, which support his ability to bring about change in America.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  717. Colin

    I'd say it's neither, just an attempt at being a normal person. There are dangers at every corner in life, and just sitting in the car is simply being fearful. Not a quality I'm looking for in a leader.

    Fearful of either, having a hand in causing the "Free-world" to lose its newly welcomed leader. Or of something drastic occurring while interacting with the masses.

    Either way, I was glad to see him out of the car thanking the citizens who elected him. I hope it continues, GW acted like a spoiled rich kid, hmmm seems you can judge some by the cover they present.

    I'm no expert on assassinations, but i figure many have come from within the individuals closest circles. Be cautious and prudent about it yes, but paranoid helps no one involved.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  718. Raul, Orlando,FL

    Like many of my friends, I find it brave of him. It shows us that he practices what he preaches, because he tells us we don't need to be consumed by fear, yet the tension shared by me and my friends must have been higher than that of the agents when we see him out and as you said a collective sight of relief once he is out of sight.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  719. Carol

    Getting of the limo was neither brave or foolish, I feel it was just the Obama way of reaching out to America to get up close and personal. He and Michele demonstate their ability to come across to the masses as real people, real Americans.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  720. Leon

    Isn't being brave a little foolish? Coming from New Orleans we call that "laissez-faire"

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  721. Connie & Court

    It may have seemed foolish in terms of the challenge it presents to the Secret Service, but getting out of the limo to greet Americans, was symbolic. It was a reaffirmation of President Obama's theme of unity, accountability to the American people. We certainly understood the visible message...I am your President, I am accessible, and we are doing this together...I am not some untouchable political icon who is beyond your realm or above your issues...And how ironic, that in his first official address this morning, he confirms the direction towards all of this...Full accountability and access to his goverments actions.

    Connie & Courtenay
    Toronto, Canada

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  722. Anthony Mitchell

    I don't see the exposure of our President outside his protective bubble as foolish. The Obamas were acknowledging the sacrafice people made to see them on that historic day. They showed they were not afraid to expose themselves to their fellow citizens despite the risk. Our President must display fortitude. His brisk walk proved that well.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  723. grace

    What a guy! Just what we need! I believe he will not be as critical as some of the people who think they "own" this country.
    Hopefully Jack, you won't do what is going to be done on cnn by Rick Sanchez.every day at 3:00.pm...It is sick. Let this president act as he sees fit. On his time....not CNN's. GRACE

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  724. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    I just think he was more or less confronting fear. What is going to happen is going to happen. He had a lot of confidence in his secret service agents and all the security that surrounded him. The security team said they had him covered and he believe them. I don't think it was either foolish or brave.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  725. Tim

    I recall reading about a gunman that went after FDR. The crowd intervened like it would have done yesterday there were so many positives there.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  726. Daniel

    Not foolish at all. How could President Obama deliver an amazing Inaugural Address like he did in which he told all our adversaries they would be defeated if they took action against the U.S. and then within in almost the same breath not want to get out the car and greet the American people? He sent a strong message by his actions yesterday. If you you’re going to talk the talk; you must walk the walk. No pun intended.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  727. Hank from Norfolk, Virginia

    It was a little bit of both, foolish and brave. It seems foolish for him to expose himself to a possible attack, but it was needed to give that special "feel" of being close to the people. He is a people's president and it gave us that special feeling. It was brave of him to do that, but somewhat foolish and it worried me as much as it did the secret service. I don't want anything to happen to him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  728. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    In my french newpaper we have the best first page of yesterday’s inauguration that reflects the new White House and the main sentiment of taking care of each other and being there for one another : we see President Obama, hand on the Bible standing beside his wife and his two daughters! The title says we have to get back up and start to rebuilt America!

    Take care!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  729. Anthony, Scottsdale, AZ

    It was both brave and foolish. Obama needs to remember that he is at special risk from those in this country that have not moved beyond skin color who would like nothing more then to deny him the chance to serve his term as President. That being said, I think Obama knew this risk and decided to walk in defiance of their intolerence.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  730. Mark, from Toronto Canada,

    I think you said it in the title Jack...Is it brave? Certainly, is it foolish? Perhaps...We all recall JFK in Dallas..The people loved him he didn't want to be cut off from his people in an election year, while in a democracy...But we remember what happened...People love Obama too...Yet this too is a danger. People were seeking to try & kill Obama from 2007 onward...So yes it is brave true...& yes somewhat foolish given the evil in society.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  731. Antwaine From Jamaica

    Jack, just imagine, all those people came out to see him inaugurated the least he can do to say thanks is to give them a Presidential walk. The secret service had to had have things under control...i guess.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  732. Jimmy

    He brave it is – shows a lot of character as a Commander in Chief with quarter of a million active troops deployed in harms way, that’s the least he could do to demonstrate he is at level with his people and troops. Let that “foolish” label be owned by the other war president who scare to serve when being called upon but free-willie to exploit on other’s kids bravery and patriotism.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  733. dman

    Since Carter, Reagan, was the only one who didn't, actually Jack I like your show but when you used this as a legitimate question I was sort of turned off by it, we the people that have been watching inaugurations for about the past 20 or so years have known this to be something pretty standard, so why in your phrasing did you make it seem as though Barak Obama was doing something foolish, the secret service certainly have it in their guidebooks how to handle it I bet ya! I believe it was announced that at Freedom Plaza they were to get out, what President Obama did was get out way ahead of the planned walk location.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  734. Wayne from Tuscaloosa,Al

    Come on Jack. Is this your question or the editors?
    I doubt anyone was there to do him harm so I'd have to say he may have been showing his trust and thanks to the American people who traveled from near and far to share this special day with him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  735. Joe Baker

    I do not think it was either brave or foolish. It was simply, "the right thing to do." That was probably the only day it will be safe to walk outside his vehicle, for the President . With all the pre-inaugural screening and security measures taken, I do not believe the President took an excessive risk by trying to mingle with the people.

    It would have been better if he actually tried to touch and shake hands with by-standers. However, I can see where this effort may have drove the Secret Service a bit crazy. Only time will tell if he will be able to do the same in four years from now.

    Joe Baker
    USMC Ret.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  736. bob parno

    I believe that it was both brave and foolish, moments in history are not meant for the timid or the fainthearted. To make history you have to live it, be a part of it and revel in the time that you are given. Our lives are not meant to be measured in moments of fear, they are meant for moments of Glory. I am sure Barack and Michelle will remember fondly in their later years that wonderful moment in time that they walked in glory down Pennsylvania avenue.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  737. Wallace Fard Muhammad

    I think that President and First Lady Obama demonstrated bravery when they stepped out of there protected vehicle. America still has some very sick people, who would like nothing more than to see Him DEAD!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  738. Janis Ottawa Canada

    I don't think that it was brave or foolish but the reality of his new position. I was nervous the whole time that he was out of the car, but as you said, people came from all over to see them. His presidency is based on open access, he has 4 years, and can't be out of the public the whole time. I think that he has to be reasonable, but trust the people who are responsible to protect him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  739. Jeanne

    It was neither brave nor foolish, he is the President of the United States of America and as such he should be able to and the American people should be able to see our president in the flesh walking down Pennsylvania Avenue on his way to our home.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  740. Rick

    No one threw boots at him so it was fine.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  741. Rev Vincent Mortonp

    Jack::
    In my opinion the President leaving the automobile and walking could be considered foolish, dumb and/or maybe stupid.....I would guess the same might be said of Martin Luther King, John F Kenndy...Mahat (sorry speling) or Jesus Christ...but change means risks and risks mean stepping out and being Vulnerable

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  742. Lee Northern California

    It was neither brave or foolish, but necessary. When you have people coming from all over the world waiting for hours in the cold to see you, then you make it happen. He comes from a big city and doesn't ever want to be shown as someone who isn't one of the people. He doesn't want to be in a bubble for 4-8 years and I believe it reminds him of the reason he is in politics, the people. He will challenge the secret service like no other president because of his need to stay connected to and touch the people. Washington probably never seen Bush outside of the white house but Obama will be more visible to the public. If he didn't get out then the question would have been, is Obama scared for his safety?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  743. Michelle Kaprielian

    It was neither foolish nor brave. President Obama is a man of the people and it would have been wrong for him not to have walked some of the route. While he entered the presidential bubble at noon yesterday and his personal safety is at greater risk than those who preceded him, I admire him for demonstrating that he will not be paralyzed by fear. I believe he is every bit the leader we hope he will be.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  744. Greg

    I strongly believe that President Obama was BRAVE and not FOOLISH when he decided that he would step outside of the safety of his car. That showed that he knows what he is up against and is willing to face the problems himself.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  745. Greg

    He is the President of the people, he cannot keep himself issolated out of fear. I was happy to see him walking. What I wonder is why it is not being reported about the thousands of ticket holders being turned away from the inauguration event? Can someone tell me what happened?!? I had a blue ticket, waited in line for hours, and watched the swearing in on TV.

