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Crowd of 1 million+ could attend Obama inauguration

Published:

Published - Nov 13 2008 09:35PM EST | AP

By BRETT ZONGKER - Associated Press Writer

President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration is expected to draw 1million-plus to the capital, and already some lawmakers have stoppedtaking ticket requests and hotels have booked up.

Some people arebartering on Craigslist for places to stay for the Jan. 20 ceremonywhen the Illinois senator takes the oath of office. They are offeringcash or even help with dishes for residents willing to open up theirhomes.

The National Park Service, which is planning for aninaugural crowd of at least 1 million, will clear more viewing spacealong the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route. Jumbo TV screens will linethe National Mall so people can watch the inauguration and parade, parkservice spokesman David Barna said Thursday.

The District of Columbia's delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, isurging planners to use arenas and stadiums to help with overflow crowdswanting to view the ceremonies on big-screen TVs. She is also urgingchurches to hold viewing parties.

"You can't judge by pastinaugurations. It's going to break all the records," Norton said."They're going to come with or without tickets. ... It's each man andwoman for himself."

The city's police chief, Cathy Lanier, saidorganizers brought in an additional 3,000 officers from forces aroundthe country to help with the last inauguration. This time, the requestprobably will be for about 4,000 officers.

Because of a lawsuit,people should have more standing room along the crowded parade route.War protesters sued after President George W. Bush's last inauguration,forcing the government to open up more free public viewing spacebetween the Capitol and White House.

U.S. District Judge PaulFriedman ruled in March that the park service violated its own rules bygiving preferential treatment in ticketing for bleacher seats along theparade route for supporters of the government over its critics.Friedman wrote the inauguration "is not a private event."

Newrules to be issued Monday will lower the number of ticketed bleacherseats along the parade route from 20,000 seats to 8,700, leaving muchmore of the route open to people without tickets, Barna said.

Seattickets had sold for between $15 and $150 in 2005 to help pay for theinaugural parade. Details for the 2009 parade tickets have not been setbecause Obama's Presidential Inaugural Committee, which organizes theparade, is being formed.

There will also be designated "free speech" areas for protesters along the parade route, Barna said.

Theinauguration has been designated a National Special Security Event,giving the U.S. Secret Service the lead in coordinating all lawenforcement agencies to secure the event. There are 58 federal, stateand local law enforcement agencies working together.

The largestcrowd ever recorded on the National Mall was for President Lyndon B.Johnson's 1965 inauguration. At the time, the park service estimated1.2 million people descended on the area. In 1981, President RonaldReagan's inauguration drew about 500,000 people, and President BillClinton's 1993 inauguration drew about 800,000 people, according topark service estimates.

Of course, the crowds can always thin out. Ronald Reagan's secondswearing-in ceremony had to be moved indoors, and the parade wascanceled when the temperature dropped below 10 degrees (with a windchill at 10 degrees to 20 degrees below zero.) John F. Kennedy'sinauguration in 1961 came with a blanket of snow; still, 1 millionpeople turned out.

Congressional offices are reporting tens ofthousands of requests for the 240,000 free tickets for the inaugurationceremony. As of Thursday, the office of Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., hadreceived 26,000 requests. Webb sent a letter Thursday to Sen. DianneFeinstein, who heads the Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee,requesting that Virginia's proximity to Washington be considered in itsallotment.

EBay Inc., the parent company of listing and salessites eBay, StubHub and Kijiji, said it will not allow tickets to theinauguration to be sold on its Web sites. The company made the decisionafter meeting with committee representatives, eBay spokeswoman NicholaSharpe told The Associated Press.

The inauguration will come atthe end of a four-day holiday for federal workers, following the MartinLuther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 19. Many area schools and someuniversities have canceled classes or are considering it.

___

AssociatedPress writers Kamala Lane in Washington, Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh andSteve Szkotak in Richmond, Va., and news researcher Judith Ausuebelcontributed to this report.

Entry #158

Comments

1.
ToddComment by Todd - November 13, 2008, 11:08 pm
Wahoo! Million Man March Part 2!!
2.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 13, 2008, 11:27 pm
And you expected people to laugh with you on the Richard Pryor skit. Who's trolling.
3.
ToddComment by Todd - November 14, 2008, 9:25 am
Um, people did laugh, it was a funny skit. Sorry you have trouble seeing the humor.

I keep my comments related to the person's blog post. That's not trolling.

You, on the other, bring up some non-sequitur and attempt to throw off the flow of the comments, in addition to the trolling behavior.

So you're right, instead of trolling, I should have said trolling AND thread hijacking.
4.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 14, 2008, 11:50 am
So are you saying "Wahoo! Million Man March Part 2!!! is not hating. And that remark it is not trolling and hijacking my blog post.

And while laughing at the Richard Pryor skit there wasn't an element of truth in it for you. Is that why you say "Wahoo! Million Man March Part 2!!!

