SD County officials react to historic inauguration

Elected officials from around San Diego County reacted Tuesday to the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama with messages of support and an eagerness to work with the new administration.

In a statement, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said he joins the rest of the nation in “welcoming and giving my full support to’’ Obama.

“Our nation is at war and faces enormous challenges that very few people alive today have ever known,’' Sanders said. “President Obama’s message of hope and determination in the face of great adversity is right for these times.’'

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said she was moved by the speech Obama gave after taking the oath of office.

“I’m energized and inspired by the moving words of our new president, Barack Obama,’' Jacob said. “The county is ready and excited to work with and assist the Obama administration in the challenging year ahead.’'

In an interview Monday, Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Carlsbad, described the excitement he experienced while traveling to Washington, D.C., in advance of the inauguration.

“When I flew in, they couldn’t get people to buckle up because they were dancing in the aisles,’' Bilbray said.

Bilbray said he expects Obama to try to govern from the center, and alluded to the enormous tasks the president faces.

“His biggest challenge is going to be living up to expectations,’' the congressman said.

A crowd of about 2 million packed the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to witness the inauguration of the nation’s 44th president. The event was especially momentous for African Americans as the nation welcomed its first black president.

In his speech, Obama called on Americans to choose “hope over fear’’ amid the crisis facing the nation.

“Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real,’' Obama said. “They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.’'