    Greg Indiana

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  746. Jean/Jacksonville

    I don't think he had a choice. After telling us not to fear, he could hardly cower inside the BEAST. I'm glad he got that.

    Don't get me wrong, I was just as distraught as the Secret Service, with all the wrong minded idiots out there, but a lot of people had come from great distances to see him. I'm glad he got that too.

    Also because he did not run as a black man, he couldn't at this point draw too much attention to the danger a black man, let alone a black President, runs just walking down the street.

    I'm proud he got this above all esle.

    He does get a whole lot of things, does't he Jack?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  747. FREDERICK E.

    i think the few blocks walk made them seem more like real people not better than ME. But i dont think it should be often .In reality we know there are people who will try to harm him in time. But I admie them for doing it ,if only that one time

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  748. Amber New, Mexico

    I know I was nervous watching him walk down the streets, but I do understand that as president wants to get as close as possible to the people he serves.

    Maybe he could have something similar to the Pope Mobile? That way everyone can truly see him and he will still be protected?
    Yet, what does it say to the world if he is always afraid of what may lay in the shadows.

    At the same time I do not want the country to have to deal w/another JFK in Dallas.

    God bless our President!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  749. Renford Freemantle

    Stepping out the limo and walking a few minutes to have the people see him isn't brave or foolish. But shows that "yes" there is a security threat but knows that he is a president for the people and there must be some strength when it comes to being also the leader of the free world!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  750. Juliet from AZ

    It was foolish and brave at the same time. It made me so nervous holding my breath and getting goosebumps while the First couple were walking exposed on PA Avenue.

    With what happened to his idols, A. Lincoln, JPK and MLK Jr, he should know better.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  751. Kenneth S.

    I think it was either. Considering that now Obama is President, the walk is the only time that he can get on the same level as regular citizens before going up into the bubble. As tense of a situation that he placed himself in, I'm glad that he did it.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  752. Tera

    President Obama is a "people's president". Call it brave or foolish but here you have a man who knows the risk of being president (not to mention the first black president). If he was a man who lived in fear for his life, he wouldn't the man who talked about "the human right to be free". That means walking a few blocks. Isn't that what MLK died doing...being a free man! As the president said, "he's straight".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  753. Doug Holt

    I hope and pray that was both the first and last imprudent decision President Obama makes. He is too valuable to expose himself and his family to the "crazies" who lerk in the shadows.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  754. Dan

    Jack, I think it was just Barack Obama.

    Dan
    San Marcos, TX

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  755. Henry Myers

    I was holding my breath both times Obama decided to step out of his limo, however, I think it was very brave of him, and courage like that is the kind of thing we need in a president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  756. C. Richard Stockner Marshalltown, Iowa

    J.C.:

    None of the above. It was necessary. The President connects well with people and the nation. His walk symbolized and demonstrated his connectivity to the people. This is a President not just with a desire to "do what HE thinks is best"...he is a President with a desire to collect information from many as well as varied sources...this will give him great credibility as he does what the NATION thinks is best.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  757. John Mead

    Dear Jack–

    As one who walked the Oakland ghetto in June, 1968, on behalf of Bobby Kennedy, while in college at UC Berkeley, I have a deep concern whenever our leaders go out and "walk among the people".

    My short answer to your question is that it was both courageous and foolish. If you co nsi der the risk–the worldwide investment in hope for President Obama, it seems foolish to even remotely risk it all in order to get out and walk for a few minutes, for a few blocks, just to make the point that you will not be "reigned in" by the Secret Service.

    On the other hand, there is so much symbolism on the part of a new president and first lady to basically challenge our darkets enemies, and just flaunt the risk and go walk among the people.

    Do I think it was foolish, given the short time risked, but the huge potential loss–yes, I do. If it were up to me, I would not have allowed it.

    But there is something just so American, and brave, about our leaders who insist on showing the world that they will not be completely insulated, and will walk, wave, and smile to the people, that I cannot but admire it.

    John Mead
    Newport Beach, CA
    rrockitt@gmail.com

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  758. Adam

    Jack,

    It wasn't a matter of brave or foolish. It was more of a statement to the world saying " you can not break apart our fortitude". No matter what happens, even if President Obama was to get assasinated (God forbid), we as americans have reached a new level of democracy and nothing would ever take that away.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  759. Levi Wallace

    Obama realizes the stigma this country carries when it comes to race relations. Obama also realizes the only way to break down those barriers is to take certain chances and/or risks. Obama's time in office will be a FLURRY of "firsts". This is just one thing people will talk about. Anyone who believes the decision to march outside the presidential limo was a bad one needs to ask themselves a few questions. How foolish was Dr. King? How foolish was Rosa Parks? How foolish are WE, as a country, to NOT encourage President Obama to be brave at this time in history? If I could say anything to our new President: "Never back down, never fear, never forget why you are here and what you need to do."

    Like it or not, there are a LOT of tasks to do in this country and Obama is here to prove that skin color is not a factor in whether or not someone is intelligent enough or capable enough to complete those tasks. It's time for the doubts of lesser enlightened Americans to be proven COMPLETELY invalid... and I think America has elected JUST the man for the job! Congratulations, President Obama! You are truly an inspiration to us all and a VALID part of WORLD history.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  760. Erik W Stephens

    President Obama is brave everyday for breaking for being the first black President. But as he has said in interviews before, he cannot spend his time worrying about "what if someone tries to hurt me?" Obama's success was in large part due to groups of Americans who had felt marginalized and without a voice in government. Many of those people spend hours in sub-freezing temperatures just to catch a glimpse of the man who symbolizes hope and change for them, their country, and their world. Obama essentially HAD to get out and walk, even if only for a few minutes.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  761. Marilyn

    I don't think that his move to walk out side yesterday alone with his wife was foolish nor bravery. i think he was sending a message of appreciation to all of those who put him in power and to those who came from far off to have a real glance of him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  762. Jacqueline Mckinzie

    The fact that they chose the last leg of the trip and an unscheduled stop to exit the "Beast" tells me that they considered the CIA's concerns about safety. They didn't give anyone a chance to plan an attack because no one knew where they would be walking. More importantly, they considered the people, waiting for hours to see them. What an incredible couple, to me its like a member of my family, They think about the least of us. I absolutely love these two. God bless them forever.
    God bless this country that I have made my home from the day my mother brought me here from the small island nation of Jamaica. She was right about this country, given all its faults then, and now, its still the best place to call home.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  763. Amerah Henrene Shabazz-Bridges

    In response made about Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton...unless that individual walked in their shoes he/she will perish for a lack of knowlege.

    When I saw President-elect Obama standing in the door way getting ready to walk out and take the oath of office to become the President of the United States of America I almost stopped breathing…what confidence…what grace…there stood a man who is willing and able, I firmly believe, to take on the challenges of “running” the USA…AND, I finally got it! I worked for Rev. Jesse L. Jackson at Operation PUSH many years ago…we marched…we picketed…we adopted schools…we believed that “…we are somebody”…we believed that “we shall overcome one day”,,,we mobilized and worked in the trenches to put the first Black Mayor into office in Chicago – Mayor Harold Washington…Oh, I remember!…I finally got it… most of the politicians came through PUSH back in that day…they were the biblical “servants” – the Joshuas, the Moses, the Esters, the Rahabs who confronted the Pharaohs shouting “…let my people go”…Oh, I remember and I really get it today…that everything is in Divine Order…that the God of my understanding keep His promises to his people – ALL of His People…that ALL things work for the good…if we believe…and here we are…we have elected a MAN who represent the people…I believe we will meet the challenges we face…I believe this will happen through THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE and through Presiden Barack Obama…”The dream is still alive.”

    January 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  764. Matt

    Walking down the street like that yesterday, brave. Walking down the street after Guantanamo is closed, foolish.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  765. Nellie, ..Virginia

    Brave... It showed that there is no fear at that time and not in the future, fear will not get the job done. The Lord did not give his children the sprit of fear.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  766. Jennifer - Raleigh, NC

    Putting himself at risk was a brave thing to do, but unfortunately, is a part of the job he signed up for...at least to a certain extent. Obama cannot govern successfully if he's so far in the bubble he can't see the light of day, but of course it's not in anyone's interest for him to take unneccessary chances. It was a celebration seen around the world so a short stroll wasn't out of order, but his bravest move was taking the job in the first place. That's one heckuva to-do list he's got there. I wish him nothing but the best.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  767. Jay Ellingsworth

    Jack,

    I dont think that Obama would consider the walk brave or risky. Just as his election shows that America has matured to the point where a black man can get elected President, I think that he feels that a public who loves him will help to protect him.

