It is the night before the big inauguration, the night before one of the most anticipated transitions of Presidential administrations in recent history (regardless of what box is checked on your voter card). Amidst the madness, excitement and confusion that is this inauguration, I have had the hottest seats in town all night – the hotel lobby.

Whether it was seeing an infamous national political commentator sipping Merlot and talking to a Mid-Western Representative in the hotel bar by Union Station or overhearing a celebrity in a hotel lobby by Judiciary Square talking about how he donated money for the first time in a hotel lobby by Judiciary Square, the after-parties in the lobbies across Washington, D.C. have proven to be the place to be seen and heard.

On the night before President-Elect Barack Obama gets sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, the hundreds of thousands who have traveled to DC get dressed up in their finest have filled the Capitol air with a lively energy.  After having experienced delayed flights, crowded Metro buses and a bitter cold that this LA girl only recalls from her days as a Hill intern, it’s all forgotten in the hope that tomorrow will bring a new hope that we’ve been promised since the Primary.

As a young Democrat and Obama supporter since 2004 (bear with me, my conservative friends), I have dreamt of this day since the "blue state, red state" speech of the Dem Convention in Boston. I know I’m more excited than most. I’ve even had to stop myself from being consumed by the mass-marketing of everything Barack (no kidding, they even sell Barack-culars for those who aren’t fortunate enough to have a good view of his first speech). Nonetheless, this is an experience in which we will all remember where we were. Whether we praise or criticize his speech tomorrow, whether we breathe a sigh of relief or hold our breath in distrust, we can still rest assured we will be watching. I strongly believe that whoever each of us voted for on November 4th, we all have the faith that we will be in a better place this time next year and will be holding him accountable for the promises made the morning of January 20, 2009.

Now all I hope is that I have the same positive attitude when I stand in the freezing cold in the morning…