International Diplomats Ready to Celebrate Obama
(The Root) -- The 2013 Ambassadors Inaugural Ball, one of many unofficial Washington, D.C., celebrations planned to celebrate President Obama's second swearing-in, is being billed as "the first inaugural ball hosted exclusively by the international community."
Ambassadors to dozens of countries -- including the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Kosovo, Morocco, Cyprus and the Republic of Botswana -- are listed as honorary co-chairs of the Jan. 21 event, which organizers say is designed to honor the president's commitment to promoting peace and diplomacy throughout the world.
Representatives for Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Miss USA Nana Meriwether told the Washington Post that they plan to be there, too.
"It's nice to have a forum that we can use as an opportunity to celebrate a president and what that means for the host country," Co-Chairman Neil Parson, ambassador of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States and Mexico, told The Root. "The enthusiasm [for Obama's presidency] is still there. I think the night of the election, most of the Caribbean was tuned in to the results."
And what about interest in the day-to-day work of the administration? That's there, too, he says. In addition to those who make up the "very healthy" Caribbean Diaspora in the United States, Parson thinks that residents of countries like his have good reason to keep a close eye on President Obama's second term.
"When the United States sneezes, some countries catch a cold, and in some instances they get pneumonia, so we are looking forward to an improved economy," Parson explained. "Also, it will also be of interest for the Caribbean in particular to be able to take advantage of some of these trade policies coming out of the White House, and we look forward to engaging them in 2015."
But all of that comes after the party. According to the ball's promotional materials, entertainment will include DJ Biz Markie as well as an appropriately international mix of talent. Award-winning South African singer and BET International nominee Lira, Johannesburg-based house band Mi Casa and West African Cape Verdean DJ Anan are all scheduled to perform.
The ball will take place at Washington, D.C.'s Carnegie Library.