    It wasnt only the Secret Service that was looking out for him. The American public are well aware that potential dangers exist wherever there is a large crowd gathered and those dangers are even greater when The President is on hand.

    I guarantee you that everyone in the crowd had one on their neighbor when Obama was out on the street.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  768. Vivian

    No. I do not think it was foolish for President & First Lady Michelle Obama to walk in the parade. He showed how close he wants to be to the people. They both showed how concerned and connected they want to be to us. They were very courageous. I enjoyed it. It was indeed a special moment. I love the Obamas!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  769. independent4ever los angeles, ca

    While it may have bordered on the foolhardy, it was not at all surprising. It was the absolute right thing for him to do.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  770. Carla McNary

    Absolutely Brave and much needed show of faith. The President of the free world has called upon all the Nation to walk hand in hand with him through this CHANGE of Presidents, Policies and Propaganda . . . and I for one feel we Americans should stand as brave as our President in our time of great angst and much desired change.

    Mrs. C. McNary

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  771. MIKE

    Isn't this the same man that everyone thinks is so smart and has the
    answers. Yes it was very foolish to expose himself, wife and everyone
    else in such a way considering he has so much change expected from him. It proves he learned nothing from what happened in 1963!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  772. Andria

    Neither brave nor foolish. He's an American and has a right to walk down the street anywhere in this country. I think he was smart to walk, it shows that he's not afraid of what may happen at any time, any place.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  773. Tera

    Tera, Chicago

    President Obama is a “people’s president”. Call it brave or foolish but here you have a man who knows the risk of being president (not to mention the first black president). If he was a man who lived in fear for his life, he wouldn’t the man who talked about “the human right to be free”. That means walking a few blocks. Isn’t that what MLK died doing…being a free man! As the president said, “he’s straight”.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  774. Natasha

    While I do understand how this may have been seen as stupidity or carlessness on his part given the race issue which unfortunately does still exist in some parts of the country...I think it was brave. If he sat in his car, it would almost show a sign of cowardness/weakness from a guy who campaigned for change. Change = different from status quo = different from doing the safe/expected thing = doing what Obama felt was neccessary even with knowing what could have happened. Instead he decided to walk out of his car and face the world. He walked not once, but twice. This reminds me of people like MLK and Benazir Bhutto, who were not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, even given the potential consequences.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  775. Bob Becker

    "The number one priority of our new President is to keep himself safe. Sadly, there is still too much hatred in certain parts of this country to take any unecesary chances. Even if President Obama thinks there is a need to connect directly with the people in less than completly safe conditions, he probably should not. We need this man to serve as long as he is elected - whether for one term or two."

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  776. Bob Messerli

    Mr. Cafferty,

    President Obama's inagural parade walk was neither brave nor foolish. Rather, it was a savvy act of the leader of the free world in a time when we should all step out and remind each other what freedom is all about. Once might ,however, be enough Mr. President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  777. Deana

    Well, I think it was both. Obama getting out of the limo was foolhardy of him, because what if he got assassinated? That was what I was worried about the whole inauguration. The action was also brave, because Barrack could have just wanted to wave to the public. Let the crowd see their new president! I mean, it's not everyday we see such a moment in history. I congratulate Obama on being able to stay safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  778. Rose P., Philadelphia, PA

    It was neither, it was just American.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  779. Mattie of West Palm Beach, FL

    What's stupid, Jack, is the media attention on the President's security. It simply adds energy to the possibility. Leave it alone. This is not a news story and we pray it never becomes one.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  780. Augie

    I would not categorize President Obama's walk as brave or foolish; I saw it as the thing to do. America wants a leader who does not live in fear of his neighbors nor his neighborhood. He sees his job as it should be seen as a position of "service," others before him saw it as a privilege that was ordained to them by the American public, this is the first time since John F. Kennedy that I truly see hope for our country. We all need to serve each other, instead of stepping across to the other side.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  781. forrest

    I think it just speaks to who he is. He really wants to connect with the people to let them know he feels them and he can relate something Bush never did. The secret service get paid pretty well they'll just have to understand who he is and do they're job. If they protected Bush they shouldn't have a problem with Obama. They probably orchestrated the shoe incident

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  782. Roger Rice

    Elvis? John – you're showing your age.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  783. Abie Q

    To be honest, I think it was rather foolish. Did people really elect him to wave at them like some celebrity or be thier commander – in -chief? I am an Obama supporter but I think I can cope with him staying safe in "The Beast" rather than risking his life.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  784. Hermell

    Obama has the favour of God and is ordained by God to be where he is today. God's grace and mercy and unyielding love will shield the Obama's from danger while they do His work!! Keep the faith Obama's for God is with you...

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  785. Shannon

    I think the move by the President proved to be very brave. Its been so long since we've had a leader who has such a desire to stay close to the people he leads. We see this desire expressed in other ways too, like his effort to bring everyone in, wanting to keep his Blackberry, using the internet to not only TALK TO US but also, to HEAR FROM US! This President dosent want to be wraped so tightly in the bubble of security that he is not in touch with the concerns of us everyday Americans. God has given us this gift. Until God says so, no one can take President Obama from us!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  786. Bill

    Its ok, thats why we have VP's.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  787. Mark

    Even though he was taking a chance, it was brave and shows how 'real' of a person he is. He doesn't want to be treated like loyalty, and he will be the people's president.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  788. Kathryn Dixon

    I see Obama & Michelle's stepping out of "The Beast" on the parade route yesterday as a demonstration of the courage and conviction they have in both the people of this country and themselves to step over false barriers – and to discover together a way through and beyond the fears which have held us hostage as individuals and a nation, for far, far too long.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  789. Kelvin

    I think it was kind of foolish, because he got more death threats than any other candidate because he is black. I was afraid for them whenever they got out the car. Why do you think they made his car like a tank? MLK did not have the secret service, so President Obama should listen to his secret service team.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  790. Carlos West New York

    BRAVE VERY BRAVE. A true leader voted by the people for the people. He is in office a few hours and we already see change.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  791. Shannon

    I think the move by the President proved to be very brave. Its been so long since we've had a leader who has such a desire to stay close to the people he leads. We see this desire expressed in other ways too, like his effort to bring everyone in, wanting to keep his Blackberry, using the internet to not only TALK TO US but also, to HEAR FROM US! This President dosent want to be wraped so tightly in the bubble of security that he is not in touch with the concerns of us everyday Americans. God has given us this gift. Until God says so, no one can take President Obama from us! Shannon Black...Canton, Mi

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  792. Brenda in Citrus Springs, Fl

    This was neither brave nor foolish. It was a display of what he has stated for many months. We can't live in fear but rather in a world of hope, trust and confidence that those around you will do their jobs effectively and competently. What a refreshing change from the past 8 years. I am no longer embarassed or afraid to be an American!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  793. Deric

    Jack,

    The response by CNN commentators when, "gasp", he got out of the car was sad. David Gergen was "relieved" when he got back safely into his car. Conservatives (Republicans) do not riot, throw things (eggs or fruit) like Democrats did in the last parade. Thus, Obama was completely safe. Additionally, we need to refer to President Obama as the first "half black' President, or the first Hawaiian -born President. The President made it quite clear that he was born in Hawaii (as opposed to born in Kenya) and it would be nice that Hawaii gets the recognition it deserves. After all, his only connection to "black" abandoned him when he was very young and he was raised by his WHITE grandparents in HAWAII. Thank you, ALOHA STATE, for our first Hawaiian Born President! Aloha nui loa!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  794. Adrienne

    When Obama got out with the First Lady Michelle, I thought " He is a brave person.." He can't show fear even if he knows its a possibility that someone could do something. He knows all the civil rights activist that have been assasinated but He Can Not Show Fear!

    And everyone that saw him saw it. He is our Commander and Chief. He knows that his safety is the concern of many of the American people. I almost fainted when they said he was going to get out and had a sigh of relief when it was said that the news media did not know where.

    I am keeping him and his family in my prayers! Because he is the hope for many peoples in this country and to the other 250 countries that want peace, hope and a future! For all the Americans who voted for him thanks, I love all of yoooou!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  795. PH

    I'm always nerveous for any president that exposes himself to harms way but that is part of the job. Remember J. F. Kennedy with the convertible limo and G. W. Bush and Mrs. Bush also walked that stretch of pavement. The Secret Service people are also at risk but that's part of their job and I always pray that nothing happens!

