Posts Tagged ‘inauguration’

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: Inauguration Estimates Cut In Half

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

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 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

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.

GW To Be Only University In Inaugural Parade

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The George Washington University will be riding a float built by students in the Inaugural Parade for the first time since 1949, when they participated in Harry Truman’s Inaugural festivities. The float is designed to encompass GW’s various schools and colleges. Among the attractions on the float are a twelve foot inflatable globe that will be rotating six feet above the Elliot School of International Affairs section, a live stock ticker in the School of Business Section, students building a mini-Baja automobile in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences section, and live filming of the crowd on to an LCD monitor in the School of Media and Public Affairs section.

All in all, a group of 40+ students and administrators will be riding the float, joined by family members of the alumni who rode the GW float sixty years ago. The idea of the float is not only to represent The George Washington University, which is central to the political scene, but to represent higher education as a whole; GW is the only university in the country that will build and ride a float in the parade.

The GW application to the Joint Congressional Committee for Inaugural Festivities was supplemented by enthusiastic letters of support from alumns Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Robert Wechsler. “The application process could not have gone more smoothly,” according to GW Student Body President Vishal A. Aswani. “The upcoming Inauguration will be a momentous national occasion, and students here are thrilled that The George Washington University will play such a central role in the festivities.”

Congress Falling Short On Inauguration Security Costs

Back in 2005, Congress allocated $17.5 million to cover the District’s security costs for the second Inauguration of George W. Bush. 300,000 people attended those festivities. Fast forward to 2009, January 20th to be exact, and D.C. could potentially face beyond 4 million guests for Inauguration. The only catch is that this time Congress has only allotted $15 million for security.

On an average day, residents and tourists in DC have to worry about the risks of living in a large city with high crime rates; only last night an 18 year old was stabbed in the chest with an ice pick at a Green Line Metro Station of all places and a 14 year old was stabbed as a possible result of MS-13 gang activity.

In the chaos that 4 million people will create by packing on to the National Mall, moving throughout the city, and taking the Metro will cause, security will have to be a priority for a litany of reasons. Simple personal safety, the safety of government officials, and national security only scratch the surface of the policing fiasco that sheer volume of people will usher into Washington.

There are many things that need to be cut back financially, but Inaugural security is not one of them, and Congress should know that.

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?

No More Sketchy Inauguration Rentals!

Hot off the presses at City Desk, there’s a new website in town to replace Craigslist, which has quickly become the dubious blind-date hub of the Inaugural world of room-renting. InauguralHomes.com has emerged as a more logical option, collecting both personal and credit card information to give an identity to those folks who will be renting your homes, along with a more visual, detailed interface than Craigslist to those who wish to rent.

According to founder Andrew Butters: “We’re the safest way to go right now.” We’ll see if the site catches on despite its fees.

Inaugural Subletting: Don’t Believe the Hype

So if you’ve just come out from under a rock, this new guy got elected President of the United States.  A lot of people like him and want to come see him become the President.  Like millions of people.  So they are all going to come to our fair city and delay our Metro rides and hope to catch a glimpse of the magic that happens when the Barack Obama takes the Oath.

So many people are coming in fact that there is nowhere left for them to say stay-which is why people are renting out their rooms at incredibly extravagant prices.  No seriously-look here on craigslist.

So here I am:  Feet from a Metro stop, with a nice one bedroom in a huge three bedroom apartment, a Federal Employee with a four day weekend in January on one hand.  On the other hand I have the Super Bowl of tourist weekends with no reasonable way to do anything or go anywhere for four days while Barack-a-maniacs clog the tubes and roads.

Sounds like a perfect time to do some “What the Inauguration is like from another, warmer, city” blogging for the old DC Metblogs doesn’t it?  Don’t get me wrong-I know how cool this is, that it is a once in a lifetime event and all of that-I really do.  I just can tell you already I’ll be watching the show from my couch.  And if I’m watching it from my couch, I can watch it from any couch anywhere.

And why not advertise my room for the weekend as well and see if I can make a few grand in the process?

(more…)

Inauguration 2009: Why Doesn’t Anyone Want To Crash My Place?

What’s up, Patrick?! How have you been? I have a question for you — Jeremy and I are thinking about taking a day trip to D.C. on inauguration day…

I was actually excited to get this e-mail.

Everyone and their Mom (maybe their Dad) wants to be in Washington DC come Janaury 20th. Congressmen are slammed with ticket requests and if you live anywhere near the area you probably have been asked by friends, family, strangers if they can stay at your place since hotels are expensive and sold out. I was excited to see that someone has actually asked me about Inauguration- my friend isn’t asking to crash the place but wants to meet up and advice. I was happy to tell her that it will be a frenzy. I’m actually kind of sad that more people haven’t asked me to crash my place- I just moved into a new house and I’m more than welcome to host any of my friends that want to see history.

Just as there are many people that want to be in town- there are just as many (if not more) people that want to make a quick buck from it. I’ve already heard my friends thinking about renting out their rooms; I’ve even heard of a scheme to have a bunch of friends stay at one person’s home so their homes can be rented out- and make even more money. A search for “inauguration” on Craigslist have resulted in many people willing to rent out their homes and rooms.

Before the election I was on the fence about trying to join the party- it’s shaping up to be a million man march on The Mall. However this will be a historic event and if I strategize, maybe I will try and be in the area to witness history.

What is the frenzy like for the rest of DC? Anyone being flooded with requests for housing? I could only wish to get the love y’all are getting.

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