Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Inauguration 2009: Weekend of Destruction Day 4

Ah Inauguration Day, a day that started for many in the wee hours of the morning. For me I value sleep a little more. However I did have a plan to be on The Mall for Inauguration and I’m happy to say everything worked out relatively well.

I started out the morning well bundled. I wore many, many layers and had hand/toe warmers, water, snacks, and maps ready to go.

At 8:30 AM my friend Carrie and I proceeded down to the Clarendon Metro stop to check out that option, if everything appeared all right a possible entry route was to simple Metro into a station and walk to The Mall. While that option was the simplist it was also one of the most popular and I expected to see the Clarendon stop overflowing with people as we walk the short two blocks to the station. (more…)

Inauguration 2009: Obama’s First Flight

I’ll try and post my adventures from yesterday tomorrow- but to celebrate the eve of Inauguration I wanted to share with all of you this cool clip of Obama’s first flight on Air Force One (thanks to my friends over at Nat Geo for cutting and providing us with the clip.)

i thought it was really interesting that on his first flight he orders a cheeseburger- he’s so average joe!

Obama’s first flight on Air Force One

A Few Comments On The Inaugural Concert

We Are One concert courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

"We Are One concert" courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

Some of you may have noticed that my V-log of the Inaugural Concert never finished. As planned a large group of people (probably 20 of us) arrived at 19th & Constitution at about 5:30am. By that time about 200-300 people were in line, all of whom seemed to be fresh off the party. We waited in line until about 8am, the time that the gates were supposed to open, in the freezing cold. By that time, teams of army infantrymen and SWAT police were arriving and setting up camp along the perimeter of the National Mall and in the security tents through which every visitor would be required to pass. Another hour went by before the park opened, and pandemonium broke loose. Moving through the security tent was quick; all that was required to pass through was that our jackets be open and that our bags be placed on a table for a quick look by the personnel stationed there.

Waiting In The Cold courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

"Waiting In The Cold" courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

When the crowd exited the security tents it was a five minute dash across the Mall to the Reflecting Pool, where people rushed to the front and tried to stake their space. My group was in the front row along the barrier- our long wait was worth it. Throughout the morning, the area filled in all the way back to the Washington Monument. Everyone was literally shoulder to shoulder and tempers flaired occasionally when people tried to expand their space by sitting down and occasionally laying down. All in all it was a very boring wait between 9am and 11am, which was monotonous except for a few sound checks.

Unfortunately, one of the people in my party had a few unexpected seizures in a row just after 11. The army infantrymen and crowd control police nearby rushed in to help, parting the masses quickly and carrying him off hammock-style on a blanket. As they moved through the crowd towards the barrier, the crowd closed ranks so quickly that those of us who were with the friend with the seizure could not follow. It took us almost an hour to work our way out to Constitution Avenue again, stepping on a lot of people and starting a lot of heated arguments accidentally along the way. Once we had worked our way out of the crowd, we found a triage tent, where the medics on duty were helpful in pointing us to the Georgetown University Hospital, where our friend had been taken.

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Those of you who were anywhere in the vicinity of the National Mall yesterday know that all the roads in the area were closed off by infantry units. A humvee was parked at each intersection spanning an area of at least five blocks in every direction of the mall and maybe more in some areas. Infantrymen in groups of four or more per intersection blocked off traffic and facilitated the massive amount of pedestrian traffic. Sufficed to say that getting to Georgetown University was a nightmare. From Constitution Avenue we made the trek through Foggy Bottom to the George Washington University Hospital. At first we wondered why our friend hadn’t been taken there, but it was explained to us that GW Hospital had been set aside as a mass casualty unit for the worst case scenario; I’m sure that Barack Obama would also have been able to find a bed if anything had happened as well.

Traffic finally resumed at Washington Circle Park (the intersection of K, Pennsylvania, 23rd, and New Hampshire). There we were able to hail a cab, but we sat in traffic for what must have been an hour on Pennsylvania and M. It turns out that our friend was alright. The seizures were determined to be random, and he is in the process of recovery in his own bed.

From the sound of it, the concert was unbelieveable. As we returned to Foggy Bottom late in the afternoon we were able to hear Barack Obama’s voice booming throughout the neighborhood. People were still streaming towards the Mall, though they were fighting the tide of those on their way out. Later in the evening I had the opportunity to watch the Concert on HBO, which turned out to be even closer up than the spot we had abandoned earlier in the day. Though that was a nice consolation prize, I still look forward to more success on Inauguration Day.

Inauguration 2009: Operation Celtic Renegade Is In Effect

Right now I’m going to say I’d rather get up late, walk to my TV or go to a watch party, and enjoy the ceremony. To me it looks like a hassle to even try and get into town.