    PH

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  796. Duane

    Since there were no credible threats on their live and posted by the Secret Service, then I think it was very appropriate to walk for part of the parade.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  797. kasha

    At first I was afraid for him, but after all the threats that he got in the past, I thought he was brave. The Obama's look so lovely.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  798. James Cantwell

    Jack-
    It was neither brave nor foolish. Our new President did what was
    decent and natural. President Obama is going to do everything he
    has promised. With guts, honesty and courage, he will soon cause all
    who doubt him to rethink their positions. I think that anyone who may
    have thought they could reach him in some destructive way would
    soon see their folly, what with the extreme security and the new
    "Monster" and all. I am so happy to be an American! And to the so called "enlightened" European's: What color is your president?
    Jim, Deltona, Florida

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  799. elaine conner

    Our New President Obama is a man with values, strength, loyalties and faith, that many can't understand. HE is a leader just as Martin Luther king, John F. Kennedy and other great and other great and women who has committed their life to God and not to people or themselves, they know that God is truly in charged of their lives, and he along has blessed them with the wisdom, and intellect to be the men they are. Our President believe we are truly one nation under GOD!! not under men, and when it is all said and done we all will answer to God and not men. He is surly the people president, not men who was blessed with power, that think it was all about them, for them . yet you see how slowly but surly they fail and fall walking on their faith. they think, but God proved to them who is in Control.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  800. beto

    Although dangerous, Pres. Obama displayed trust, confidence, and belief in the good will of "Americans". He gave the public a chance to display their own trustworthyness as well as their Patriotism. Americans (patriots of Democracy) responded. I know it only take a rogue to ruin it all. To wish Pres. Obama ill would be un American. On inauguration day – right won over wrong. It's not about being Democrat or Republican or even conservative or liberal. It's about being an American 1st. Those that want him to fail are afraid that he is going to prove them wrong. That's a lot of (jim) crow to eat. God protect Pres. Barack H. Obama.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  801. Larry Bright

    I think the prresdient leaving the Limo was needed and I think President Oboma was aware it was needed. He would have come across as being distant from the people that had elected him. He had to show he was part of the people and there for them, to stay in the Limo would have said otherwise. Foolish, NO, brave, maybe, Needed YES!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  802. suyesh

    It wa neither brave nor foolish. Yesterday was the day when everysingle person over there came as together. It is strong belief of the history being made that made them walk with no fear. Because everyone else over there even if they were standing and watching actually they were walking with barack and michelle to the point of a day which will be written and re written in everyones heart in the present and the future to come.
    We love you barack and michelle. God bless you.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  803. Darryl

    To me, I don't think it was foolish nor brave for the newly elected President to exit the limo & walk amongst the people. Indeed, it may have thrown the Secret Service into fits but it's their job to protect the president. It simply appeared to me as a President who had full confidence in the people hired to do their job, allowing him to focus on the matters at hand. Now if it was me.... ahhh. Nothing less then a "Pope Mobile" lol

    January 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  804. darrellwagner

    i seen no prolbem with obama and his wife getting out the limo,it;s time for the this foolishness to stop.this is a loving country you seen all the difference race of people out there.that means a hell of alot that this world wants all people to come together,and for those that dont want to that;s wy they are putting people on the moon need i say more

    January 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  805. Imani

    It just shows that he will always be the people's President....I love my new President and First Lady (and first children, too),

    May God keep them all and VP Biden and his family snugly in His hands. And may God bless us all!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  806. Elaine Bagley

    I thought it was foolish. It made me so nervous, I had to turn the TV off until they'd had time to get to the reviewing stand.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  807. Shem

    I think it was a great idea to exit the car and greet the people. The Royal Family in the UK does it. What is the role of the secret service if they can't Protect the president in DC on a planned parade route? They must have known he would want to meet the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  808. C. Robert

    Jack, I held my breath with each step he took and shouted a sigh of relief when he went back to the car. I know he wanted to be accessible to the people, but given this day and time, it's foolish to believe that we don't have some right wing extremist that would love nothing more than to be the one that ended his life, even sacrificing their own to make this happen. As an African American, you can be sure that I am glad to see Mr. Obama become President of the USA. I believe he is qualified and is capable of leading us to higher heights. However, everybody does not share my sentiments and for this reason I believe he MUST exercise extreme caution.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  809. Nicole

    As a Christian, we believe that with Christ Jesus we can do all things but fail.........When Jesus is with you, you can go anywhere.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  810. Mac in Texarkana

    I believe that if u were to ask the President himself he would probably say neither. Foolish in this respect suggests a snubbing carelessness. Brave as it stands here suggests an arrogant boldness. In Obama neither applies. I think he would just tell u in a word–It was "necessary".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  811. Tavon

    Jack,

    I really don't think it was either brave nor foolish by the new President and his beatiful wife to get out of their custom tank to walk for a while. President Obama seems to be someone in a book or as close to a real life superman as it gets. The hope he instills in people across the country it's only right to get out of the car and thank them. And it would'nt surprise me if he can stop bullets either.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  812. Joe Baker

    It was neither brave nor foolish . . . just the "right thing to do." That was probably the only day he would be able to get away with it considering all the screening and security measures taken for this event.

    The real question will be if he can repeat this same move in four years from now.

    Joe Baker
    USMC Ret.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  813. Chris

    Foolish, no. Bold, reassuring, and appropriate for a man of his stature, power, and appeal.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  814. Diego, Toronto, ON

    Barack Obama wasn't brave or foolish. This was nothing more than a symbol of the coming change in politics. This was Obama connecting with the citizens of his country, like Prime Ministers did here until the '70s. Obama and Biden are used to being the everyday people, riding the subways and trains to work every day, and walking as if they were the everyday "Joe six-pack". They will both be hesitant in the transition to isolation.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  815. Jon R.

    Bush is the one who needs to be scared to get out of the limo, these days he's dodging footwear not just bullets like regular presidents.
    I think Obama was smart to get out of the limo and walk, he has the whole world on his side. And i think he's smart enough to keep it that way.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  816. David Scarbo

    In some ways I think our new president is very brave but also very foolish. With the distinct possibility that someone would be crazy enough to do this man harm, President Obama and his wife should not be tempting fate by putting themselves and the secret service in such jeopardy. I pray God will continue to watch over him and his family and protect them always. God Bless you Mr. President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  817. Jay

    What a proud moment it was to see President Obama present himself up close and personal to the people who love him and see him as the new ray of hope for our country. Yes it was brave and on the flip side a bit foolish I set watching on pins and needles every step he and Michelle took, thinking please God protect our President.

    Jay

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  818. Elizabethe Cavendish

    I don't think it was brave nor foolish. I think President Obama and the First Lady, as well as the American people, deserved to share this beautiful moment of celebration and interaction. I have the utmost faith in the Secret Service and all of the officers who were on detail, I'm so glad we continued with a tradition that brings so much joy to so many.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  819. Larry Thacker

    Brave, providence gave him to us and providence protects him. He has no fear in his heart or the ranker and hate of the biggoted fearful weakminded people that would harm him.

    He quotes Lincoln his kindred spirit and fear will not deter him from his mission of saving and healing the union.

    The people witnessed no fear or malice in him, thats why he is the leader of what he calls one America both black and white.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  820. Karen Browne

    I was very nervous when he got out of the car... a man with so much to offer our country in this time of need. I was born the day that President Kennedy was shot and he too was in the open and all the secret service agents could not protect him and we lost a great President in 1963. I hope only good things for President Obama but he does need to be on gaurd and protected by the Secret Service. We are looking for a really good and smart President to run this great place we call the "United States of America".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  821. S. Miller Port Huron, MI

    What surprised me as an African American was realizing that whites and other nationalities across this country what change when it comes to race. Having worked at FedEx Trade Networks in Kimball, MI, I endured the usual forms of discrimination. Management made me cover up my Obama tee shirt on November 6th, telling me it was political although the campaign was over. The election of President Obama confirmed that bigotry and prejudice does NOT represent the majority. I resigned my position even though the job market is tough. I'd rather be unemployed than work for an organization that treats African Americans like second class citizens.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  822. michael

    Rush Limbaugh said he wants president Obama to fail.

    If he want president Obama to fail he want the country to fail
    for that i question HIS patriotism.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  823. Shem, Brooklyn NY

    I think it was a great idea to exit the car and greet the people. The Royal Family in the UK does it. What is the role of the secret service if they can’t Protect the president in DC on a planned parade route? They must have known he would want to meet the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  824. A. Elaine Greene

    Neither brave nor foolish-a man in love with America and Americans. He just had to "reach out and touch"-gotta' love that man!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  825. Tom Morin (NH)

    It would seem to me that the true risk had been evaluated by the secret service. It would also seem that this risk would have been discussed with President Obama (and Michelle) prior to their carefully planned exit from the limo. Brave or foolish? Neither. Not with all that pre-planning and security.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  826. Lana Conly

    Those two or three blocks demonstrated that Barack really is "The People's President." He made himself vulnerable at a time when a lot of Americans are feeling vulnerable.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  827. Frantz

    president Obama just not afraid of anything and also the secret service was doing a good job , thank you very much guys for your hard work.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  828. Elaine Sihera

    The President was very brave and I applaud him. He cannot let the thought of danger rob him of a life. He has got to live it in the best way possible to have any quality of life and not be a prisoner to other people's ideal and dictats.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  829. Patty in the CA mountains

    Neither and both.....he had to get out of the car else give the world the impression he was too scared to do just that. Can't live in fear.....

