We do know that when the 5,000 tickets for the Inaugural Parade went on sale on Friday, they were all sold in less than sixty seconds. The tickets to the Inauguration itself are in the hands of legislators on Capitol Hill and they have been promised for months. The tickets to the Inaugural balls are still floating around, but most of those are for parties that won't have a visit from the new president.
At least, that's the case right now. If the temperature drops, anything goes.
I've been to three Inaugurations: Ronald Reagan 1980, George Bush 1988, and George W. Bush 2005. I had tickets to a 4th (Reagan 1884) but it was moved inside the Capitol due to the frigid temps outside (though we and thousands more marched the next day in the March for Life 1984 that will never be forgotten - I felt like the little kid in Christmas Story) and so the tickets remain a collectors item. I had tickets to the last inauguration and that was also unforgettable - we all spent hours going through security. Expect that the security measures have been technologically improved since then - but it still took hours to get scanned and searched before going on to the Capitol grounds. Could be very interesting this year.
Here's an article on the speculation of just how many people are coming to town next week. Even Lyndon Johnson had 1.2 million show up for his party.
Well, we'll see. There is still a lot of energy in the city. Maybe it's time to watch Field of Dreams.
It will be massive, unprecedented, and historic ... And there will be 5 million people there to watch it, said the Chicago Sun-Times.
In November, in the afterglow of a satisfying election victory, the Washington Post agreed that it would certainly be huge, but thought it might be more like, say 4 million ...
The Denver Post piped up and said that actually it could be a little more like 3 million. But that is still tons of people, right? Everybody still loves Obama even if 2 million fewer people show up for the party.
CNN, the august, Number 2 rated cable news channel weighed in and thought the other guys may be overstating things just a wee bit. But their estimate of 2.5 million spectators, even if it is half of the Sun-Times' estimate, is still pretty massive.Even for a city used to big crowds, Obama's inauguration promises to shatter records for attendance. City officials predict up to 2.5 million people will converge on the capital January 20, and they are taking unprecedented steps to accommodate the masses.
See. It will shatter records.
By Christmas, the Post thought that maybe their November prediction of 4 million might have been a bit high and perhaps a bit school-girl crushish. So they cut it in half.Turnout could easily reach 2 million, officials said, far outstripping the 400,000 who attended the 2005 inauguration of President Bush....
The Miami Herald says it might only be 1.5 million, but they say Bush got even fewer people than the 400k the Post gave him, so the percentage difference is still good for Obama.As many as 1.5 million people may come for Obama inaugural festivities, according to officials at Destination DC, the District of Columbia's official convention and tourism corporation. By comparison, President Bush's inaugurations each drew about 300,000 people, according to Rebecca Pawlowski, a Destination DC spokeswoman.
With the crowd estimates dropping like a stone, and the inauguration rental market going bust with no turnaround in sight, one starts to wonder if maybe, like Obama's candidacy itself, the inauguration crowd size fever is a left-wing media creation.
... After all, Lyndon B. Johnson had 1.2 million people show up for his inauguration in 1965, and that was 44 years ago. What if Barry can't even beat old LBJ's numbers? Even Eisenhower had 750,000 folks come to see him in 1953.