Rachel Maddow at the TCA Winter Press Tour

With the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama rapidly approaching, reporters were curious about MSNBC’s plans for the event, and Maddow’s involvement.

On Tuesday, Maddow joins Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Gene Robinson
in a "sort of four-person anchor set-up" on the Mall, Maddow stated, with David Gregory reporting from the field near President Obama.

"I’m going to be part of not
the play-by-play," Maddow added, "but the color."

When asked about what the day means to her, Maddow was thoughtful:

I’ve been thinking about this a lot,
and we’ve been so involved in the not just the 24-hour
news cycle, but the 20-minute news cycle at this
point, all of the details.

I had the opportunity to
meet with Obama yesterday morning, and I realized that
when I was prepping questions and things to talk to
him about at that meeting, that I was getting — I was
getting really, really, really granular, like “Your
appointment for the deputy undersecretary of policy
and the blah, blah, blah.”

I realized that sometimes I’m getting so close to this that I’ve stopped
paying attention to what these big moments mean. And
for the inauguration, honestly, I — it goes back to
the historic nature of this transformation.

It’s not
about the economic crisis that we’re in. It’s not
about the two wars that we’re in. It’s not about who
else was involved in this election or what
administration he is succeeding.

What this
inauguration means is that in front of a White House
that was built with slave labor in an inaugural week
that starts at the Lincoln Memorial, where the second
inaugural address is etched into the wall, which is
about our country shedding a drop of blood by the
sword for every drop of blood that was drawn by the
lash, in this country, we are electing an
African-American president.

It’s — you couldn’t
script it for Hollywood … with
everything else that’s going on, I think that, for me,
is the thing that is most important about this day.
And it’s the thing that we have to come up with a way
to express the gravity of.

MSNBC’s live inauguration day coverage begins at 10am EST/7am PST on Tuesday, Jan. 20. The Rachel Maddow Show airs weeknights at 9pm EST/PST.

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