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  830. Edwin Hernandez, Los Angeles, CA

    Do soldiers consider the possibility of going to war before enlisting in the military? Do police officers consider the possibility that they may have to discharge their weapon someday everytime they place it in their holster? Of course they do. Do we consider this foolish? Everyone who runs for the presidency has at one point or another considered the possibility that someone may attempt to assassinate them. As the first African-American president (and with 48% voting against him), Barrack Obama has considered that possibility often. However, one of the many things that a president must do is to connect with the people; appear approachable. No other president has done it better than Obama in my 33 years of existance. These are all brave acts that many of us compelled to serve the public do so without hesitation. Now, let's hope President Obama is quicker at dodging danger than former President Bush was at dodging flying shoes.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  831. Michael D.

    Neither brave nor foolish. I was refreshing. I loved it. It was a statement against fear and paranoia.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  832. pat

    I got nervous for them....but it was so enjoyable to watch.I thought it was very brave... God Blees them, and God Bless Americia

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  833. 3Gz aka Cardell

    Jumping out The Beast was very scary for me, and obviously not the best idea. Obama is a religious man, and knows he can fear God only. I did not see God that day. God Bless CNN, Keep it real.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  834. Wesley Asamoto

    It was very foolish and irresponsible of President Obama to take that risk. Being our President, he needs to know that he is now a "servant" to our country. He should always respect and adhere to the recommendations of the Secret Services, which has an important job to protect him. The President had not only placed his life in danger but also those there protecting him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  835. Albert R.Killackey. Los Angeles

    Jack, I voted for President Obama. I contributed money toward his election. I would have been just a happy to watch our first President of African American heritage ride in the back of the limo the whole distance from the U.S. capitol, (built by African American slaves), down Pennsylvania Avenue passing the National Archives (the site of a former slave market), to his new home in the White House (also built by slaves). That said, the party is over and to assure his being here to protect our Constituion, he better stop this foolishness of allowing some lone nut a chance to undercut the voters which he owes a duty.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  836. Martha B

    Neither. It was tradition. Give him credit when credit is due and not for things which have taken place before.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  837. Pam

    Neither. I believe President Obama is a person who is personalable and handle the situation in that matter. I believe he and his wife wanted to make the people happy and that is what they did. I think they followed the SS instruction and that's important for their safety.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  838. John Priest

    Both.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  839. Sean

    Very brave............Ps 23 assures us Christians that we can walk boldly without fear......................

    January 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  840. Loralynn, Rock Hill, SC

    It was BRAVE. Brave and trusting – trusting in the will of our Almighty God. He is not a stupid or foolish man. He and Michelle both knew the risks they were taking when they stepped out of their limo. Just as they have known the risks they have been taking since he first announced his candidacy. With the world filled with insane people bent on death and destruction, we all take a chance everyday. We can either hide from the world or go forth, trusting in the will of God and live. Yes, he/they were brave....Or as my husband says, "He manned up!"

    January 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  841. Berwin McClinton

    While his Secret Service detail is still breathing a collective sigh of relief, our new Commander-In-Chief's decision to leave the sanctuary of his new armored limo was simultaneously courageous and necessary.

    Political and historical expedience demanded that this president demonstrate, in bold ways, that change has indeed come.

    To cower in within the protection of the presidential vehicle would have sent the wrong message to the world. It was a calculated decision that turned out right.
    Berwin McClinton

    January 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  842. paul

    Well Jack, did u ever ask the same question 4years ago when Bush walked the inaugural parade??? Hmmm can't find it in your records....

    January 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  843. Melissa

    I believe it was brave. In this cold political and economic climate President Obama can show no fear in anything he does. If he shows one ounce of fear on anything his naysayers will be all over him as not strong enough or experienced enough to lead the country. He had to get out of the limo to show his strength.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  844. Nab-Alex

    He was brave and spontaneous. If he cannot show himself to his supporters on the inauguration day, then when would that be possible? He is now admired by many people from all over the world and is giving hope for a big change where the previous administration failed to solve or to understand the roots of the problems in the world. Hopefully, BHO will have competent advisers and will not disappoint those who have great hope in him. May God guide him and give him the wisdom to govern and to bring solutions to the catastrophes left by the old administration. God bless him and bless America.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  845. Jesse Galvan

    When an American President is willing to walk among the American people that elected him, then there is no danger for the Secret agents assigned to guard him; only the 'negative-media' can drum-up some 'hate-angle' to sell attention-time on TV's Situation Room.

    President Obama had nothing to worry about, because he is one of us: an genuine American. This not a Brave or CNN/Foolish issue, because he was amongst the American people that love him. The only thing CNN/Foolish is that you: Cafferty are given airtime to stir up "haters" in this country. If you live in a 'negative' world, you should keep it just within your Cafferty-family and not spread to the good people of this world and this nation.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  846. monty Nicol

    Whether it was foolish is a very silly question. Every element of Obama's first day was carefully controlled and analyzed ahead of time– including Obama's "spontaneous" walks. Note where the first one happened– those tall buildings on either side significantly reduced the chances that there was someone with a sniper rifle ready to take a lucky longshot. The secret service had a more managable security situation.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  847. Donnell / Atlanta

    What President Obama did was brave. If he seeks equality he must take risk from time to time. However, was it brave or foolish for Limbaugh to make a request in code demanding that Obama be stopped? Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric is at the root of our questioning the bravery or foolishness of President Obama's walk down Pennsylvania Ave. I pray for Mr. Obama’s safety and pray that the media will wisen up as well and put Limbaugh’s hate on the witness stand.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  848. Mark, from Toronto Canada,

    It was brave & some-what foolish given the fact that Mr. Obama has been threatened with assassination from early as 2007, with that kind of madness I gather it is foolish...Kennedy was loved too & when ever such a charismatic leader is he also as enemies who don't love him.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  849. Tashauna (New York)

    while i was watching on CNN and i saw that he stepped out of the limosine it really took me by surprise. I then thought t myself wow he is a very brave individual..

    January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  850. Willie, Gretna, FL

    It was right on time. It showed humility. Our new president will go down into history as a "bold soldier".Fearing God will allow him to face his enemies as a man who wants
    Change for everyone!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  851. Randy

    Don't you think for one minute that the president and first lady did not sigh a big sigh of relief when they got back in the car!!!!! It had to be done and it was....

    January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  852. Courtenay

    BRAVE. His humanity begs the answer to this question. To those of you that say "neither" I can see your point, but only in the context that you placed it. The "neither" response does not answer the very question Jack proposed. He asked us a simple thing – brave or foolish- those were your ONLY options.
    Yes, as our President, Barack Obama will have to publicly present himself while facing the possibility of injury (daily), but to utilize his job description as a red herring in order to answer this question demolishes the realities of his humanness.

    From the most fundamental, humanistic perspective it was, indeed, BRAVE for him to stroll down the highly populated and hectic streets of D.C. while facing disheartening possibilities.
    Mind you, loving wife by side, and the temperatures were chilling!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  853. Sammy

    I think, It was brave for The President and First Lady to leave the safety of the limo to greet the Americans. He isn't a chicken like Bush was.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  854. tiffany

    i believe that it was a little bit of both. after recieving the threats and attemps on his life even prior to being elected he and his wife must be brave to chance it but also foolish in the sence that he opened up a greater window of chance to be harmed. i also believe that it was a bit selfish. he had to prove a piont to the world and in doing so put the secret services lives in danger too

    January 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  855. Bettie, Uniontown, AL

    Foolish or brave?! Neither. Evidently the main point of this question focuses on safety, but "the true measure of a man is not how did he die, but how did he live." President Obama has a heart that makes him want t be as close to the people as possible.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  856. Nicole, San Clemente, CA

    I dont think it was brave or foolish. He is a man of the people, and to stay away from those that not only admire and respect him, but elected him too, would be foolish. To hide away shows weakness, and we certainly dont need that added to the world's view of our President and our country. I love that he is willing to be so open about the goings on of the White House, and that he continues to stay in touch with those of us that put him there. He knows how he got there, and he knows he has to respect that and continue that connection, or he will end up like Bush with a low approval rating and then no reelection, heaven forbid.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  857. Marie

    The captain of a ship is never foolish! It shows courage- exactly what we need right now.
    Marie
    Shepherdstown, WV

    January 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  858. Cornelious Brown