Those were the words I wrote in my last post, as I decided at the time I wouldn’t try to go on the mall.

However something funny happened. I made the decision confident that I was falling into the position held by many other of my friends. However upon talking with them on Inaugural plans I found out that I am actually one of the few. All my friends know the risks and perils but still intend on giving it the old college try on Tuesday. (more…)

Inauguration 2009: Obama’s Having A Ball

"Inaugural 09 Hotel Madness..." courtesy Flickr user dbking

The best part of Inauguration might possibly be what happens after the swearing in.

After the speeches are given and the parade has marched through it’s time for the real celebration- the Inaugural Balls.

The night life on inaugural weekend out in full force with an extra few million in town and bars, restaurants, and clubs expected to be opening a little bit later than usual, there’s going to be a party somewhere. The key is to find the one you want to go to.

President-Elect Obama and Vice-President-Elect Biden will be hosting 10 balls and has recently announced the lineup of official galas (all official balls are going to be held on Inauguration Day, January 20th.):

Youth Inaugural Ball
The Youth ball is intended for young Americans aged 18-35 and will celebrate the Inauguration of the new president and the role young Americans can play to serve their communities.
Washington Hilton, Tickets: $75

Obama Home States Inaugural Ball & Biden Home States Inaugural Ball
Obama and Biden will each host guests from their home states to a ball to celebrate their inaugurations with those who know them best – their friends, families and local supporters.
Illinois and Hawaii invited guests; Delaware and Pennsylvania invited guests.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: $150

Eastern Inaugural Ball
CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, PR, and USVI invited guests
Union Station, Tickets: $150

Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball
MD, VA, DC, NY, NJ, and WV invited guests
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: $150

Midwest Inaugural Ball
KS, IN, IA, MI, MN, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI, and MO invited guests
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: $150

Southern Inaugural Ball
AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, and TX invited guests
National Guard Armory, Tickets: $150

Western Inaugural Ball
AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY, AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT, OK, GUAM/AS invited guests
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets $150

Neighborhood Inaugural Ball
With tickets available free or at an affordable price, it is the first official inaugural ball of its kind to be held during a presidential inauguration. A portion of tickets for this event will be set aside for District of Columbia residents. The ball will also feature a robust interactive component, including webcasting and text messaging, to link neighborhoods across the country with the new President and this premier event.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: TBD

Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball

President-Elect Barack Obama will host the Commander-in-Chief’s inaugural ball to honor the country’s active duty and reserve military.  Additional invited guests will include wounded warriors (Purple Heart recipients), families of fallen heroes, and spouses of deployed military.
National Building Museum, Tickets: Free to those invited, closed to the public

If you aren’t one of the lucky ones to get an invite to an official ball- not to fear there’s plenty of “unofficial” parties that weekend. Unofficial affairs range from the popular Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball put on by the Texas State Society to family friendly affairs like the Children’s Inaugural Ball. A couple of DC bloggers are hosting Bloggerational Ball 2009, in honor of all the New Media geeks out there (does that mean I should try and go?)

The Washington Post, Washingtonian, and About.com all have very comprehensive listings on Inaugural bashes in the district. I also suggest signing up for the DC for Obama newsletter; the group has also been distributing listings of local parties.

Of course not everybody will be in the mood for partying, like the Republicans who are reported to be fleeing in mass.

Also those that know better, like WP’s Roxanne Roberts, gives us tips on surviving a ball while warning us to stay away.

This week I am going to figure out exactly how I want to take on Inauguration but I’ll tell you what- parties are going to be a big part of it.

Inauguration 2009: Inauguration Estimates Cut In Half

"Clinton_inauguration_1993_crowds" courtesy of Flickr user dpape

Did estimates of up to 5 million people scare you from coming out to see the Obama Inauguration?

Well how about 2-3 million? Does that number sound more appealing to you?

Inauguration officials are now revising earlier estimates of Inaugural attendees by half. According to the Washington Post, “turnout could easily reach 2 million, officials said, far outstripping the 400,000 who attended the 2005 inauguration of President Bush.

It doesn’t surprise me that only 400,000 people came out to see Bush swearing in again. I wonder how many of them were protesters.

The WP article notes that 5 million people may come into the DC Metro area, but it seems unlikely that the entire 5 million will actually make it to The Mall and parade route. So does that mean that a fallback plan of watching the festivities at a local pub may not be smart? Trying to fight through the other 2 million that came into town but didn’t want to go the extra mile to be there in person may make leaving my house a nightmare no matter what I do.

I also wonder if this story will entice even more people to try and see the events in-person. Next thing you know we really do have 5 million people in DC because they thought, “5 million people? No way! But 2 million people… maybe I will try and make it in…”

Now for some more Inaugural news.

