The 57th Presidential Inauguration Live Blog

January 20, 2013

President Obama has taken the oath of office for his second presidential term.

Follow along with updates of the 57th inauguration festivities below and watch social reaction and video here.

Good night!

Hey, you mind if I get out of here? I mean, it’s been fun sitting in this office, but the president’s gone home, and I’d kind of like to hit the after-parties if you don’t mind. Check in with The Reliable Source blog tomorrow to see what happens later. Don’t feel like you need to stay up for me, okay?

Four more beers

Brewed-in-Washington beers have become ubiquitous in the last year, and the natural extension is the first Brewers Ball at ChurchKey. Local and national beer lovers came together over 55 draft and cask beers, including Allagash FV13 (aged for four years in oak barrels in Maine) and Schlafly Tasmanian IPA (made in St. Louis with New Zealand hops). Representatives of D.C.’s breweries toasted the toasted crowd and offered their own predictions for 2013: Look out for lower-alcohol session beers and funky, Belgian-influenced ales.

– Fritz Hahn

Cyndi Lauper on gay rights

 

Cyndi Lauper, performing at the HRC ball, on the inclusion of gay rights in Obama’s noontime speech on Monday (he was the first U.S. president to ever use the word “gay” in an inaugural address):

“He said the g-word!”

Lauper also said Obama’s 2013 inauguration was better for her than 2009, when she had a purple ticket.

 

Inaugural Balls 2013: the big picture story

“The enormity of the occasion met the enormity of the room.

“Like, wowza. What a room!

“Acres of concrete floor at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to sashay across in gowns and heels, to clippity-clop around in tuxes and shiny dress shoes. All in search of that special ‘I-was-there’ moment, an inauguration night when a city consumed by its quarrels stopped its sniping for a few, and just smiled.

“In this age of austerity, President Obama trimmed the fat off the inauguration festivities, slimming down from the 10 balls he attended for his first inauguration to the two official galas he attended Monday night for his second inauguration. But it’s not like he slummed it, not with Alicia Keys on stage at the piano in that red backless dress.”

– Go read the full story, Inaugural balls give Obama fans chance to party, by Manuel Roig-Franzia, Monica Hesse and a team of Washington Post correspondents.

The band plays on (and on and on…)

After a decadent dinner, guests were sent away to a different ballroom for dessert and coffee while the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball staff transformed the banquet hall into a dance party. Restless patrons kept coming back to see if the band was ready. “Are they still setting up in here?” “Oh, I guess they aren’t ready.” “What’s taking so long?”


Eager to dance, partygoers made a beeline for dance floor the moment the band, D.C. group Free Spirit, played the opening notes of Black Eyed Peas hit “I Gotta Feeling.” Soon, even Medal of Honor winners were grooving to “Call Me Maybe.”

During a break, saxophone player Eli Gonzalez of Alexandria said he was having a blast, despite the fact he had to wake up at 2:30 a.m. for his day job, playing with the U.S. Army band in the inauguration parade. Anticipating being awake for 24 hours straight, Gonzalez still pronounced the day “awesome” — and though Free Spirit was playing the gig for the second inauguration in a row hoping to catch a glimpse of President Obama, they were thrilled Joe Biden showed up.

So, how were the lines at the bar at the official inaugural bar?

“Horrid. Winding. I just left,” says a correspondent at the scene.

Stars out at BET gala

 

 

A steady stream of celebrities are crowding the red carpet at the National Portrait Gallery for a gala hosted by BET. Among those spotted: Hall of Fame basketball player Patrick Ewing, singer Kenny Lattimore and actresses Tatyana Ali and Gabrielle Union.

– Robert Samuels

 Tatyana Ali

 Jermaine Dupri

 Kenny Lattimore

 Gabrielle Union

 

Rep. Barbara Lee: “Time for us to regroup”

It is a day to celebrate, said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). She was dressed in a chiffon fuchsia top and black dress. Lee was one of about 600 people gathered at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s gala at the Capitol Hilton. Her hair was pinned up and she bounced as the DJ played an Alicia Keys hit in the background.

But Lee’s mind was clearly back in the office. What was she thinking about?

“The significance of having our first black president being sworn in for a second time on King’s birthday, 150 years after emancipation, the convergence of all this together is important for us to celebrate,” Lee said. “But it is also time for us to regroup. When you look at unemployment in the black community, it is 14 percent. When you look at poverty — which started before our president was elected — we have a lot of work to do. Today really reminds us of the work that has been done before us.”

– Krissah Thompson

Well, that was an early, mellow evening

At least for the president and first lady. Four years ago, they left their final inaugural ball at 12:45 a.m.  — before heading back to the White House to party with an elite crowd of friends. But tonight, the clock had barely struck 10 before they were headed home. Granted, they had more territory to cover last time: ten balls spread out over several locations, instead of the consolidated mega-balls, all at the convention center. Four years ago, Obama did the Bump with one lucky guest. Nothing so lively this time.

Flashback: Obamas, Bidens Dance the Night Away at 10 Balls, 1/21/09

Jill Biden’s gown is by Vera Wang

Not getting as much attention as Michelle Obama’s dress –  but for those wondering, Jill Biden’s blue (or is it periwinkle???) gown is by Vera Wang, reports NBC’s Carrie Dann.

From Vera Wang’s Twitter feed:

 

 

 

Doug E. Fresh parties with Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Old-school hip hop heads alert! Doug E. Fresh is in the building at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s gala at the Capitol Hilton.

“It is a privilege to be with y’all tonight on this historical night,” he said. “Make some noise for Martin Luther King. And it couldn’t get no better. Four more years. Make some noise for Obama. Let me ask you a question. Did you eat your vitamins? Did you get some rest?”

Fresh was ready to party, and soon he had his companion on the turntables, Big Tigger, playing the 1988 E.U. hit “Da Butt.”

Then Fresh launched into the familiar beatboxing that made him famous. “Put your hands in the air. Wave them like Michelle Obama. First Lady. She even do the dougie! … Celebrating the first black president of the United States. He doing his thang!”

– Krissah Thompson

What did you expect?

Bryan Brokmeier, who traveled here from New York for the official inaugural ball, said it wasn’t quite what he expected. He thought there would be “less concrete on the floor, something other than Cheez-its” to eat. He and a friend, like many others, waited in long lines to get their photo taken near presidential decorations.

Sleepwalking on the dance floor

The 600-plus people at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s party at the Capital Hilton look tired. It has been a long day.

They would not have missed their former CBC member’s second inaugural ceremony this morning for anything. But now they are sleepwalking on the dance floor as local DJ Big Tigger tries to make them move.


Big Tigger is the DJ at the CBC Foundation gala. He’s mixing a little MJ. “Human Nature”
Krissah Thompson

“Oh Lord, I could just stretch out,” says a woman from Louisiana in a long black sequined dress. She is already wearing her flats, bone-tired after waking before the crack of dawn to arrive on the National Mall.