    I don't think there was a problem with the President & First Lady walking in the parade because it has become a tridition,it seams that the last few always walk at some point, even though it may be a risk the people expect and look foward to it now.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  859. Lawarence C. Belfour

    At first I thought is was quite foolish. But then I got a glimpse of the amount of security present, especially on the surrounding buildings, and then I realized it was a very calculated risk designed to send a message. 'He (President Obama) will not live in fear and we shouldn't either".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  860. Nick

    I think it demonstrates the amount of courage and confidence President Obama is commited to. I see a man ready to lead the way for a new America.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  861. UrbanCntrySoul

    Thee or the.. tomato or tomatoe. Its all perspective and relative. No matter how much good people what to admit it race is an issue. Death threats made against our President by supremacy groups are real.
    Yet, supremacy groups should not be allowed to control or dictate OUR Presidents actions.
    President Obama is well aware that he might loose his life just because the color of his skin. He is very brave to face the foolishness of racists.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  862. Roger R. Maine

    Elvis? Jack – you're showing your age.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  863. Augie, Montclair, Calif

    I would not categorize President Obama’s walk as brave or foolish; I saw it as the thing to do. America wants a leader who does not live in fear of his neighbors nor his neighborhood. He sees his job as it should be seen as a position of “service,” others before him saw it as a privilege that was ordained to them by the American public, this is the first time since John F. Kennedy that I truly see hope for our country. We all need to serve each other, instead of stepping across to the other side.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  864. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    With all the assasinations this country has seen and with all the liberal gun laws we still have and all the crazy people who can get them, I'd have to say it was a little of both. 13 men killed 3,000 in the towers, Pentagon and four planes. It only takes one person and one gun to bring a country to it's knees. That's how WW1 started.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  865. Knick from Clifton, NJ

    Hello Jack,
    Like Kennedy, the high ideals of Obama are sure to upset at least a few uncivilized indivials or groups. So yes, I think this was foolish.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  866. christian

    He walk was a brave one because harming /planning to harm him is like the isrealites planning to harm moses before he takes them to the promise land. So to me that walk means that he has good plans for americans and wasn't scared to be close in person to them even as their president.The former president bush did not do the walk in his second term because he lied to the american people in many ways during his first and second terms.caff, that walk was a brave walk. thanks

    January 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  867. Anees Rana

    President Barack Obama is Brrave man , One thing to remember life is in Allah hand, He give you life no one take befor time he set for you,

    January 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  868. mark megenity

    It was brave of the first couple to leave the "Beast" and walk. It left a powerful, enduring image. With that said there is no need to ever repeat the act and I sincerely hope they never will. We need this man and his INTELLIGENCE, leadership, and powerful positive influence more than we ever have. Nevermore a "C" average leader of the free world! Yesterday, january the 20th I did the first public volunteer work I've ever done helping a classroom full of adult students aspiring to gain their equivalency diplomas. On the 19th of Jan. I had no plan to do this. I'm not sure what happened. On monday I asked Myself what could I do what could I give? When I woke up on Tuesday I knew. Prior, I thought how could I've always worked two jobs– public school teacher and usually remodeling contractor. Nevertheless I'll be back tutoring on Thursday I'm cleared to help and I plan tomake the 40 minute commute regularly. We need to keep Obama safe I'm sure I'm not alone in inspiration, inexplicable! Mark Megenity English' IN

    January 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  869. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Well is had me scared that is for sure and if I know my body signs, Michelle was scared too.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  870. Greg, Ontario

    It was neither Jack. It was a statement that said his connection to the American people is more important to him than any threat that might be conceived by some redneck. It was also a statement to the enemies of America that the people are behind him and will stand with him.
    I only wish you could have seen the reaction to this day in history above the border, being each others best friend and trading partner may bring our economy down with you but I think the reaction in Canada was a statement that if we do go down , we will do it together with a friendship the rest of the world can only envy. Congrats America.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  871. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    Obama is not Osama. He cannot hide in a cave or bubble. That is not how America works.

    Frankly I cannot think of anyone who would benefit from a Biden presidency instead of Obama.

    I would think even white supremacists would not like to see him elevated to MLK, JFK like martyrdom before he's even given a chance to screw things up for himself.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  872. Bryant

    Wow! What a leader! Brave!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  873. Daniel Homestead, FL

    It was risky, bold but it wasn't foolish Jack.
    Look there were months of planning, with hundreds of law enforcement agencies preparing for this day, armed guards at metal barriers, security checkpoints, and not to mention some very pugnacious-looking Secret Service Agents walking with the new President.
    Sure the world is not as safe as it was when President Carter took the walk more than 30 years ago and the fact that Obama is black, only adds to the threats made against any new incoming President. Still, it was pretty cool to watch him step out and connect with his supporters. Remember George W. Bush's first inaugural procession when eggs were thrown at his limo? By walking outside his protected Limo, Obama was just "egging" on his supporters.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  874. Karen Daniels, Electric City, WA (state)

    I do not think it foolish for President Obama and First Lady Obama to leave the "safety" of the limo yesterday, even though there are a few crack pots who believe they are supreme. I believe President Obama showed us once again that he considers himself an every day Main Street American like the rest of us. Thank You and God Bless The President and His Family.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  875. Sanket, Ashland VA

    EVEN THOUGHT THERE WAS A HIGHT RISK FOR PRESIDENT, BUT STILL PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS BRAVE TO STEP OUT FROM HIS LIMO BECAUSE HE WANTED TO APPRECITE THE PEOPLE WHO CAME THERE TO SUPPORT HIM. THE PARADE WAS AMAZING EST. 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE. WOW!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  876. Charmaine

    It certainly wasn't foolish.President Obama is that type of person. He is real.He connects with people and that is how he operates. Kudos to the First Lady Michelle. She is just as caring and generous as her husband. I'm glad to be a part of this historical event and I'm glad President Obama is leading the country. CHANGE!
    Houston, Tx

    January 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  877. Sharon W. - Garland, TX

    I was so thrilled when President Obama took the oath of office. I don't believe it was either one. It was a magical moment, and he chose to be as close to the public who adores him. I know the Secret Service told him the best and safest location to get out of the car, if he chose to do so. I believe it was as exciting and important for both our new President and First Lady, to be as close to the people as possible, to take in and share that unbelieveable, historical moment in time, as it was for all the people who came to see him become our 44th President. What a thrilling moment for everyone there,as well as those of us who were not able to be in Washington, to take in all the happiness and excitement at this time in our history. What a wonderful time for their daughters to experience this precious moment. I do believe that he will be protected as much as is possible. He still has a life to live with a devoted wife and children. It will take a little more effort to be safe and still live a free life in America. We can't give terrorist our freedom in our homeland. May God bless and keep both him and his family safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  878. Ron

    Neither, change has been the theme of today. It's great that the President is reconnecting with America's people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  879. Paul Peters

    I am delighted that the Obamas did it. But, I hope they did it after:
    1) selecting the location for the walk very carefully after making sure that it was safe
    2) with full knowledge and complete protection of the Secret Service

    It does us all good to have the illusion that it was a safe time and place for the walk. But, I would rather such things be staged carefully so that our bubble is not broken by tragedy.

    Now, just tell us to go ahead and take our credit cards out and spend again because things are fine. That will be a self-fulfilling prophesy that is need right now.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  880. bill in PA

    Jack,
    It may be a glimpse of the future: doing what is right with courage, faith and being responsible for the choice.
    We now all need to observe, learn and give up our greed and self-centered lack of honesty. It is time to give a fair day's work for a fair day's wage. The CEO greed and golden parachutes need to be gone.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  881. Indyblonde

    Very brave. I would have been scared to death if I were the President and his wife.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  882. Sheri

    I am so afraid of what Obama is doing already, closing down Gitmo, for example. These terrorist have confirmed their defiance of Americans, their role in 911, and we are setting them free??? What could he be thinking. And what is this about "letters with white powder sent to the New York Times". Is this the tale of tales to come? Something like this hasn't happened in years, did Obama coming into the Presidency contribute to this. I hope not.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  883. matt

    It was neither. It was Presidential.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  884. Terry B., Cape Coral Florida

    Brave and prudent after all the motorcade was proceeding at the speed of smell to start with. Had the Obama's not got out and walked and showed the driver a better speed chances are at some point the limo would have started to back up......