Obama’s playing the part of Lincoln very well

"Lincoln Bible" courtesy of the Presidential Inaugural Committee

So the Obama’s got the Lincoln train ride thing down. He’s also kicking off Inaugurapalooza with a concert at the Lincoln memorial. And of course we all know Obama’s from the “land of Lincoln.”

He wants to make sure we get the whole Lincoln metaphor down with his decision to use the Lincoln bible to take his Inaugural oath. The bible hasn’t been used in over 150 yearsm since- you guessed it- Abe Lincoln used it. With the announcement the Lincoln bible came out for a little photo op and CBS has some video of it on display.

More Inaugural Weekend Details

It looks like the Inaugural committee has released some more details on the events that weekend, here’s the latest details from the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

Sunday, January 18th
No new details on the welcome event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial except that it will be in the afternoon

Monday, January 19th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The President-elect, Vice President-elect, and their families are going to honor Dr. King through various community service activities. The earlier reported youth concert at the Verizon Center will be held that evening.

Tuesday, January 20th – Inauguration Day

"the president's own" courtesy of Flickr user happy via

The festivities will start at 10 A.M. but officials say that if you have tickets that you should try and get into the areas around 9. Remember that there’s no overnight camping on The Mall and that you can’t stake a parade spot til 7 AM.

Musical groups to perform include The United States Marine Band, Aretha Franklin, The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”, The San Francisco Boys Chorus, and The San Francisco Girls Chorus. John Williams will conduct an ensemble including Itzhak PerlmanYo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill.

Here’s a the current rundown of the ceremony:

  • Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
  • Musical Selection: Aretha Franklin
  • Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will be sworn into office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honorable John Paul Stevens
  • Musical Selection: John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma  (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet)
  • President-elect Barack H. Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible, administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.
  • Inaugural Address
  • Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
  • The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

President Obama will escort President Bush to a departure ceremony then attend a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

The Inaugural Parade will march down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. Here’s a preliminary list of parade participants that have been invited.

Wednesday, January 21st
No new news on the prayer service that will take place that day.

How cushy is an Honorary Co-Chair role?

The committee has also announced their Honorary Co-Chairs which include former President Carter, Clinton, and Bush (the first one.)  Mayor Adrian Fenty and Colin Powell are also on the list. While I don’t know what exactly an Honorary Co-Chair does at the Inauguration- I bet he/she will have really good seats.

Talking about seats I was showing a friend around DC last night and we visited the White House where we saw the VIP Grandstand still under construction.

The work looks top notch and there’s a round frame at the top- probably for the Presidential Seal. I also noticed glass partitions installed in the front and center rows. I bet those are probably bullet-proof. There’s also another grandstand structure opposite of this one. That’s probably as close as  I’m going to get to the parade- or anything Inaugural for that matter.

More Inauguration Links

The Inauguration Committee on Twitter: http://twitter.com/obamainaugural

Volunteer for the Inauguration: http://www.pic2009.org/page/s/volunteer2

Inauguration 2009: Should You Take The Obama Way Into Town?

"Acela train sign" courtesy of Flickr user Savannah Grandfather

"Acela train sign" courtesy of Flickr user Savannah Grandfather

We all know that Joe Biden takes the train from Wilmington to Washington DC every day– if you don’t then you’ve been living under a rock.

If you have been you’ve also missed a whole lot more than that.

If you haven’t read my friend’s post from yesterday it looks like President-Elect Obama is taking a page out of his running mate’s playbook. The Inauguration committee has just announced that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will kicking off the inauguration with a series of events being held in Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. The two will travel by train and will end their pre-inaugural rock tour in Washington D.C. After all, there’s nothing like a little train ride to hype up the already hyped Inauguration. I do however like the idea of spreading Inauguration out beyond the borders of Washington D.C. I wonder if this means the millions of people that will descend upon D.C. this year will try and hit up Baltimore on their way down. They could use the support.

Whether or not you decide to follow Obama on tour before the Inauguration, the only place you can’t be before Inauguration is The Mall. Several Federal officials have announced that overnight camping will not be allowed on The Mall. Also if you are going to try and stake out a spot for the Parade you will not be allowed to do so until 7 AM that morning.

While we are talking about things we can’t do- I just found this Washington Post article that discusses transportation options around Inauguration. It’s a good guide to refer to for anyone thinking about coming out for the swearing in. I’m very disappointed to hear that bicycles will not be allowed within the security cordon that has yet to be determined. That was going to be my strategy for avoiding the Metro. It seems as if walking is the best way to get anywhere- even in and out of the city. I can see it now, a scene straight out of Cloverfield, thousands of people trying to find an open bridge to walk across to escape DC.