Others drag chairs past the dance floor. They don’t plan on dancing the night away. But wait — has Tigger found a way to make them move?

The crowd skews a little older and the attendees enjoy “Flashlight” and “Before I Let Go” much more than the Beyonce mix Tigger tried earlier. The dance floor is now packed.

– Krissah Thompson

Ladies and gentlemen, Obama has left the building

At least according to White House press pool reports. The motorcade has departed the convention center, en route back to the executive mansion.

Media dress code at Ambassadors Ball

This is the first Ambassadors Ball, so its media relations team thought it was important to make sure the press scrum knew it was going to be a swanky affair. Their dress code was: “No jeans. No hats. No tennis shoes.”

Some members of the media have been on marathon ball benders and just couldn’t do it. “I just wanted to wear comfortable shoes,” said Mojisola Edu, the owner of Lush Radio online and also one of the official photographers of the event.

– Emily Wax

The service members who danced with the first couple

Earlier, we saw some selected service members dancing with the president, vice president and their wives at the Commander in Chief’s Ball. Now we know who they are:

The president danced with Staff Sergeant Bria D. Nelson of the Air Force, and the first lady danced with Gunnery Sergeant Timothy D. Easterling of the Marine Corps. . . The vice president danced with Army Staff Sergeant Keesha Nicole Dentino, while his wife danced with Petty Officer Patrick Figueroa of the Navy. According to the presidential inauguration committee, they were chosen by senior enlisted leaders from the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, based on factors including combat experience and volunteer efforts.

The scene at other inaugural parties around town

We’ve having a bit of a lull in the action — unless, of course, the Obamas and Jennifer Hudson decide to do their song-and-dance act a fourth time — so how about catching up some stories from the past 48 hours of inaugural madness?

Canadian embassy ‘tailgate’: great food, great view for inauguration
Ashley Judd makes the scene at inauguration parties
Surprising inauguration fashion: Scalia’s hat, Hatch’s hat, Ashley Biden’s shoes
Lupe Fiasco escorted off stage after anti-Obama comments
Will.i.am is everywhere: A star makes the rounds in Washington on inauguration weekend
Inauguration parties: 2013 is the year of the brunch
Quoted: Joe Biden, ‘proud to be president’

 

Jason Wu reacts to dress

 

And CNN shares the sketch:

Jennifer Hudson sings again, Obamas dance again

No, that was not an instant reply. The Obamas had to do their first dance three times: First, for the Commander in Chief’s Ball, and then on each of the two floors that the larger Inaugural Ball has been divided between. Each time, Hudson sang “Let’s Stay Together.”

Stevie Wonder performs “Sir Duke (You Can Feel It All Over)”

“I’m Jill Biden’s husband.”

The music — a seemingly constant rotation of “Sweet Home Alabama” and Toby Keith — came to a halt around 8:45 p.m. at the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball, in a packed banquet hall of the Renaissance Washington. Guests, who had been making their way through shrimp cocktail, beef tenderloin, and grilled swordfish medallion with citrus sauce, looked up as a special guest was announced over the speakers: “Vice President Joe Biden!”

A gasp went up through the room, as people jumped to their feet, cameras flashing. Thunderous applause as Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, walked out on stage.

“I’m Jill Biden’s husband,” the VP began (a possible shout out to Amy Poehler’s “Hillary Clinton’s husband” line at the Golden Globes last week?), introducing the rest of his family.

He paid tributes to the veterans in the room and the troops abroad: “Our veterans are unique in the world…every single generation has risen to the occasion.”

Adding that they were “the finest warriors the world has ever seen” (repeating it twice, to much applause), Biden beamed from the stage, even when the microphone went out for a good 10 seconds before he noticed. “We only have one truly sacred obligation, and that’s to equip those we send for war, and care for them and their family when they come home from war… we remember how long this obligation extends.”

“The president and I, and I’m sure the next president and vice president, will do everything in our power to do this obligation,” he added.

After he stayed to pose for a photo with all the Medal of Honor recipients, a crush of people gathered near the side of the stage where Biden was heading toward the exit. People held up cell phones and iPad cameras to get a glimpse. “Mr. Vice President, I met you in [something unintelligible about high school],” a man yelled. Biden stopped immediately to take a photo with him, beginning a crush of people reaching out to get a photo for themselves. Spending a few extra minutes working his way through the crowd, Biden bid farewell. “I’m in trouble, I gotta go…I’m late for the president.” he joked on the way out.

People compared iPhone pictures as the crowd slowly dissipated; some were photo-less. “I shook his hand, so I’m good,” said one partygoer, sounding relieved.

FLOTUS Inauguration ball style

Michelle Obama in Jason Wu then and now.

2009:

 

2013:

Congressman Dingell attends Michigan ball

Congressman John Dingell (D-Mi.) and his wife Debbie were the party animals of record at the Michigan State Society Ball at the National Museum of American History. The 86-year-old congressman, who has served in the House of Representatives since 1955, and his wife had a jam-packed day, with only about 10 minutes to change clothes after attending the inaugural lunch and dealing with traffic jams.

“The lunch was amazing,” John Dingell said. “I hope the spirit of goodwill we saw today will continue.”

– Jura Koncius

Tom Brokaw thanks troops at Salute to Heroes Ball

NBC special correspondent/former “Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw showed up at the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball at the Renaissance Washington to introduce the Medal of Honor recipients. He spoke for a few minutes about the deep bond between members of the military and how they look out for each other. “I never hear combat veterans say, ‘I only want to be in a foxhole with someone from a red state or a blue state,’ ” Brokaw said.

Brokaw said he wished he could stay longer at the ball, but he had to get back to his other job at NBC. He gave a shout out to his colleague (and current “Nightly News” anchor) Brian Williams, who sits on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. “When it comes to NBC News, you’re well-served,” Brokaw said.

After Brokaw left, there was a solemn moment as the attendees turned their attention to an empty table set for one at the front of the room, symbolizing members of the armed forces missing from the ranks.

Jamie Foxx sings for the Bidens

Leave it to Jamie Foxx to try to ratchet up the romance factor of dancing on a stage in front of thousands of people.

Taking his place behind the piano at the inaugural ball, he prepares the vice president and his wife for a bit of Ray Charles: After a day like this, “I’m sure you will whisper something in your wife’s ear something like –  ‘I can’t stop loving you, I’ve made up my mind. . .”

Jill Biden, for the record, is wearing a slinky blue cowl-neck, cowl-back dress. Double cowl? Is that what you call it? Anyway. It’s nice.

Jamie Foxx, by the way, is, like will.i.am, one of those ubiquitous celebrities of the inaugural weekend. Dan Zak found the Oscar winner (a Dallas native) at the Texas “Black Tie and Boots Ball” on Saturday wearing a big old cowboy hat, during the epic Running of the Balls.

POTUS!!

