Four years ago, ABC's Bill Weir gushed during coverage of Barack Obama's first inauguration, "Even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.”
On Sunday, Diane Sawyer said of Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Eve, "The whole city has a smile on its face" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
DIANE SAWYER: And as we've said here in Washington, the excitement is already beginning. Those marching bands getting ready for their parade, the caterers, 10,000 eggs for one hotel, and the whole city has a smile on its face, the pageantry, the ceremony, the speeches all tomorrow, and we will be here with you.
"The whole city" might be smiling, but a CNN poll released at almost the same time Sawyer was making this goofy comment doesn't find Americans agreeing with her.
"Forty-nine percent of people questioned in a CNN/ORC International survey released Sunday say things are going very or fairly well in the country, with 51% saying things are going pretty or very badly," reported CNN.com
"[N]o president has faced a public in this sour a mood at the start of his second term since the question was first asked nearly 40 years ago," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "More than six in ten said the country was doing well when Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan had their second inaugurations, with 58% feeling that way when President George W. Bush started his second term in 2005."
But that's not going to stop the folks at ABC from partying like it's 1999:
SAWYER: We hope you gather your family around with us. ABC's David Muir will anchor tonight's World News from right here. ABC will bring you from morning until night every part of that day
GEORGE STEPHANAPOULOS: That's right. We're’ going to start with a special edition of Good Morning America. Josh Elliott is going to join me here at the Newseum, and then here's what happens during the day tomorrow. The first family will go to church in the morning, there’ll be a procession back to the Capitol building, then the President will go on to what President W. Bush called the nation's front porch and once again take the oath, this time on the Bibles as we said of Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. He’ll then address the nation and the world after a brief return to the White House. A lot of very excited citizens will be in the inaugural parade.
SAWYER: And we will be bringing it to you, special guests joining us throughout. It will be political royalty, a look at past inaugurations, and as well the events of tomorrow and the future. Perils and promises of Barack Obama’s second term, all that with inaugural participants including those who are coming to sing. And we've been seeing some of them warming up, although warming up is not the word for the way their noses look. But they were singing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Tomorrow during the ceremony, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor and Beyoncé all singing. She'll close with the national anthem at that ceremony tomorrow.
SAWYER: And we will cover the entire day. We hope you will be with us the whole day and as we said, history will be happening here and we invite you to join it with us.
Exit question: Would the folks at ABC be so giddy if Mitt Romney were being sworn in Monday?
Yes, that's a rhetorical question.