WASHINGTON--"It means everything." That's what Oprah Winfrey--sitting down the row from Caroline Kennedy-- told me when we chatted about attending the inauguration of President Obama just before the ceremony.
One of the hottest VIP sections at the presidential inauguration was just below the West Capitol steps, with Winfrey, Caroline Kennedy, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lewis and the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, among others.
I asked Winfrey what it meant for her to be at the inauguration. During the Democrat primary last year Winfrey jumped into partisan politics by fund-raising for and stumping with Obama and wife Michelle.
"It means everything. It means everything and more and everything. It's like no moment I ever expected to experience.
"I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. It's beyond. It's sacred. You know I feel both celebrative and like celebratory and also very sobered by it. That's how I feel."
I asked Kennedy--who may land inside the Capitol in a matter of days if New York Gov. Dave Patterson taps her to replace Secretary of State Designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton--about witinessing the inauguration. Kennedy jumped into the public political arena big time last year when she started campaigning for Obama during the Democratic primary.
"It's so exciting for everyone." Kennedy said. "I am thrilled to be here. I can't wait to see and hear his speech. It's such a wonderful day."