January 20th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Scenes from the inauguration: A first-time voter reacts

Ashley Jeter is a student at Virginia’s Hampton University.

Ashley Jeter is a student at Virginia’s Hampton University.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In stands along the parade route, Ashley Jeter shared the moment of Barack Obama's inauguration with her Aunt Collette in Charlotte NC. "I was screaming, excited, joyful. My aunt was screaming too," said Jeter.

Jeter traveled with her friend Courtney to Washington from Hampton University in Virginia where they are freshmen. Both young women were first-time voters in this presidential election, and dedicated Obama supporters who got up at 4 am on Election Day. After celebrating all night Monday, they set out set out at 5 am Tuesday morning to get to their spot on the parade route.

Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. bsmith171

    voting needs to be restricted,

    January 20, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Nugent for President

    Hype, all hype. Does anyone even know what this change is all about yet? An underqualified democrat is now our president and the whole country thinks all of our problems will be solved just like that, ridiculous and ignorant americans. The real problem lies in all of the undereducated Americans who voted this smooth talking lawyer into the most important job on the planet. A sad day for America indeed. Can we just fast forward to 2013??

    January 20, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Rosa Pierson

    This is one proud moment in history, Obama, need our prayers, I wish my father Mosel Hill was here to see this moment in history, I know is shouting with joy with Martin Luther king and the others. God Bless America. Love Wins

    January 20, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. mj

    enough of the drooling and the scary , cult like following. speeches and pretty words don't mean anything without action, and with this guy it will likely be the WRONG actions for our great Nation.

    January 20, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Perusing-through

    Pat yourself on the back Ashley. You made the difference:-)

    January 20, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Mike

    So, when can I expect my first stimulus check in the mail?

    January 20, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Yoel Cohen

    I will celebrate after I see what our new president can do with our economy, middle east, and especially Iran atom bomb development.

    So far it is a lot of talk and even the stock market investors do not take the event seriously, it is down 260 points.

    January 20, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. PHS in RI

    mj.....don't be jealous.

    give the guy a chance. he just got into office.

    if mccain won the presidency, then you'd have something to cry about.

    January 20, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Slm

    I can't believe some of these comments. Bitter voters maybe?

    January 20, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. ron

    hey "10 fingers of doom"

    Why dont you go out and hunt something with your racist friends. Maybe you'll accidenatlly shoot each other with your little bows and arrows and do our country a favor.

    Same goes for you bsmith171!

    Yes WE can!

    January 20, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Bridget

    I don't know what President Obama( I love typing president) will do going forward, but what he has done so far is unite a divided people. He's brought hope to a country that was spiraling in a sea of disdain, fear and hopelessness. We volunteered yesterday for a day of service and there were people volunteering who said they'd never done anything like this before. So, I'd say so far President Obama has done what Bush wasn't able to do in 8 years, motive, unite and give people hope.

    January 20, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. JM

    I support our President because he IS our President. However, I feel that many have forgotten that he is OUR President and not the president of the "African-American" people. Hmmmm, why is that "African" in there anyway? Aren't we all Americans if we are citizens of this country??? Or should we start calling ourselves "Euro-Americans" or "Italian-Americans" or. . .well, I think you get the point. It's all racist, PERIOD. If it weren't we WOULD all be Americans and JUST Americans.

    And, yes, he is underqualified. . .that has nothing to do with race. If he were white, italian, german, indian, he would still be underqualified for the job he has been put in place to do. I do hope that he has some really good advisors. No, this isn't a bitter voter. . .just an educated one.

    January 20, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Chaz

    We shall see what will happen. I HOPE he is up to the job but I don't want to be audacious. More at http://www.ChangeBack.US

    January 20, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Joi

    What Does This Election Mean to Me?