As soon as Hail to the Chief begins, ball-goers wind sprint from all corners of the airplane hangar. Screams! Cheers!

When the president and first lady began dancing to Let’s Stay Together, there were wooos and cheers, and the sense that maybe this was a little bit blush-worthy. Like your parents are POTUS and FLOTUS and your parents just got a little bit naughty.

Should we even bother to go to the ball?

Three blocks south of the Convention Center, an unofficial resting place for some well-heeled inaugural revelers.

The Impact Arts + Film Fund party at Oya restaurant featured sushi, free-flowing champagne, visiting celebrities like MC Hammer, Kate Walsh and Aisha Tyler — and a 6 to 9 p.m. time fram that suggested it would be a hip alternative to the official inaugural balls. Instead, we chatted with a few guests in formal-wear who actually had ball tickets. . . but at 7:30 or 8 p.m., were still mulling whether to use them.

“I saw the lines on my way here,” a Chicago financier in an exquisite coral gown and shoulder-grazing earrings told us.

Miss USA misses her hometown of D.C.

Miss USA Nana Meriwether has to live in New York because Donald Trump owns her title and provides an apartment. But she is from Potomac and came back this weekend to attend the Ambassadors Ball.

“Today D.C. is the center of the universe. I felt so much pride,” said Meriwether, a 2003 graduate of Sidwell Friends (the same private school that the Obama daughters attend). “I was giving people directions while I was still on the train.”

More on Meriwether from the Reliable Source:

Nana Meriwether is the new Miss USA

– Emily Wax


Alicia Keys: “Obama’s on fire”

Alicia Keys, the entertainer at the main inaugural ball, is singing her “Girl on Fire” song, made famous by those baffling Citibank commercials where a guy just dumped by his girlfriend uses his credit card to hang out with Keys and Rachael Ray. Or something like that. Anyways, she’s changing it up: “Obama’s on fi-i-i-re! Obama’s on fi-i-i-re!”

More details on Michelle Obama’s dress

From the White House:

“The First Lady is wearing a custom Jason Wu ruby colored chiffon and velvet gown with a handmade diamond embellished ring by jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald. She is wearing shoes designed by Jimmy Choo. At the end of the Inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives.”


Twitter reacts to Michelle Obama’s dress

Some quick reaction to Michelle Obama’s Jason Wu ruby gown:

 

 

fun. performs

Jason Wu again!

Michelle picks a ruby Jason Wu dress for the night. Shoes, apparently, by Jimmy Choo.

As our colleague Robin Givhan noted recently, Wu is one of several designers launched to prominence when he dressed the first lady — but the only one who has found lasting success from that jolt of fame. He also designed her 2009 gown, the “flowing ivory silk chiffon . . . embroidered with silver thread and adorned with Swarovski crystal rhinestones” that is now in the Smithsonian’s first ladies exhibit.

The agony and ecstasy of creating inaugural gowns, 1/7/13

Michelle Obama makes her first inaugural ball appearance

The usual warm banter from President Obama, as he introduced his wife to the crowd at the Commander in Chief’s Ball:

“I’ve got a date with me here. She inspires me everyday. She makes me a better man and a better president. The fact that she is so devoted to taking care of our troops and our military families is just one more sign of her extraordinary love and grace and strength — I’m just lucky to have her. . . Some may dispute the quality of our president but no one disputes the quality of our first lady.”

With that, he brought out “my dance partner, Michelle Obama.”

Her dress: A bright orange-red, halter-neck, with a deep V in the back. CNN is reporting that the dress is by Jason Wu, who designed her first inaugural dress as well.

Jennifer Hudson began the old Al Green classic “Let’s Stay Together” — remember when POTUS sang a couple bars of that last year? — and the first couple began a slow, swaying dance that continued in slow, swaying mode even after Hudson urged them “Yo, let’s groove!” They only danced together for a verse or so before a man and woman in uniform were brought in stage to cut in, wedding-style.

Update: The president danced with Staff Sergeant Bria D. Nelson of the Air Force, and the first lady danced with Gunnery Sergeant Timothy D. Easterling of the Marine Corps. . . The vice president danced with Army Staff Sergeant Keesha Nicole Dentino, while his wife danced with Petty Officer Patrick Figueroa of the Navy. They were chosen by senior enlisted leaders from the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, based on factors including combat experience and volunteer efforts.

 

Jennifer Hudson sings “Let’s Stay Together”

Jennifer Hudson sings Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” to the President and First Lady.

 

Brad Paisley performs at inaugural ball

Brad Paisley, now performing at the Commander in Chief’s Ball, is probably one of the more Democrat-friendly country stars. He has said his 2009 song “Welcome to the Future” was inspired by President Obama’s election. It’s one of those amazing-how-things-change songs, marveling at social progress over the past several decades. (“Every day is a revolution / Welcome to the future”); and he sang it at the White House in 2009.

The littlest party guest

The youngest guest at the official inaugural ball might be Layla Crockett, 7, whose parents brought her all the way from Huntsville, Ala., to see the parade, the inauguration and the ball.

“We just wanted her to see something she would always remember,” said her mom, Lisa. “To be a part of something bigger than herself.”

Layla wore her green plaid party dress, bought for Christmas.

Dikembe Mutombo ready for ‘some fun’

Dikembe Mutumbo waited in a long coat check line at the Convention Center with his wife Rose and gamely endured people walking up to him and wagging their finger (his signature gesture after blocking shots during his Georgetown and NBA basketball career.)

“Tired!” said Mutumbo, when asked about his day. “Now that we got rid of the kids, my wife and I are going to have some fun.”

Mutumbo said he had been a fan of President Obama since before Obama’s Senate years, and had met him through Ron Blaylock, who also played college basketball at Georgetown.

“I’ve been with him since the beginning,” Mutombo said.

Mana performs


Will.i.am to CNN anchors: “This is Mana from Mexico. They’re huge.”

March of the Penguins

Alicia Keys takes the stage

At 7:55 the crowd was instructed to turn its attention to the stage. Everyone got excited (Obama!?) but it turned out to be just the color guard. No matter, once the band started playing the national anthem, members of the audience sang along lustily as if they were singing along to Alicia Keys. And then Alicia Keys came on stage For Real.

Screaming! Excitement! “I just want it to be me and you,” she confided, and all thousands of the audience we t, “all right.”

“He’s president and he’s on fire,” she sang, altering the lyrics to one of be songs. “Obamas on firrrrrrre!!”


Security causes fewer headaches this year

There were some problems caused by the security arrangements at President Obama’s second inauguration Monday, but they were far less severe than those that happened four years earlier, when thousands complained of being trapped near checkpoints for hours, unable to move, let alone watch the festivities. This year, those crowd management headaches seemed like ancient history.

For the parade, thousands of spectators lined Pennsylvania Avenue NW, standing six and seven deep, hoping for a glimpse of the president and first lady. Katrina Way, 34, of Jacksonville, Ark., stood in back of at least five people, swaying side to side and shaking her legs, trying to stay warm.

