It's 5:00 PM in the Eastern time zone, which includes Washington DC. 5:00 PM is the standard end of the workday. It's Friday, the end of the week. Monday is a federal holiday, so the mass of federal employees will not be working. On Tuesday President-elect Barack Obama will become President Barack Obama, our nation's 44th president.
Some White House staff will be kept on for the next few days. Certainly in the defense, foreign policy and domestic security areas there are Bush appointees who will--and should--remain on call or at their desks between now and Tuesday. The could still be some late-night activities happening with some of the legal staff. But in terms of devising, implementing and enforcing policies, as of this moment, the Bush administration is effectively over.
It was exhausting, it was most of the time maddening, infuriating and often embarrassing and even shameful for our government to be led by George W. Bush and his administration. But we have endured. The country is damaged, but not destroyed. President Obama and the Democratic people, the massive and professional civil service, and especially the American people have a great deal of work and struggle before us to restore our country's honor, prestige, respect, security, prosperity and opportunity.
We're all up to that challenge. But before we embark on that, let's let out a sigh of relief, and if you're inclined, now or later tonight, raise your glass and toast to the effective end of the administration and presidency of George W. Bush.