    January 21, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  885. James Busso

    Neither. It was his faith in the American people. Godspeed President Obama!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  886. suyesh

    Let's not talk abt brave or foolish. Let's just be happy that he loves people so much that he trusts his life on them. Let's be proud that we have a peoples president.
    God bless this administration so that they can fix america.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  887. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    With all the assasinations this country has seen and with all the liberal gun laws we still have and all the crazy people who can get them, I'd have to say it was a little of both. 13 men killed 3,000 in the towers, Pentagon and four planes. It only takes one person and one gun to bring a country to it's knees.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  888. Adrian- Indiana

    Well I think that he most have lots of passion for this country. To get out and walk in a presidential procession is quite a story. He cares about this country a lot and I'm sure that's why he did it. I think it was a great move to walk in the parade.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  889. Ulysses

    Jack, getting out of the car is what a free man in a free country does. like all free presidents have done before him. An admorable move because a president cannot identify with the people if he always the man behind the glass. Selma, Alabama.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  890. Michele Allen

    Brave? Sure, but I can't imagine President Obama NOT getting out and walking "amongst" the people. This is perfectly in keeping with his emphasis on keeping in touch with real life. I think the biggest danger from the crowd was that the first couple would be smothered in an enormous group hug.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  891. Roland F Joly

    The now President Obama's Inaugural parade walk was not foolish but very risky and dangerous for Obama to put himsef and his wife at risk of some nut or terrorist bringing them harm. It is more than harm to the Obamas; the harm would also be to the people of this nation who would be missing a great leader. When President Obamba Is in harm's way, it puts at risk America's future security! We elected President Obamba and may he now keep the risk of personal And Family harm to a minimum!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  892. Errick, Los Angeles

    I believe it shows the type of leader he really is and will be. It was a fantastic show of confidence and vigor.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  893. Jabriel Ballentine

    It was extremely brave, and as VP Biden said: it tested the mettle of this man who is our President. In the face of the "terrorism environment" and the greater threat of American discontent, he marched bravely down the street, showing Black people (on one level) and America-at-Large (on another level) that he was not afraid....and neither should we be.

    God bless him and us!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  894. Lynne Crandall

    I don't think it was brave or foolish - I think it was living and thriving and not just surviving. Ann Arbor, Michigan

    January 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  895. Thom Richer

    A little of each, Jack. I guess the most surprising and most nere racking thing about the walk was the fact that BOTH hea and the vice-president were in the streets at the same time. Very risky. Especially when we haven't seen hide nor hair of Cheney for eight grueling years in public let alone walking the streets. By the way, the wheel chair bit was really a crock. As if he could not have stood long enough to show his respect for the new president. I think it was his way of snubbing Obama. He sure looked the fool. What a wuus. Just think of all the working poor with bad backs that go off to work every day of their aching lives. What a country.

    Thom
    Negaunee, MI

    January 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  896. Jasmine Weidenbach

    Gosh, Jack, I would assume his torso was protected by the normal looking, normal weight bullet and knife proof clothing made by a company such as "miquel caballero" (of Bogotá). That's what others who need extra protection world wide wear. A bullet proof shirt looks just like a regular shirt. Of course his head was exposed, and Michelle's neck, head and legs were exposed.

    Brave or foolish? Neither. I think he felt confident in security which was at its' highest level ever and he wanted to show that there is "nothing to fear but fear itself" and have his people feel closer to him. It was wonderful and a good start.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  897. kevin

    Very bold.It was refreshing and I geuss he has complete faith in the secret service.I'm sure no one expected it nor will it happen often . Kevin from Kingsford MI

    January 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  898. Preston

    It was definitely not foolish of the President, he showed courage to this nation to neither be afraid nor worried of the challenges that are at hand at this time in our country. He is President Barrack Obama and he will lead this country to better times.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  899. Nick, Camas, Washington

    The fact that President Barack Obama got out of his armored car and walked down Pennsylvania Avenue with his wife shows his loyalty, bravery, and willing to do anything for his country.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  900. Andres

    It was both. Brave because of the risk. There are a lot of nuts with rifles out there. Foolish because of the risk. There are a lot of nuts with rifles out there.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  901. Mark Toronto

    It was both brave & foolish. He is a high profile figure well loved by people..So was John Fitzgerald Kennedy..& look what happened to him! There are nut jobs out there!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  902. Patricia

    It was neither brave nor foolish. Obama displayed confidence in the Secret Service, security from the private sector and most of all in the people watching the parade. He showed quickly that he is the people's President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  903. Jenn Fresno Ca

    He is not foolish or brave, he is a man of FAITH and he should not live his life in fear. He is the President of the United States of America!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  904. Sheri

    I think it was both Brave, and foolish. He has to be smart when he is in office...if something happens to him, there could be a huge uprising and possible racial tension ignited, if something were to happen, God forbid....he needs to be kept safe, although I understand him wanting to let the people know, that he is part of the big picture.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  905. Rohan

    Then when Michelle Obama said she was for the first time proud to be an American, we all got upset with her, but don't we agree with her now after witness yesterday.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  906. Ebony

    I think the walk was neither brave nor foolish but more of a way to show respect and his appreciation for the people who voted for him and placed him in the position of President. I think it was another demonstration of his genuine dedication to be a different kind of President.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  907. Gale Taylor

    I feel it was very brave of President Obama and the First Lady get out and walk. He is the peoples President and needs to continue to show he is one of us. He has said we as a people are one .

    January 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  908. Christopher Price

    I think that what Pres. Obama and Michelle did showed that they are not afraid of anything and also showed an act of courage to the people of the United States as well as the world that, I have arrived and this is the day of CHANGE!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  909. j/NJ

    Was it brave or foolish for President Obama to leave the limo and walk several blocks during the inaugural parade?

    Irrespective of security concerns, in a free society the people should have direct access to their President no matter what the circumstances...in the 19th century during the momentous Civil War, the average citizen was able to visit the White House and request an audience with President Lincoln no appt necessary...unfortunately that is no longer the case, worse still the White House itself has been sealed off and isolated from the public in the name of national security an absolute disgrace...indeed one wonders how much more intrusive and totalitarian this society is likely to get...

    January 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  910. Makedah (Jackson,MS)

    The walk was very symbolic for what he wants us to do as a country, be brave and walk in faith. I think his actions were necessary, as society responds better to leaders who lead by example.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  911. Jim McKune

    Jack, you've touched on my biggest fear. I remember 1963 too vividly.
    What a blow to our country! And that's when we didn't pay too much attention to politics. Can you emagine what would take place if something happened to Mr. Obama? This country might not survive.
    Everyones talking about the number ONE thing the president has to do. I say it's, STAY SAFE! Someone close to him has to keep reminding him of that each day. There' still too much hate here and around the world.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  912. Kari Reich, Florida

    It was brave. He's showing with this actions, not only his words, that Americans are confident. We're continuing on with our traditions.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  913. Aisha

    He talks about how much trust nd confidence he has in the American People and he proved it by walking the blocks. It was a brave move and it showed that he honestly trusts us. We trust you too Obama and we will not let you down!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  914. Denis Waterbury

    Whether it was brave or whether it was foolish I won't quibble. But what it was was scary. So many of us are counting so much on this man and we know that fanatics accord themselves special rights that the rest of us would accord to no one, to get rid of those they dislike or of whom they disapprove.

    I'm sure he's brave, and he shows no signs of being a fool. But I hope he severely limits risks to his safety.

    Denis Waterbury
    Portland, Oregon

    January 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  915. Chris from Wausau

    Of course it was foolish. The whole Inauguration event (train trip, crowd of millions) cost a fortune to protect the POTUS & the Mrs. at a time Americans are loosing their homes, their retirements, indicates a disconnect with the current American experience. Plus it's foolish to tempt such a tragedy. I was not impressed with this bravado. If Americans don't protect themselves by buckling their seatbelts, turning off cellphones while driving, etc. you are fined! Ask us if they want to witness a tragedy or watch him in the limo provided by taxpayers.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  916. Marnie

    Neither brave nor foolish, Jack. Just a nice couple returning the love and affection of the people who waited hours for a glimpse of them.

    Lancaster PA

    January 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  917. Eric

    YAY! for Obama from his supporters in Europe!!!
    (btw what happened ...Sarah was not invited to the party??, she whould have loved to show her face sorry dear Sarah that you were not one of them hi hihi....)

    January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  918. Andrea Hampton

    President Obama apparently has a strong faith in God, from the carnal eye it appeared foolish, but I believe he was walking in his faith on yesterday! I trust that he will b e mindful of how he exposes himself to the general public in the future. He must understand we are counting on him and want him to remain safe as he leads our country! Let's just keep praying for him and his entire family!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  919. Susan Balint

    Not brave or foolish. It was a calculated risk weighted against how confident he was with the massive show of protection around him and the importance of living his message that his presidency will not be a separate and detached indeavor from the citizenry. If the walk had been planned or for a much linger durration, the risk would have been greater.
    But as executed, it was a wise move.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  920. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    When a man comes in showing interest in talking to everyone, even his enemies, that drastically reduces the security risk.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  921. Volker Schenk

    Brave or Foolish? Neither. As so many people – including a majority of celebrities – wanted to be in Washington to breathe the spirit and be part of it – why would you deny the creator of this spirit, to participate as well?
    Security was up to task, so why not?

