Good news travels fast around the world. A few minutes ago a woman watching US TV called my sister-in-law in Rome, who quickly emailed the information to me here on the wee-hours watch in Beijing:

My friend Helen just called to tell me that "God Bless America" has been substituted out!  She was watching Obama starting on his train ride to DC, and he gave a nice inspired speech. And at the end, using the same [august] intonation, he said instead, " I love you guys" !!

Conceivably over time we would grow tired of this phrase, too -- though you can imagine Obama delivering it with a twinkle in his eye, rather than with the super-earnestness that typically encases the cliched "God Bless America" rhetorical close. But any presidential speech that ends with any words other than GBA is a step toward mental and linguistic freedom. Perhaps Obama really is aiming for greatness.

In conclusion I have only this to say: I love you guys too.

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