Way, a ticket holder, had tried two security checkpoints before finding one with only a 30-minute wait that let her get to Pennsylvania Avenue in time for the festivities. “I wanted to be a part of history,” she said. Although she was not entirely satisfied with her view, “just being out here” is enough, she said. The full story by Valerie Strauss is here.

Bartenders dance while guests arrive

They don’t have many drinks to pour yet – many of the guests are still outside – but the bartenders at the official inaugural ball at the Convention Center have found a way to pass the time as people file in. A group of them are dancing and clapping along to Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September,” played by the DJ. This early in the evening, it’s like their own private party.

Convention Center void of seating

Seating is scarce in the Convention Center, save for a plush “special guests” corner. Overheard two unhappy women in the ladies room: “Did you notice there weren’t any chairs? I guess we’re expected to stand the entire night!”

Special Guest section at inaugural ball

Over at the far end of the airplane hangar/ballroom, a large plot of land has been partitioned off for special guests. Between the panels, the regular guests can spot white sofas, gold tablecloths, tea candles. And the special guests are? Nobody we recognize yet. But they appear to be feasting on the same Cheezits as everyone else.

The cavernous ballroom for the official ball

The “ballroom” for the official inaugural ball is a gargantuan airplane hangar of a room, Brobdingnagian in proportions as a room must be to accompany the expected 40,000 ish guests.

At 6:45, guests are listening to Madonna, guests are listening to the best of the 1990s — it’s the deejay from your cousins wedding! The dance floor is empty ( all of the floors are empty — only scattered guests so far) and the only crowd is for drink tickets. Food? Think summer camp. Three kinds of pretzels, including a pretzel blend. Also Cheezits.


Archives Metro station open, buses on weekday schedule

The National Archives Metro station is now open and operating normally, Metro officials said. Trains will operate on rush hour service frequency until 9 p.m.

Anyone attending the Inaugural Ball at the Convention Center can take Metro to Gallery Place-Chinatown on the Red, Yellow and Green Lines and exit at 7th and H Street. The Ball is a short walk north of the station.

Buses will continue to run on a regular weekday schedule, with detours/shortened routes and some routes not running, according to the WMATA website.

Metro ridership down nearly 30 percent

Metro just announced the latest ridership numbers, which continue to lag behind the 2009 Inauguration. There were 657,000 rides by 6 p.m., compared with 923,000 during the same period four years ago, a nearly 30 percent drop.

Overcrowding, a disabled train between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn and a sick passenger caused rail delays of up to 40 minutes and even longer waits for passengers trying to enter several downtown Metro stations. L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW, Metro Center, Farragut West and Foggy Bottom were the most affected by the post-ceremony rush, and all but Farragut West were temporarily closed at some point.

All Metrorail lines were operating on or close to schedule as of 3:15 p.m, WMATA officials said. Earlier delays on the Orange and Blue lines are now clear.


Metro riders clog the Judiciary Square station as they exit on their way to the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Monday. (Photo by Craig Hudson/For The Washington Post)

Parade ends, Obama heads to parties

The final marching band, from Virginia Military Institute, passed the presidential reviewing stand about 6:37 p.m., and the parade is over. The president and vice president walked together back to the White House. Now, the nighttime fun begins.

In addition to VMI, two other local bands (not including the many military bands) marched in the parade: Ballou Senior High School’s “Majestic Marching Knights” and the University of Maryland’s “Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band.”

Photos: The inauguration parade gallery

The Washington Post photo staff has already put together a gallery of some of the highlights from Pennsylvania Avenue, including the strolls taken by the President and the First Lady at the head of the parade:

Spectacular sunset graces the parade

As the Inauguration parade began, a terrific sunset in the nation’s capital was captured by many photographers:

Did you capture an Inauguration Day sunset? Upload it to our sunset gallery here.

Turnout above 800,000, possibly 1 million: D.C. Homeland Security


President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters, Sasha Obama and Malia Obama, is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, Pool)

An inauguration planning official says turnout was “definitely above 800,000” and possibly up to one million people.

Chris Geldart, who directs the District of Columbia’s homeland security and emergency management agency, says early and unofficial estimates of the number of people on the National Mall indicate a turnout higher than 800,000. That’s based on aerial views of how the crowd filled sections of the mall.

Officials initially anticipated as many as 800,000 visitors, but lowered the projections to 500,000 to 700,000, based partly on an updated number of charter buses and restaurant and hotel reservations. But Geldart, who’s also co-chairman of the district’s presidential inaugural committee, said the event benefited from relatively mild weather. About 1.8 million people attended President Barack Obama’s first swearing-in in 2009.

– Associated Press

Tweet onslaught crashes Twitter for some

Twitter is still working to resolve a crash that occurred around 4 p.m., leaving some users frustrated and unable to live-tweet the Inauguration. For some, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are failing to load the site; others are having issues with logging in and refreshing their feeds.

The issue comes on the same day as the social media giant set a new record for tweets-per-minute: Nearly 28,000 during Obama’s swearing-in. The outage is also mentioned by the websites “Down Right Now” and “Down For Everyone Or Just Me,” along with the numerous people annoyed by the site’s slowness and inability to load. Twitter officials have not disclosed a cause, but Huffington Post’s Stefan Sirucek tweeted: “Biden’s grin is powerful enough to crash Twitter. #inaug2013″

Never too early to start cleaning up

At 5 p.m., sisters Symone Brown and Brittany Gamble, both 18 and from Baltimore, swept trash from Pershing Park. They were dressed in orange vests. The sisters arrived at 6 a.m., working for a temp agency called Allstate. Earlier in the day they helped people find their seat.

Now they were filling blue bags with bottles, cigarette butts, discarded hand warmers. The money — $8 an hour — was nice, but this was more than a job. “I feel like I’m part of history,” Gamble said. They both caught a glimpse of the president through his limo window.

Gamble said that getting up early Monday morning to take the bus down from Baltimore was tough. “The money was a motivator, but to be honest it was more to be there with Obama.”

– John Kelly

Salsa plays, and Obama boogies

When the Latino band “Seguro Que Si” from Osceola, Fla., went by the presidential reviewing stand, President Obama stood and showed off some of his salsa dance moves. This prompted some more adoration on Twitter for the president — still waiting for the definitive gif (animated photo). Seguro Que Si, from Osceola County’s School for the Arts, is the only band from Florida in the parade.

 

 

Life-sized Obama cutout a popular photo op


A woman holding a U.S. flag stands for a photograph with a cardboard cutout of President Barack Obama in front of the Capitol ahead of the presidential inauguration on Monday. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Quincy Phillips spotted President Obama on the sidewalk on Constitution Avenue. He ran up to the commander-in-chief, threw an arm around his shoulders and gave him the bunny ears. A camera snapped.

