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Patrick Springer, Published January 20 2009

Fargo native impressed with Obama speech while standing in the crowd

Libby Schneider took her place among statues, statuesque trees and a throng of a million or more as she watched Barack Obama take the oath of office and deliver his inaugural address today.

“We heard everything,” she said. “The speaker system was really good. Just being there and witnessing history – you could feel it in the air.”

But it was the content of the speech that stood out for the Fargo native, who has just moved to Washington in the hope of landing a job on Capitol Hill.

Schneider was impressed that Obama vowed to uphold American values while also striving to keep the nation safe, a balance she finds reassuring.

“We can have both and do both,” she said.

Schneider planned to watch the inaugural parade on television at a friend’s apartment – while she prepares for tonight’s Obama Youth Ball, which she has a ticket to attend.

She’ll be wearing a favorite black dress for the occasion, and wants to look her best. That means rearranging her hair after witnessing the windswept inaugural ceremonies.

“I don’t think I’m in ball shape,” she said as she excused herself to prepare for her date with history.