    Fellow students, staff, and faculty,
    This is what, this election means to me
    Take a look around you
    As I look around me
    What do you see?
    I see the face of diversity
    Although my chemistry deems me a minority
    I am a person who can stake a claim in history
    That is what this election means to me
    Many have sacrificed their lives for the sake of my equality
    I know that challenges still stand before me
    Adversity, I will eagerly await thee
    A nation’s capital built by the hands of those who weren’t free
    Even after the constitution’s decree
    That is what this election means to me
    Let us not bask in the glow of complacency
    Let’s swim in the sea of prosperity, opportunity, and unity
    That is what this election is meaning to me
    Today I hold my head up high with respect and dignity
    For I’ve witnessed a day many thought they would never see
    So when you look at me
    No longer see a minority
    See the American within me
    That is what this election has meant to me


    Joi Hills

    January 20, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Voted for a needed change

    Yes Bbsmith171, i agree with you but on a different sense. Voting needs to be restricted so that:
    – Racists
    – Ignorant fools
    – People who don't want change or a step forward
    – People who doesn't want our nation to heal
    – People who's oppressing others through fear and violence


    And ya, we had to take chances on ALL the presidents we had. EVEN the one we just got rid of. (Thank God he coudln't run again) Leaders aren't just made of MONEY or OIL or connections. Leaders come from all parts humanity. What counts is what's inside of the person. He's stepping up and standing there for change, how about you?

    January 20, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. OKIE

    Hey Bridget, aren't you Barbie's friend living in la-la land!!??

    January 20, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Brownie

    This is a great time in history. I think we have come a mighty long way. Doors will begin to open for the less fortunate, the under served and under preveledged. This is an opportunity for this nation to change and to grow. Many people who share their negative views about Obama, their mantality is still at a level of ignorace. When you are in a certain position so long, some times you cant see beyond what you are use to. Just like an abused women. No Hope! Voting is a precious gift and we must treat it as such. In spite of who the candidate may be we should allow them an OPPORTUNITY to do their job . Bsmith, Yoel, Nugent what would a world be if everyone thought like you. I pray your hearts are softend. Change will come.

    January 20, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. To JM


    By your rationale about 50% of all US presidents weren't qualified for their office. And Bush 43 was. So, by being rich and knowing people to help you get out of Military Service and a war and then to get you propped up on your fatrher's shoulders and elected Governor of Texas means Bush 43 was qualified.

    Or, you could take Obama who made his own way amidst adversity that we white people will never know and become elected to the highest office in the land.

    Simply hold up their resumes side by side....

    Obama earned it, Bush was born into it. Bush screwed our Nation for a generation....

    I have faith in Obama not cuz he is our President but cuz he is not Bush. That's how bad our last President was.

    January 20, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Save My Hard Earned $$

    This girl probably couldn't even name 5 people in the last cabinet.

    January 20, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. To Nugent for President

    Nugent for Prez-

    Maybe you didn't read up on the election demographics but it was all the undereducated illiterates that went for McCain. That's why adding Palin was such a boom for him.

    All those intelligent, college educated professionals were going for Obama.

    Maybe Nugent for President is one of those too. O SNAP!

    January 20, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. kayla


    January 20, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Robert

    JM, Yes Obama is underqualified on paper but when the most qualified person on paper cannot answer the questions that America wants answers to then you have to look to the person how has the best answers. Let’s keep it real he didn’t win because all the Blacks in America voted for him. When calls from Obama supporters called to get me involved none of them were Black. Obama didn’t win because he was as popular as Paris Hilton. He won because people think he has the best answers to the many crises that America faces from the last Administration. To add another fact Blacks overwhelming supported Hilary Clinton until the Iowa caucus. I am Black and have never considered myself African-American because the term doesn’t fit me. The only thing African about me is my ancestors from generations long past. My family follows no African traditions or recognizes any African celebrations therefore, I am not African-American. I too dislike the term African-American. I think a lot of people misunderstand race totally. Being Black is culture separate from being American and it does not make me racist or less American because I have pride in being Black and the accomplishments that people from my culture have made. I am also pretty certain Blacks didn’t get together to vote what we wanted our race to called. I think blacks and whites have struggled long enough over this race issue it’s time to move past this. Finally, when you fill in your ethnic background I’m sure you don’t put American down as your choice because being American is not a ethnic background.

    January 20, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. JD

    "Obama will save us all". Proof that liberalism is a mental disorder.

    January 20, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Erika, KS

    I'm sick of people saying how "proud" they are of Obama. Pride before the fall, people. Pride before the fall. Pride is not a virtue and Obama hasn't actually done anything for anyone to be "proud" of.

    January 20, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Erika, KS

    Hey! I'm sick of people saying how "proud" they are of Obama. Pride before the fall, people. Pride before the fall. Pride is not a virtue and Obama hasn't actually done anything for anyone to be "proud" of.

    January 20, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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