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Originally published January 22, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 22, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Live inauguration coverage: AP | Washington Post | KUOW

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Conservative view: Obama's day wasn't a thrill for everyone

Two young conservatives in the liberal, politically blue Seattle region didn't party hardy during Barack Obama's Tuesday inauguration. A Young Republican man put in another 16-hour workday as a real-estate appraiser, and a member of Young Conservative Babes in King County marked the day at a gun range.

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Oh, to be young, conservative and a Republican on Inaugural Day ... in one of the bluest political regions in the country.

Let those liberal types party hardy, the ones who in King County gave Barack Obama more than 70 percent of the vote in the general election.

Here is how two of those young conservatives marked the day.

For Jered McMillan, 28, a real-estate appraiser and a Young Republican, Tuesday was just another workday.

Oh, he caught a clip of the ceremony when he was appraising a home, and listened on the radio.

But it wasn't like he'd forever and ever remember Tuesday.

"I wasn't all giddy and waiting for the magical day to come," said McMillan. "I mean, Barack Obama is a great speaker. He didn't really say anything bad. But, like they say, an empty drum makes the most noise."

McMillan lives in Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, where he grew up.

Even though the county went 59 percent for Obama, its rural feel is a long way from those hipster cafes and bars on Seattle's Capitol Hill.

Still, even in Lake Stevens, said McMillan, if there are Young Republicans in his neck of the woods, "they're hiding under rocks or in huddled corners."

To find his own kind, McMillan ended up going to meetup.com, and typing in "Young Republicans."

"A lot of Republicans in Seattle generally are transplanted from the East, and are looking for people who share their values," he said, explaining that those values would be: "Family, pro-life, God, guns and babies."

He said the Young Republicans ages 21 to 40 set up socials at Seattle bars, including those in Belltown, Fremont and Capitol Hill.

Sure, those neighborhoods are Obama bastions.

But, said McMillan, you have to be realistic.

"That's where all the best bars are," he said.

On Tuesday, Lamb Henry, 30, a member of Young Conservative Babes in King County, didn't even watch the inauguration on TV.

Young Conservative Babes has 98 members, and Henry is one of the organizers.

"Everybody who's on our board has a sense of humor," she said about the group's name. "We're a group of conservative girls, doing volunteer work and getting together socially."

She and her husband decided to end TV watching four years ago because their three children, ages 3, 4 and 6, might have nightmares.

One of the children, she said, was concerned about "what would happen if somebody died," after watching a car-insurance commercial.

So the family gets its news online and from talk radio, mostly from "The Truth 770 AM," which features conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

As for feeling the excitement described in the crowds at the inauguration, Henry said, "I didn't feel anything more than for any other presidents."

She was proud that the transition went so smoothly, and that it's a day to celebrate.

But ...

"I know many young people are excited about Obama. My concern is that it's more stardom," Henry said. "If the youth are so excited, why can't they name anything that Obama has done or is going to do?"

The Henry family lives in the small town of Pacific in South King County. They came to the area from San Antonio four years ago, drawn by the cooler climate.

Right away, Henry noticed major cultural differences.

"Texas is kind of a Bible Belt, and a common thing is that you never schedule anything on Sunday or Wednesday night, because everyone is at church," she said. "I have a 'mommy group' here, and a lot of times, they schedule stuff for Sunday morning."

On Tuesday night, while liberal types might have been partying, Henry and 10 members of Young Conservative Babes went to Wade's Eastside Guns in Bellevue to do some shooting.

It was their way of marking Inauguration Day, and to "celebrate the Second Amendment."

Available for rent were a choice of numerous calibers, ranging from a .22 Ruger to a .500 Smith & Wesson.

"We had a great time," Henry said.

Erik Lacitis: 206-464-2237 or elacitis@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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