Jane Prewett, Bernice Bonillas and Mari Goodman -- all active in the Kern County Democratic Party -- attended the inauguration together and shared their feelings in an email to The Californian:

"The president's speech was inspiring and the crowds cheered at some of the high points of the direction of this nation. It was words of hope that all can be and should be treated equal.

"People spoke to each other about where they were from and why they were here. The common denominator was there was an air of optimism to move forward on issues that this country wants to address now.

"People said President Obama's leadership and Joe Biden was an inspirational team.

"All in all, it was a wonderful experience and knowing that we were there for history in the making made it more awesome."

New Kern County Congressman David Valadao, R-Hanford, released a statement about the day's events:

"Today is a day to be proud for our country. Just like the 56 previous presidential inaugurations, we once again witnessed how, despite our differences on policy, we are all Americans.

"As the president said today, we face many difficult challenges in the coming weeks to ensure future generations -- our children and grandchildren -- can live and prosper in the best America possible. I look forward to the challenge and am reminded of the honor and privilege of representing the 21st Congressional District in Congress."

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Kern's other congressman, proved he's as much a celebrity gawker as the rest of us.

Television cameras caught McCarthy taking a picture of married singing superstars Beyonce and Jay-Z, and a screen shot was shared on Twitter.

McCarthy, by the way, had some of the best seats in the house for the president's swearing-in -- right next to and behind the U.S. Supreme Court justices.