The real Obama was blocks away, but a life-size cardboard cutout seemed every bit as popular Monday afternoon. A swarm of tickled inauguration attendees, who never got anywhere near the actual president, queued up. A vendor collected a suggested $1 donation for each picture.

“I lost my job, so I came up with this friendly hustle,” said Christopher, who declined to give his last name, but said he lived in Arlington. He said he actually got the idea from a friend, who did it during the first Obama inauguration in 2009.

Business was brisk — Christopher said he snapped about 200 photos between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. “Ma’am lean the president forward,” he told one woman to keep the afternoon glare off the cutout. She shot back: “Can I kiss him?”

“Is he that tall?” a Girl Scout from Newport News asked as she craned her neck to see the president’s face. When asked if he would be back for the 2016 inauguration, Christopher said he couldn’t say for sure: “It depends upon how photogenic the next president is.”

Ridership down, but crowds still overwhelm Metro

Metro ridership numbers on Monday as of 4 p.m.: 538,000 rides, compared to 807,000 at the same time in 2009. And though Metro ridership for President Obama’s second inauguration was only about two-thirds of what it was during the 2009 inauguration, crowded stations, a sick passenger and a disabled train caused major headaches Monday for thousands of commuters.

After the swearing-in, long lines formed at several downtown Metro stations and platforms were packed as Metro dealt with a disabled train between the Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn.

L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW and Foggy Bottom all had delays and crowding.

A huge crowd amassed at the L’Enfant’s 7th and C entrance, the station jammed by non-moving escalators and lingering delays from a track problem at Foggy bottom, The Post’s Emma Brown reports.

Metro temporarily closed four stations near the National Mall because of crowding. The problem was exacerbated by a disabled train in Northern Virginia that caused extensive delays for passengers trying to get out of city. Lines around stations snaked for blocks in some cases, as stranded and frustrated passengers congregated outside entrances. “People were trying to enter the station faster than trains were taking them out,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.

The four stations — Federal Center SW, Metro Center, Foggy Bottom and L’Enfant Plaza — closed and reopened during the course of Monday afternoon.

“The biggest travesty is we don’t have anyone out here providing information and directions,” said Barbara Means, part of a group who rode a bus from Atlanta to the inauguration. “We live in Atlanta. This would never happen there. … This is inexcusable. We don’t know what to do.”

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 

Biden walks too, charges up crowd


Columnist John Kelly reports from the parade route: There was a noticeable deflation in the crowd at 15th and Pennsylvania after Obama’s limo passed, and he didn’t get out. He had already walked a bit earlier down Pennsylvania, and walked again further down the avenue.

But then Joe Biden’s smiling face was visible through another limo’s window. “We want Joe!” Someone shouted. Others joined in: “We want Joe! We want Joe!”

 

“He’s getting out!” shouted Troy Hawkins. And he was. Biden, his wife and others from the vice presidential limo got out near the Commerce Department building, a phalanx of Secret Service agents nearby. Biden waved and gave a thumbs up then disappeared around the corner.


Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, walk along Pennsylvania Avenue during the parade following Obama’s second inauguration on Monday. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

“Man, it was crazy,” said Hawkins, a 29-year-old landscaper from Capitol Heights. “My heart’s still pounding. We were shouting ‘We want Joe,’ and he got out.” Hawkins was at the parade with his sister Kendra Quarles, 21. “I just wanted to witness history,” he said. “This may not ever happen again.”

 

Suddenly, he jerked his head as a familiar figure walked along the barricade shaking hands. “Vincent Gray! Vincent Gray!” Hawkins shouted. “You came to my church, Greater Refuge Temple.” And then he shook Gray’s hand.

“I feel like a celebrity,” Hawkins said.

Biden also stopped to shake hands with “Today” show co-host Al Roker, who earned a thumbs-up from President Obama after shouting “Mr. President! Mr. President!”

 

Beyonce posts her photos, thoughts on inauguration


President Barack Obama talks to Beyonce before she sings the National Anthem at his ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Beyonce sang the national anthem at the inauguration, and her performance yielded praise (and even a new account) on Twitter. Twitter partner Topsy offers more than 588,000 search results for tweets about Beyonce in the last day.

The singer subtly removed her ear piece mid-performance, but Twitter noticed. @BeyonceEarPiece cropped up a few hours ago. Social trends website Buzzfeed sang Beyonce’s praises with a roundup of “The 22 most fabulous Beyonce moments at the inauguration.”

In addition to making waves on social media, Beyonce has offered insight into the day’s festivities on her Tumblr account, sharing shots of her rehearsing the national anthem and making her inaugural entrance with husband Jay-Z. Twitter interest in the singer is unlikely to wane over the next couple of weeks – she’s slated to perform a halftime show during the Super Bowl next weekend.

One child found, one still missing

Eleven-year-old Kahlia, one of two children reported missing on the Mall, has been found and reunited with her parents, the U.S. Park Police said. Police are still searching for Nickolas Barner, a 14-year-old white male wearing a black jacket, black vest, brown hat, jeans and white shoes. If Barner is located, please notify a police officer or call 202-610-7500. Earlier today, an 8-year-old girl who went missing on the National Mall was also found, U.S. Park Police said. The child was found near the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum around 1:30 p.m.

Obama, First Lady walking to review stand

The President and the First Lady emerged from their limo again at 15th Street. The crowd noise sounds like a teenaged rock concert. They are walking toward the reviewing stand, waving, grinning.

 

Woman knocked down in parade route hysteria

When the presidential limo slowed to a stop directly in front of the FBI building, the crowd rumbled. When the back doors opened, the spectators roared. “Obama! Obama!” “Oh my god, there he is!” “Obama!” “Michelle!”

People rushed the twin barricades and two FBI police officers ran to stand over a woman who had been knocked over. She thanked them and several other spectators who helped her gather her Obama buttons and rushed off with the flow of screaming viewers following the first couple along Pennsylvania Avenue.

Smithsonian, Metro Center stations open, other delays abating

Several downtown Metro stations have reopened after overcrowding. Passengers at Metro Center were allowed to board around 3 p.m. after being held at the top of the escalators for more than 15 minutes, and Foggy Bottom was moving steadily with no major problems after 3:30 p.m. Smithsonian, closed for the Inauguration ceremony, opened shortly after 3 p.m. as well.

A disabled train between the Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn and signal problems caused delays on the Red, Blue and Orange lines for up to 40 minutes. At L’Enfant Plaza, long lines are still backed up to 7th Street, after police opened the entrance at 7th and C Streets around 2:45 p.m. to let the enormous crowd enter. Metro urged customers traveling to Blue Line stations in Virginia to use the Yellow Line as an alternate route. Congestion had largely abated at Farragut West by 3:30 pm. The largest crowds were awaiting the trains heading to New Carrollton and Largo Town Center. Follow Dr. Gridlock for more updates on Metro congestion throughout the evening. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/tag/dr-gridlock/

 

– Rachel Karas

Obama exits limo at 9th and Pennsylvania

At 3:47 p.m., the President and First Lady exited the limo near the FBI Headquarters at 9th Street, a pretty safe spot, and are now walking hand-in-hand down Pennsylvania Avenue. The crowd is cheering loudly.

