Last updated: February 20. 2013 3:01AM - 146 Views

Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:
00e108facf5943c88ef8aa31ac507263.jpg



(AP) AP journalists are fanning out across the capital to cover Inauguration Day as part of a running feed of content and analysis. Here are their reports, which will be updated through the day.


___


DOING IT AGAIN


The latest on the day from AP National Political Editor Liz Sidoti:


___


Sure, today is about history. Inaugurations are a tradition nearly as old as the country itself.


But today's also all for show. It's like so much of our politics these days.


Consider that the president already is one day into his second term. He took the oath of office during a private ceremony on Sunday at the White House to adhere to the Constitution's mandate that presidents start their terms on Jan. 20. Now, he'll do it again in public before hundreds of thousands of people, and millions more watching from home. There will be no suspense. There will be no climax. We know what's going to happen, because it already did.


Just about the only things we don't know:


What exactly the president will say in his inaugural address.


What designer the first lady will wear to the balls.


Liz Sidoti Twitter http://twitter.com/lsidoti


___


PASTOR'S WORDS


President Barack Obama and his family are done with the church services and headed for the rest of their day. At the service, Pastor Andy Stanley asked what people do when they realize they are the most powerful person in the room.


You leverage that power for the benefit of other people in the room, he said. Jesus would say to do less than that would be to declare yourself greater than me.


To the president, Stanley said: Mr. President, you have an awfully big room. My prayer to you is to leverage that power for the stewardship of our nation.


After that, Obama stood to receive a blessing from Bishop Vashti McKenzie.


Darlene Superville Twitter http://twitter.com/dsupervilleap


___


BIPARTISAN COFFEE


Headed to the (at)WhiteHouse with my wife Diana for coffee with the President, Vice President and their lovely wives. Tweet from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.


Jim Kuhnhenn Twitter http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn


___


WHAT IT FEELS LIKE


It's either a ghost town or a party, depending on where you are in the nation's capital.


Sherry Watkins, 51, and her daughter Cathleen, 17, of nearby Centreville, Va., breezed onto trains with little apparent delay at the Vienna Metro station in northern Virginia, and reminisced about the mob scene of 2009. Four years ago, it was all standing and we couldn't get our hands up on the Metro, Sherry Watkins says.


Indeed, by mid-morning, Metro subway trains through downtown Washington are no more crowded than they would be on a typical workday except virtually no one was going to work. Although Metro is urging riders coming in from the suburbs not to change trains, passengers had little trouble switching at the busy Metro Center station.


Terry Alexander, a Democratic state representative from South Carolina, and his wife, Starlee Alexander, were taking a leisurely ride from their downtown hotel to Union Station. Four years ago, they had to ride a bus to the Pentagon from their Virginia hotel and walk across the 14th Street Bridge to the National Mall. This is calm, Terry Alexander says. Last time, we couldn't even get down in the tunnel to get to the trains.


The east side of Capitol Hill is virtually empty, devoid of people for several square blocks, except for police officers. It was the west side of Capitol Hill that was jammed, as people waited to get into the secure area to watch Obama's public swearing-in. Near the podium, folding chairs hold blue blankets and place cards. Former Democratic leader Tom Daschle is to sit next to Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The president and vice president get padded, wing back style blue chairs.


Parts of the parade route also are filling up. Thousands of people are waiting in security lines that stretched a block to gain access to spots that are accessible to the general public without a special ticket. And the crowd is growing thicker around the National Mall. Long lines snake from a refreshment stand near the National Air and Space Museum.


Michael Kimbro of Atlanta, Ga., has been in the line for an hour and is still 30 feet from the stand's window. It's a little frustrating, Kimbro says, but it's well worth it.


