Dutch politicians join in Obama mania

The inauguration of new US president Barack Obama will be shown live on at least two Dutch tv channels from 17.20 hours this afternoon and on big screens at parties nationwide.

Internet sites too are gearing up for the occasion. Crown prince Willem-Alexander says the first thing he will do when arriving back from the Middle East later today is to watch the inauguration ceremony on internet.
And the event is one ‘not to be missed’ for politicians in The Hague, says the Volkskrant on Tuesday. It is not a question of deciding whether to go to one of the many parties being organised as much as selecting which one to go to, the paper says.
‘Very emotional’
‘It is going to be very emotional for me,’ Labour MP John Leerdam is quoted by the paper as saying. Leerdam is heading for three different Obama parties, starting out in Amsterdam where he will watch the inauguration ceremony live on tv at the official residence of the city’s mayor Job Cohen.
Christian Democrat MP Sybrand van Haersma Buma, meanwhile, will be following the events on a big screen at the US embassy in The Hague, the paper says. And even Mark Rutte, leader of the right-wing Liberals (VVD) – one of the few Dutch MPs who backed Obama’s Republican opponent McCain for president – is heading for an All America Night.
Obama accessories are also popular. Boris van der Ham of the Liberal democrat D66 party drinks his coffee from an Obama mug. ‘If I had not been late, I would have worn my Obama shirt to parliament today,’ he tells the paper.
In Maastricht, tonight’s council meeting has been cancelled so no-one has to miss watching ‘this historic event’.

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