Update. The President and First Lady got back in the limousine at 12th Street, after about a quarter-mile walk.

People still trying to reach parade route

 

Even though the parade has started, hundreds of people are still waiting to get through security lines near 14th and Pennsylvania Avenue to enter the viewing area.

Some who are just getting in say they waited about 90 minutes.

Those who got here hours ago to stake out spots probably have little sympathy.

Ovetta Wiggins reports: At 3:15 p.m., parade goers at 10th and Pennsylvania, began to grow impatient, waiting for any sign or sound of the parade. “All right, come on Mr. President,” said one woman from Oakland California. When the sounds of drums and horns started blaring from several blocks away, the group began to cheer. Seconds later someone asked: “Why did the music stop?”

Security delay = wasted tickets

A crowd of impatient, wannabe parade-goers started chanting, “Let us in! Let us in,” complaining about the long wait through security. The crowd crammed together at the gates near the Federal Triangle metro station.

A volunteer for the inaugural committee came by around 3 p.m. and said the delay was due to a bomb threat that turned out to be a bag of discarded souvenirs. The volunteer also told the crowd that a security official directed people who didn’t have parade tickets to the wrong part of the line, increasing confusion and delays.

Eli Klein traveled from Philadelphia and bought tickets to the parade. After waiting two hours in line, he couldn’t get  through security to his bleacher seats. He left the line and gave up.

The inauguration has been “exciting, exhilarating and a little disappointing to be honest,” he said. He and his girlfriend spent $75 on tickets they never got to use, he said.

So what were they going to do instead? “We’ll probably stop and get a bloody Mary,” Klein said.

Obama in car, motorcade moving

At 3:20 p.m., the president’s heavily armored limo took off from the Capitol, about 50 minutes later than scheduled.

Here’s a story on what is being called “the Beast” and the world’s most high-tech mobile fortress. Wave as it goes by.


Obama takes a last look at the Mall

These images of President Obama stopping, before entering the Capitol, to take one last look at the crowd on the Mall, are popular on Twitter right now. Here’s the video:

All about the parade

Here’s what you need to know about the inaugural parade, which had been scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. but is starting late:

The Route: It begins at the steps of the U.S. Capitol and will proceed along Pennsylvania Avenue until it reaches the White House. Viewing stands and bleachers extend from 3rd to 17th streets.

The Weather: 44 degrees

The Theme: “Our People. Our Future.”

Participants: There are scores of bands, infantry regiments and other participants. At least eight custom-made floats will be in the parade, four representing the First Family and Second Family’s home states and four honoring the country as a whole. The states are Illinois, where Michelle Obama was born; Hawaii, where President Obama was born; Pennsylvania, where Vice President Biden was born; Delaware; home state of Biden and his wife, Jill.

The History:  The tradition of a parade starts with George Washington when he took the oath of office on April 30, 1789 in New York City. He began his journey there from Mount Vernon in Virginia and was joined along the way by local militias. When he arrived in New York City, he was joined by government officials, lawmakers, prominent citizens and members of the Continental Army.

Video: Obama’s speech, with transcript and annotations

Here’s the full Obama speech, plus the transcript, plus notes from Post reporters at key points explaining the context of the remarks.

Update: Two missing children on Mall

UPDATE, 4:25 p.m.: Kahlia has been found. Nickolas remains missing:

ORIGINAL POST: The U.S. Park Police are looking for two missing children. Nickolas Barner, a 14-year-old white male, is wearing a black jacket, black vest, brown hat, jeans and white shoes. Kahlia, a 11-year-old white female with a disability, is 5-feet-five and weighs around 100 pounds. She is wearing all beige with a red armband and was last seen in the area of 7th Street and Jefferson Drive.

If Barner or Kahlia are located, please notify a police officer or call 202-610-7500.

Earlier today, an 8-year-old girl who went missing on the National Mall was found, U.S. Park Police said. The child was found near the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum around 1:30 p.m.

– Rachel Karas

Parade starting, Obama still in lunch

 

The Post’s Clarence Williams reports that the parade is starting. Meanwhile, the president and the assembled dignitaries in the post-inaugural lunch are still making speeches. Obama said he would keep his remarks short. He said the previous presidents told him “the longer you’re there, the more humble you become.”

Obama concludes: “There is controversy about the quality of the president, there is no controversy about the quality of the First Lady.”

 

Scenes from the post-inaugural lunch


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) greets singer John Legend and his fiance Christine Teigen (L) at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall on Inauguration Day at the U.S. Capitol building Monday in Washington(Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

At the post-inaugural luncheon, former president Bill Clinton chatted endlessly with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). The GOP’s vice presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisc.), gabbed with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and ever-present celebrity John Legend was there as well. Held every four years after the inaugural swearing-in ceremony, in Statuary Hall on the second floor of the Capitol, the meal is the nation’s most exclusive luncheon.

Ostensibly meant to honor the newly sworn-in president, the event is Washington’s quadrennial celebration of itself. President Obama, Vice President Biden, their wives and top congressional leaders sat at a head table along the south end of the grand hall, home to statues of some of the nation’s great heroes. Out in front of the head table were two dozen other tables representing their own small clusters of power, perhaps none more fascinating than the Clintons’ table, No. 7. In addition to McCarthy — who whispered non-stop to the former president — the table included Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and his wife, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and his wife, White House Chief of Staff/Treasury Secretary designate Jack Lew and his wife.


President Barack Obama, from left, with first lady Michelle Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his wife Deborah Gunlack, attend a luncheon after his ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill on Monday. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Across the aisle, at table No. 8, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia mingled with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Oddly enough, Legend wandered into the early portion of the event and ambled around greeting the world’s most powerful — and who can blame him, given the odd omnipresent way he appears everywhere in Washington these days. Before leaving the event, Legend chatted up the Clintons and posed for pictures.

D.C. officials protest at Wilson Bldg.

At the John A. Wilson District building, city officials held their own silent protest. On the mayor’s parade reviewing stand, city leaders displayed the phrase, “A more perfect union must include a free DC” in support of statehood and voting rights.

In recent days, after Obama agreed to place the District’s “taxation without representation” license plates on presidential vehicles, city leaders urged Obama to also mention the issue in his inaugural address. The issue did not come up, but several city leaders said Monday they are not holding it against Obama.

“It would have been nice, but I don’t know I would have expected it,” said Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D). “Arguably, it would be more important to do it in the State of the Union address.”

Delays on Red, Orange lines

Two Metro signal problems – one on the Red line and one on the Orange line — have caused delays. The L’Enfant Plaza and Federal Center Southwest stations were temporarily closed because of overcrowding.