    Dangerous AND Foolish though was to have Obama exposed together with Biden on the outside of a the train going to Washington – BOTH in comfortable reach of a sniper!
    I had to hold my breath, when I realized that! When will those security agencies be up to their task?

    I compare Obama in many respects with Kennedy, giving hope to a change in the entire world. I hope, having so many enemies, he does not have to share his fate as well. Let's protect THE PRESIDENT as good, as we can, we need him for the next 8 years!
    GOD BLESS PRESIDENT OBAMA!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  922. Cathy

    Young, black, and relatively unknown until recently-I'd say he has balls of brass-no pun intended. What he really has is confidence (which he eminates), there's a difference.

    Funny this was brought up becuase yesterday my daughter said "Mom isn't that dangerous for him?".

    January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  923. marshun scullark

    It was the right thing to for the people, he was very well protected, and
    a lot people traveled from all over the world to our new president, and
    he understands what the people want.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  924. Paul Fennewald

    Neither. It was simply a walk in the Capital by the Prez. We are safe.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  925. Ruth

    I am very proud of our President. What he did was a brave thing and as others have said he can't hide and you have to let the bad people know that he is not scare. He is truely God sent to lead the people out
    of bondage as Moses did. I am 66 years old and I know what it is like when someone make you feel you are not equel to them. I thank god for him. Now my Great- grand children can grow up in a socity to be repected and they can be anything they want to be as long as it' is something good

    January 21, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  926. Louise

    He just wanted to walk with the people of this fine nation. It was unsafe, but fear is no way to live. The only one that can protect him from harm is the good Lord! He is not foolish, but brave.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  927. chip St. Louis

    Have you ever seen the President come to your city? Bill Clinton's convoy shut down 75 enroute to the Olympics. So I can imagine the security on the parade route. I'm sure they had the whole city under control. Not much gets past the Secret Service. I wish he would of gotten out and ran down the crowd slapping hands like he had won the Super Bowl. He is the People's President isn't he?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  928. Diane Shaw

    I think the President was brave in walking part of the parade route. By doing it, he sent the message of "No Fear", We (Americans) needed that.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  929. Martine

    Bush last trip to Iraq was foolish and brave , lucky for him ( ?????!!!! ) he just had to face a pair of shoes !!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  930. Bettie, Uniontown, AL

    Foolish or brave?! Neither. Evidently, the main point of this question focuses on safety, but "the true measure of a man is not how did he die, but how did he live." President Obama has a heart that makes him want to be as close to the people as possible. That's what the walk was about.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  931. yosef

    it was a scary moment for me when he and the first leady walked out of the limo. Although he loves to be with the ordinary people, he must also realize that there are thugs (including angry GOP fans) who want to take his life. I am happy with his attempt of meeting the usual requirement (making parade) and he was right to spend much of his time in limo.
    May God help you all the time!!
    Yosef (Germany)

    January 21, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  932. T. Carreker

    If it were President Bush... it probably would have been foolish.

    In the case of President Obama he was simply being himself and acting on his connection with the people.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  933. Leo in Oakland

    We finally have a real human being as president again and it feels good to be a part of this obama-nation!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  934. Ruth from Denver

    It's past history and a non-issue! Aren't there more important things to discuss? Where is relevant news reporting?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  935. donna rosen

    HALLELUJAH!!!

    January 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  936. Bob

    President Obama is irreplaceable, and long may he live. Long live also the leader whom we elected, that he may not be smothered by precautions to protect his life.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  937. Humberto Guillen

    It was very brave of the President to walk in the parade. By doing so he showed his confidence and trust in the people of the United States and in a certain way let the public know that he is a simple man that can be reached by all and is close enough to hear the needs of everyone.

    January 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  938. John

    I think I heard the crowd stretched for about 2 miles. Considering that fact, which direction would the brave fool ran after his deed?

    January 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  939. Elaine Hannock

    Security was tight, everyone was frisked and their bags examined, before they got through the gates to the parade route. Men in Black were every 20 feet. Bomb sniffing dogs were there, examining anything left on the ground. Sharpshooters were on top of the buildings. The Obama's weren't foolish- they believed they were protected- by man, and their God.

    January 21, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  940. dawn

    Considering the cloak of fear and anxiety this country traditionally lives under, I thought it was the most interesting expression of liberty and freedom that I saw all day....albiet in a carefully guarded environment.

    It was ballsy and it was beautiful.

    January 21, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  941. David

    Jack,

    I believe President Obama, (ah feels good to say), was not letting fear consume him not to mention his presidency. It was a good representation of what he and all other Americans should feel, to not be to afraid of doing what is right.

    –David
    Illinois

    January 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  942. Malekah

    Jack,

    It was the right thing to do..because he.. and we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Besides Jack, how can Pres Obama, be a part of the lives of ordinary people if you cannot meet us where we are... often on the outside lookiing in.
    To have not taken this walk, many may have thought back to the last eight years where Bush ignored many people and could not /would not show the world any real comncern for american citizens.. You Go Obama!

    Thank u for this jack..

    January 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  943. dana

    Didn't had a choice but to walk. like theyI feel. Because there were too many people on the street just to see him. He broke the code of cold and frozen weather like them.

    January 21, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  944. greg p of montreal

    hello jack i think it might of been s waste of time and think being a president is a important thing walking around in the street is a complete waste of time but but hey i am only 12 years old what ever i say does not matter

    January 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  945. Olritch in Trenton NJ

    I think it was him being thankul to the people... It wouldn't be a parade if The President didn't walk and wave and entertain his people. That is what freedom and liberty represent. I don't think he was brave or foolish. It took courage to show the world that America can change President Obama did exactly that.

    January 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  946. mckenzie tyree

    II feel that this was neither foolish nor brave; it was a very strategic move on the President Obama’s part. There is a very vivid sentiment that Obama is the people’s president, not just a “good ol’ boy.” His decision to talk among the people for several blocks merely solidified in the eyes of Americans, as well as, global citizens around the world that he is indeed one of their own. This is what so many of us needed for so long—one of our own as Commander and Chief.

    Mckenzie Tyree
    Augusta, GA

    January 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  947. Deb

    I believe it is exactly what he ( They) should of done.
    It showed his determine that he is NOT afarid of threats. I thought it was wonderful and bold and challenging.......
    President Obama is so admired and has brought together people and races and creeds, beyond what no one else has done....
    I am a white women of 60 years and I remember the racial devide when I was on a bus in 1953....and how they were made to step off the sidewalk to let a white person cross their path......I remember, I remember how at five years old that it was not right. It is not right and thank God......Thank God that God has finally blessed America to cross some sick minded and uneducated people who's agenda is negitive and sour.
    I am respectful and mindful and inspired to grow what once was taught to this white woman, in 1952, 53 etc etc. Oh there is so much more I could share about growing up white and embracing black girlfrriends and families in my life.....but this is not the time.....YET.

    January 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  948. JS

    What surprises me the most is that a man with a white mother and raised by white people has gone on to become more loved and admired by African-Americans than Martin Luther King and Jesus Christ himself.

    January 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  949. id

    It scared the dickens out of me when they got out to walk. We cannot afford to lose either of them. Did you see the looks on the faces of the secret service men? I would not have wanted to be caught reaching for my cell phone as they walked past.

    January 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  950. Garth Morris

    i was there in person and i believe it was the most best thing that he did .. im proud of him!!

    January 21, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  951. Sarah

    But its like one of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter "fear of a name only makes fear of the thing itself stronger" rather then fear the worst when Obama and Michelle stepped out of their limo we must choose to hope for the best that this nation is open hearted enough to not wish to put a sour note on such a big occasion.

    Besides I think Obama got the sense of how anxious people were to see him in person and who was he to deny them that chance ^_^ after all the biggest point of beign a leader is to openly and willingly offer whatever services or attention the people who follow and support him may require as is the way of true leadership they are servants first before they anything else

    January 21, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  952. Dave

    Brave! I wish him well but I am disappointed in the liberal media’s continued slant of our county’s reality and most especially yours, Jack!

    While Mr. Obama won by a majority of the vote it was a relatively slim majority unlike the landslide your “whipped the floor with McCain” comment suggests. Meaning that there were millions of Democrats that voted against him in the primary and then millions more that voted against him in the general election. More importantly there are millions of radicals around the world that hate America and did long before you liberal media types were able to blame everything on Bush. They will continue to Hate us and our President no matter what is skin color or name.

    I am glad President Obama and the First Lady choose to walk and I am even more happy that they were able to do it without harm because whether you voted for him or not he is our President and deserves our support.

    Southern Utah

    January 21, 2009 at 6:07 pm |