Obama To Pull An Epic Abe Lincoln

abe

"Lincoln Memorial (Washington DC)" by Flickr user ~MVI~

Obama will continue following the example of Abraham Lincoln; the two may be very different in terms of policy, but they match up pretty evenly in style. January 17th will feature a railway trip for the Obamas that will begin in Philadelphia and end in Washington DC. Like Lincoln, Obama will make stops for speeches and events in Philadelphia and Baltimore before arriving in the Capitol to begin Inaugural Festivities. One kick is that Obama will break from Lincolnian tradition by stopping in Wilmington, Deleware, to pick up Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden and family.

The Washington Post reports that the Obamas have not yet announced specific plans in any of the cities en route, but that city officials were making preparations for large crowds. Baltimore Mayor Sheila Jackson could call upon M&T Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, or Fort McHenry as potential locations for speeches by President-Elect Obama.

Once in DC Obama is expected to hold a major event on the National Mall, where he will appear in person on January 18th.

Inauguration 2009: Renewing America’s Promise

"Inauguration" courtesy of Flickr user martinstelbrink

This week the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the theme for next month’s Inauguration, “Renewing America’s Promise.“

In a press release sent to DC Metblogs this week President-Elect Obama comments that, “At this moment of great challenge and great change, renewing the promise of America begins with renewing the idea that in America, we rise or fall as one nation and one people.“

While the theme is kinda interesting, the real news I wanted to write about is the preliminary schedule that was also released this week (as released by the PIC):

Sunday, January 18th
The schedule of official inaugural activities will begin with a welcome event on Sunday afternoon that is open to the public.

Monday, January 19th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
In 1994, to further commemorate a man who lived his life in service to others, Congress transformed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday into a national day of community service.  To honor Dr. King’s legacy, the President-elect and Vice President-elect and their families, like Americans in communities all across the country, will participate in activities dedicated to serving others in communities across the Washington, D.C. area.

Tuesday, January 20th – Inauguration Day
The President-elect and Vice President-elect and their families will participate in the traditional inaugural ceremonies and events, including the swearing-in ceremony on the West Front of the United States Capitol, a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, the 56th Inaugural Parade, and official Inaugural Balls.  Details about the Inaugural Balls will be released at a later date.

Wednesday, January 21st
The newly-inaugurated President and Vice President of the United States will participate in a prayer service.

I think the interesting note of the schedule is the Welcome event- as soon as more details get released on this event I can expect this event to get mobbed as people try and find someway to see the new President. Will this be an event on The Mall? Maybe Obama should take a page out of his convention playbook (and the Pope’s playbook) and hold an event at Nationals Stadium.

Also released this week was a list of organizations that will be participating in the parade. I heard on CNN that thousands of marching bands applied earlier in the year for the honor. You can look at the list that will be updated regularly on the committee’s website. Some of the notable to me include the local marching band from Howard University and the World Famous Lawn Rangers of Amazing Arcola- a weird named drill team that’s partied with Obama before.

For more information stay tuned to DC Metblogs and you can also head on over to the Washington Post who just created an “Inauguration Central” section of the site which includes a live webcam of the construction of stage in front of the Capital.

Does The Obama 8 Dollar Make You Holler?

As we approach the day we sit down and say thanks, we grow closer to another important milestone in the holiday season- Black Friday.

I’ll be back home in Massachusetts possibly waiting in lines at 5 AM, but I wanted to write about something else people may not be waiting in line for.

Last week I was watching TV at work (don’t worry it’s my job) when I saw this crazy ad for the “Barack Obama Limited Edition Coin.” I bet it would go great with “Obama Vitcory Collector’s Plate.”

Shortly after seeing the ads I was disappointed in the lengths people will go to cash in on history. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised however. DC locals are familiar with the vendors that line the streets of The Mall, selling all sorts of knock-off DC apparel. Everything from “Witness Protection Program” to knock-off sweatshirts with the local Alma Maters on them.

Carlos Lee at Politico recently wrote a piece that highlights even more items I didn’t know were out there- did you know that there’s a fake 8 Dollar Obama Bill? I just had to check it out.

Low and behold there was a bill on eBay for sale- the best part of the item is the fine print:

‘THIS NOTE HAS NO MONETARY VALUE BUT IS GOLD IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THOSE WHO SEEK MEANINGFUL CHANGE FOR ALL AMERICANS’

In the words of John Stossel– give me a break!

All sorts of people are joining in the madness- WMATA will be unveiling Obama SmartTrip Cards and Farecards for the special event. I can’t wait to swipe Obama’s face on the Orange line!

The buzz around Obama has risen him to rockstar status – so it makes perfect sense that the merchandising is nothing short of that as well. What does everyone else think? Are you all ready to get your loved ones Obama plates for the holidays?

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.