The difference between me laughing at the skit is that I accept Obama as President elect and I like black people and don't hate on them. And don't say stuff like "Wahoo! Million Man March Part 2!!! in reference to the inauguration.
5.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 1:26 pm
My Republican friends finally admitted to me they voted for Obama. I'm mentioning this because they asked me if I want to share a ride to Washington in January. I probably won't go since it's really a shlep and I'll see more on TV. I also can't tolerate temperatures under 50 degrees anyway and I remember what January feels like up north. There are many people renting their homes (do you blame them in this economy?) during inauguration week. My sister lives there anyway.

Anyway, just to be clear --- I am not a man, I am not Black and I have no intention on marching anywhere.
6.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 1:33 pm
I just read my post and it was poorly written. I used 'anyway' too much. I guess comparing the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States with the Million Man March was so surprising to me that I was shaking my head, making it difficult to focus.

Just a helpful household hint for some of you. I recently tried Oxyclean and it really gets those tough stains out of your white sheets.
7.
jarasanComment by jarasan - November 14, 2008, 3:16 pm
I live here, and the 1,000,000 man march was NOT even close to 1,000,000! I know that for a fact it was closer to a 350,000 people march (some say that is high), 20,000 of which was media and police. All these crowd estimates are very inaccurate and it depends on your cause as to inflate or deflate the numbers. I got the number 350K from a Park Police buddy. The area of the inauguration and all the area down to the mall can't hold a million people! You need an area of roughly 2 square miles to fit 1,000,000 people shoulder to shoulder. It ain't possible with an available area of 1/2 square mile! I highly suggest to stay away and watch it on TV, that is the best seat.

And if you do come, please for the love of God, respect the capitol grounds and malls, and pick up after yourselves. Don't litter and use the bathrooms.
8.
jarasanComment by jarasan - November 14, 2008, 4:31 pm
That is, DO use the Port-A-Potties. Thanks in advance!
9.
justxploringComment by justxploring - November 14, 2008, 6:43 pm
Wow! As someone who volunteers to pick up litter, even with a very bad back injury, I take offense at your comment, Jarasan. Apparently you view certain types of citizens as people who have no class. By the way, did you think I'd squat down to pee & poop on the lawn?

The comments by the wingnuts here are often unbelievable and go way over the top!

You don't have to be an Obama supporter to want to be part of history in the making, to want to rejoice in the swearing in of a new president. That's called being a loyal American. Shame on you if you live near DC but feel this is only something a left wing liberal would do. That's not American to me. It must be tough living in fear all the time.
10.
Comment by chowchow - November 14, 2008, 7:40 pm
Todd and Jarasan, you both need prayer. You better used that energy to help someone. There is a whole lot more I could say, but I'm trying to be God-fearing. So don't push me.
11.
jarasanComment by jarasan - November 14, 2008, 9:28 pm
There you go again, jx and 2xchow, you have nary a clue whence you speak, I don’t live near D.C. I live in D.C.! I’ve seen the aftermath of a dozen inaugurations, almost 40 4th of Julys and numerous other gatherings, since I’ve lived here. Do you actually think volunteers pick up the mess left behind every time??????????????????????????????

I am now convinced you live in some alternate parallel universe.

Your tax dollars pay for all this pomp and circumstance, from the paper the invitations are printed on till the last Porta-A-Pottie is emptied out..

This whole thing costs approx. $20,000,000 that is $20 million USAmerican dollars, I think Obama should pay for it out of his campaign surplus and show us he means business.

12.
Comment by chowchow - November 14, 2008, 10:05 pm
Why should he have to pay. Did the other presidents pay? Knowing Obama if someone said something to him about it, he might would dish out the cash. It seems like so much more is expected from him. He's only a man like the others. The only difference is that he was sent by God. Get back devils!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Its a quite few on the "post". Who do you think is the Head Devil?
13.
Litebets27Comment by Litebets27 - November 14, 2008, 10:11 pm
I'm less than an hour away, but I plan to watch the Inauguration on TV. I've always had a hard time getting around D.C. I can't imagine going there with that crowd. I will be celebrating.
14.
Litebets27Comment by Litebets27 - November 14, 2008, 10:11 pm
I'm less than an hour away, but I plan to watch the Inauguration on TV. I've always had a hard time getting around D.C. I can't imagine going there with that crowd. I will be celebrating.
15.
jarasanComment by jarasan - November 15, 2008, 10:17 am
Chowchow, no president elect has ever had that much illegally collected campaign funds left over, maybe he should return it to the worshippers, oh I forgot, they don't know the names and addresses of about a third...........................where in the world is the FEC?
16.
TenajComment by Tenaj - November 15, 2008, 11:18 am
jarasan, - 4 years is a long time to hear you whine. Get over it, whine, whine, whine. Obama won, the Republicans lost. The Republicans got rid of it's own party to the first black president to be elected to the US. What a slap in the face. People like you just can't get over it. You nic pic, pic, pic. Wanting us to be as miserable as you by debating on blame when the game is over.

What you have to say about campaign funds is a mute point. OBAMA WON. Campaign funds, name calling and the FEC will not change that.

We Won - The Democrats Won and the Republicans helped them. All people came together to make it happen. It was bad enough to lose but your own party dished you. Continuing to whining about Obama is not going to change the fact that the Republicans lost. I'm laughing at you still whining.    But 4 years is a long time to listen to you losers complain and blame.

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