Ruby Lewis of Southeast and her two friends couldn’t get on at Federal Center so they walked to Capitol South only to wait about 10 minutes for a standing-room-only train.

Still, they said it was a pleasant experience. “The weather has been good and people have been patient,” she said.


From Kamiswingle, via Instagram

Parade checkpoint at 7th St. and Constitution closed

Army personnel have blocked the security check point at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW and are no longer letting people use the entrance. The entrance closed just after 2 p.m. because the crowd was too large and the parade was about to begin, an Army official said. Large crowds of people moved further north on Constitution after being turned away.

Several dozen people were in line before the entrance closed and continued to wait, although it was moving slowly. The Army official said that the people at the end of the line would be lucky to make it inside the parade route by the time it began.

Foggy Bottom ‘cattle’ line on Metro

 

Among the Metro problems this afternoon is a line on 23rd Street NW containing hundreds of people waiting to enter the Foggy Bottom Metro.

“We feel like cattle,” said Lindsay Carless, a senior at Oakland University in Michigan. “This is overwhelming.”

Carless and her group of seven friends tried two other Metro stops before Foggy Bottom: Metro Center and Federal Triangle.

“This was our last option,” Carless said.

Michelle Chandler, of San Antonio, didn’t have a bad commute into the city this morning but said she couldn’t believe the situation this afternoon.

“I hate people,” she said waiting on line down the block from the Foggy Bottom Metro. “I was expecting some hold up, but not like this.”

Dancers protest in support of organic food

A group called Occupy Monsanto started an impromptu dance party on Independence Avenue near the Washington Monument to remind Obama about his pledge to label genetically modified foods.

With a portable sound system blaring dance music, activists danced and handed out fliers beneath a sign featuring an ear of corn with a fish tail.

“We helped Obama get elected,” said organizer Adam Eidinger. “We brought carrots today, but we’re bringing sticks next time.”

Eidinger was referring to the 50 pounds of organic carrots the group handed out. They even offered a peeler for removing the tough outer carrot skins.

An activist got on a mike and rapped over the music:

“You got a right to know/if our food is GMO,” he said. “Viva democracy! Democracy at the dinner table!”

Inauguration attendees stopped and started dancing, too. But the party was short-lived.

A police officer told the group, which did not have a permit, to turn off the music.

 

Hatch, Scalia make biggest hat splashes


Ed O’Keefe/The Washington Post, via Instagram

It’s worth noting that it is men’s headgear that is making people take notice at this inauguration. Sen. Orrin Hatch wore an enormous white felt cowboy hat throughout the ceremony, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia checked in with another notable bit of headgear, as he did four years ago.

Asked in the Capitol afterward by a reporter for the Fort Worth Star Telegram if the hat made him appear to be a Texan to audiences at home, Hatch exclaimed, “I’m from Utah!” As a Utahan, Hatch appeared to think this needed no further explanation. (There are, indeed, a lot of ranches and cowboys in Utah, too.) Hatch went on to explain that he owns two similar cowboy hats–one black and one white. He said he thought about wearing the black hat for inauguration, and then thought better of it and went with white.

Richmond law blogger Kevin Walsh reports that “Scalia’s hat is a custom-made replica of the hat depicted in Holbein’s famous portrait of St. Thomas More. It was a gift from the St. Thomas More Society of Richmond, which presented it to him in November 2010 as a memento of his participation in its 27th annual Red Mass and dinner.”

Missing children in Mall area

The U.S. Park Police are looking for a missing teen. Nickolas Barner, a 14-year-old white male, is wearing a black jacket, black vest, brown hat, jeans and white shoes. If Barner is located, please notify a police officer or call (202) 610-7500.

Earlier today, an 8-year-old girl who went missing on the National Mall was found, U.S. Park Police said. The child was found near the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum around 1:30 p.m.

– Rachel Karas, Jeremy Borden

Early reaction to Obama speech

The Post’s Ezra Klein says Obama wants “to use his bully pulpit to make an aggressive and uncompromising case for why his side is right, and to not rest until the American people agree that the other side is wrong.”  His analysis is here.

Columnist David Ignatius rates the speech as “flat, partisan and surprisingly pedestrian.”

Eugene Robinson called the speech “the most unabashedly progressive speech he has given as president.”

Here’s the transcript. What was your analysis of the speech?


President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington on Monday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Protester out of tree near Capitol

 

The protester who climbed a tree near the U.S. Capitol this morning and managed to stay at least 40-feet high for several hours is now down, according to authorities.

Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, a spokesman for the U.S. Capitol Police, had no immediate details of how the man was removed, or whether he came down on his own. Antrobus also could not say if the man was arrested.

The man had been in the tree near Garfield Circle, along the Capitol reflecting pool, since about 8:30 a.m. He was spotted in the tree holding a protest sign, with capitol police officers surrounding the area.

At one point, D.C. firefighters were called in to try to use a ladder to reach the man, but they could not get their fire engine close enough because of security barricades.

U.S. Capitol police then tried to talk the man down, but officials said he climbed higher. Lon Walls, the fire department spokesman, and Antrobus confirmed at 1:40 p.m. that the man was out of the tree. Antrobus said more details would be released later.

New Twitter record set

President Obama’s first inauguration may have boasted a larger live audience, but online, #Inaug2013 dwarfed the 2009 festivities. According to Twitter, tweets-per-minute hit nearly 28,000 during Obama’s swearing-in, nearly six times the rate of his first swearing-in four years ago. More than 1.1 million tweets were sent during the ceremony overall, versus 82,392 in 2009.

Most of this change, of course, has to do with Twitter’s growing popularity. (A Pew report found that 15% of online adults used Twitter in February 2012, up from 8% in 2010.) But the Obama family has also become a veritable online force, wielding a social media savvy that arguably helped the president win his last campaign. Just check out the official @whitehouse account, which sent out a series of illustrated quotes from Obama’s inaugural remarks mere minutes after he said them. Visuals typically perform better on social media, and Obama’s meme-ified remarks are no exception: A graphic on gay rights has been retweeted 2,843 times, and the President’s remarks on American potential have 57,000 shares on Facebook.

John Mayer, Katy Perry spotted on stage


Musicians John Mayer and KatyPerry attend the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

Celebrity couple Katy Perry and John Mayer were spotted at the inauguration, sitting next to one another.

Asked if she’s excited to be here, the pop singer and Obama supporter who has several Obama-themed dresses, said, “Yes. Proud.”

Warming bus at 12th & Independence

 

The D.C. Fire Department has sent a medical warming bus to 12th Street and Independence Avenue Northwest. A spokesman said there is no emergency, but the bus is available for anyone who needs a few moments to warm up.
Temperature at time of swearing in, according to Capital Weather Gang, was 40 degrees.

Protesters jam 16th Street NW

protest
Aaron Davis via Instagram

With a fleet of 6-foot-long model drones, banners and bull horns, more than 150 anti-war protestors forced a rolling roadblock for nearly a mile along 16th Street, north of the White House just as the Inauguration ceremony began on the Mall.

“Stop the war, that is what we’re marching for,” the group chanted in a block-long call-and-answer.

The protesters were a disparate mix of supporters for over a half-dozen groups, including CodePink, Move On, and the Bradley Manning Support Network.

The united under the banner of the anti-war group, the Arc of Justice, but in a rally preceding the march at Meridian Hill Park, Mauri Saalakhan of the Peace thru Justicex

Foundation seemed to sum up the essence of the message uniting the crowd:
“We are here to mark the profound contradiction,” Saalakhan said. “Our first African-American president is presiding over a great expansion of war and killing. And we celebrate his inauguration on the day we remember a revolutionary.”

“The irony, I believe, is that if Dr. Martin Luther King was still alive, he would be here, with us, sharing our message,” Saalakhan said.

Jim Schulman, of CodePink DC, held a sign that read Obama: Earn your Peace Price. Ground the Drones.’

protest1
Aaron Davis via Instagram

“I wanted the out-of-towners to recognize that there are some of us who believe he has not lived up to his potential,” Schulman said of Obama.

Obama arrives at inaugural lunch

Catering staff set up for the traditional inaugural luncheon in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, on Capitol Hill Monday. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

President Obama has arrived at the inaugural luncheon. In case you missed it, here’s the menu for the luncheon, which includes steamed lobster, hickory grilled bison and apple pie.

Masses march along Constitution Ave.

 

The swarm seemed unending as tens of thousands of people slowly marched down Constitution Avenue around 1 p.m, not long after after President Obama took the oath of office.

Presti Bradley was among the dozens of people who stopped outside the Natural History Museum to stop and rest. Bradley was at the inauguration four years ago and described this ceremony as “almost as overwhelming as the first one.”

Being here in person doesn’t compare to watching it on TV, Bradley, who is just over 70, said. “Being live, the emotions and the electricity cannot be replaced,” he said.

Obama signs Cabinet nominations


President Barack Obama is applauded on Capitol Hill after signing a proclamation to commemorate the inauguration, entitled a National Day of Hope and Resolve. From left are, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn.), Sen. Charles Schumer, (D-N.Y.), Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. (AP Photo/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)

Immediately after his inaugural celebration ended, President Obama put his name to four nominations: John Brennan to be director of the CIA, Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense, John Kerry to be Secretary of State and Jack Lew to be Secretary of the Treasury.

The president also signed a proclamation commemorating the inauguration as “National Day of Hope and Resolve, 2013.”

Before departing for the Capitol for the inaugural luncheon, the president and the first lady had tea and coffee with the leadership of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and their spouses and staff at the White House.

Message of equality resonates


Lynh Bui via Instagram

Several inauguration attendees on the Mall stopped Andy Wormser and Tim Myers to take a photo of the couple decked out in Uncle Sam hats and other patriotic gear.

Wormser and Myers of Arlington have been married for six years. As a gay couple, they say Obama’s message of equality resonated most with them.

Myers said the country has come a long way. “To be able to stand here, holding hands, hugging and singing the National Anthem together and feeling comfortable…I don’t think I would have done that 10 years ago,” he said.

In his address, Obama called for gay men and women to be “treated like anyone else under the law.”

Metro crowding, delays possible

Now that the ceremony has wrapped up, crowding at Metro stations will be a major issue. There are already reports of heavy congestion at L’Enfant Plaza and Judiciary Square. In addition, a Red Line train heading to Glenmont offloaded at Bethesda, while a signal problem at West Falls Church is creating delays on the Orange Line.

Robert Thomson, a.k.a. Dr. Gridlock, reports that police have stopped people from entering L’Enfant Plaza on 7th Street because of crowding at the station. The Post’s Emma Brown reports that westbound Orange and Blue trains at that station are very crowded.

Remember: The Smithsonian, Archives and Mount Vernon Square stations are closed. Here’s a complete rundown of Metro’s service plans for the day.

L’Enfant blocked

 

Police have stopped people from entering L’Enfant Plaza station at 7th Street because of crowding in the station. People are reacting well, once they know what’s going on. Many are asking directions to other entrances. #inauguration.

L’Enfant Plaza filling up

As crowds streamed off the Mall following President Obama’s speech, L’Enfant Metro station quickly began filling up. Lines at fare card machines were two dozen deep and a horde stretching back 100 feet waited to enter the fare gates. Meanwhile, at one entrance (from the L’Enfant food court) both down escalators were out of order, backing up foot traffic there.

Throngs moving to parade route

As the ceremony concludes at the Capitol, thousands of people from the Mall are moving toward Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The previously quiet screening station at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue is now thronged. What had been a sparse crowd along the parade route is now three and four deep In many places.

That’s it for the ceremony

And with that, the ceremony has concluded. But don’t go anywhere! We’ll be bringing you live coverage of the parade, the sights, the sounds and everything else for the remainder of the day and into the evening.

Beyonce and U.S. Marine Band perform National Anthem


(Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

The inaugural ceremonies ended with a traditional showstopper: Beyonce Knowles, backed by the U.S. Marine Band, took the stage to belt out the National Anthem.

Big screens fail big crowds


Just as the main part of the inaugural ceremony started, the giant TVs sometimes known as Jumbotrons began to flicker and fail for much of the crowd at the back of the Mall.

Throughout the speeches and prayers, the crowd periodically booed and called for better reception. Some of the crowd, after bearing early-morning trips and long security lines, were so disappointed that they began streaming off the Mall before President Obama’s speech concluded.

“It’s pointless to be here,” said one woman as she pushed her way through the crowd, headed away from the failing screen.

Crowds begin to leave after Obama’s speech


Darlene Pernell Bunkley wraps a blanket around her son Angelo Bunkley, 12. Photo by Craig Hudson/For The Washington Post

The moment President Obama finished asking God’s blessing for country and finished his speech, hundreds headed for the exits. They didn’t wait for Kelly Clarkson, poetry or even Beyonce. Crowds packed 3rd Street across the Mall, but many people continued to exit steadily and without stoppage as they walked north across Pennsylvania Avenue.

One country united by a love of caffeine

In front of Constitution Hall, like a spontaneous memorial to some coffee princess (Jason Horowitz/The Washington Post)
In front of Constitution Hall, like a spontaneous memorial to some coffee princess (Jason Horowitz/The Washington Post)

Crowd makes fast exit after speech

The moment that President Obama finished asking God’s blessing for country and finished his speech, hundreds headed for the exits.

They didn’t wait for Kelly Clarkson, poetry or even Beyonce. Crowds packed 3rd Street across the Mall.

But crowds exited steadily and without stoppage as they walked north across Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Marie Elizabeth Oliver · January 13, 2013