Matthew Barakat, Stephen Ohlemacher, Ben Nuckols, Donna Cassata, Richard Lardner


___


'MORE THAN THE HERE AND NOW'


It's really important for her to understand that her potential is endless. You have so much to live and look forward to, for yourself personally, for our country just to see that there's more than the here and now. Kenya Strong, a 37-year-old financial analyst, on her daughter's attendance at the 2013 inauguration.


David Dishneau Twitter http://twitter.com/ddishneau


___


A DIFFERENT DAY


Michael Oreskes, AP senior managing editor for U.S. News, weighs in on the difference between Obama's two terms at the hinge point.


___


What a difference four years makes.


January 2009 was bitterly cold, but the country's mood about the new president it had elected was warmly congratulatory. Today, the weather in Washington is nippy but nicer and the mood is, well, older and wiser like the new president himself.


Crowds aren't as big, hardly a surprise for a second inaugural. Yet there is still a sense of history, magnified by the decision to delay the formal inaugural until today, Martin Luther King Day. But there is also a palpable sense among Obama s supporters that bending that arc of history takes a lot more work than they might have thought four years ago.


Those warm congratulations of early 2009 weren't the same as consensus, Obama's supporters learned. The sweep of history met the details of legislative process. The country's center had moved enough to elect, and then re-elect, Obama but not enough to overwhelm its latent schisms or the way Capitol Hill politics had become polarized.


So Democrats enter this second term knowing that, no matter what, they go from today's celebrations to tomorrow's showdowns.


Michael Oreskes Twitter http://twitter.com/MichaelOreskes


___


KEEPING PERSPECTIVE


When a little boy started complaining about the cold early tpdau, volunteer Amber M. Whittington knew just what to say.


You will be very grateful to your parents one day, she told the boy. This is history. You will realize that soon. It's worth it.


Whittington, 26, had reason to be emotional. Four years ago she brought her father, William, to the inauguration. it was freezing, but she told him the same thing she told the little boy: it's worth it. It was. Her father died of a stroke a year ago at 60.


Whittington, who is African-American, says she thinks this inauguration is even more important for the country than the last. This is a validation of our electing the first black president, she says. It wasn't a fluke. We're going forward.


Jocelyn Noveck Twitter http://twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP


___


BEGINNING OF THE END


A bit of analysis about today's events from AP National Political Editor Liz Sidoti, who has covered presidential politics for more than a decade:


___


Here's the backstory to the celebrating that we'll be seeing today: It's not just a beginning of a second term. It's the beginning of the end of Barack and Michelle Obama's time in the White House.


Yes, four years is a long time, particularly in today's politics. But consider this: Soon, the Obamas will have spent more time in the White House than they have left to spend. And with no next political step to take. This, for a couple who has always had their eyes focused on moving forward, from his days as a Senate candidate in Illinois to his first presidential swearing-in four years ago.


The last time moments begin today. They'll start with him placing his hand on a Bible to swear his presidential oath for the last time. And with him marching down Pennsylvania Ave. during the inaugural parade for the last time. And with him dancing with his wife at his inaugural balls for the last time.


Through those moments, expect to see a subtle current of wistfulness.


That's what happened as the campaign wound down last fall. In fact, the bittersweet feelings of finality were even more overt. The president and his staff grew emotional in the last days of the campaign, and the final weekend felt like a reunion of sorts with all the big names of his political career joining him on the trail for what they all knew would be the last time he'd campaign for the presidency, win or lose.


Liz Sidoti Twitter http://twitter.com/lsidoti


___


AT THE CHURCH


St. John's Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Park from the White House, where President Barack Obama and his family will worship before the public inauguration ceremony, is known as The Church of the Presidents. Since its first service in October 1816, every U.S president has attended a regular or occasional service.


Pew 54 is known as The President's Pew and is reserved for the president whenever he attends. Located across from the White House on the other side of Lafayette Park, Obama and his family attend services there occasionally.


James Madison is the president who chose pew 54, which is about halfway back in the church. There is an 18th-century prayer book in the pew that many presidents have autographed.


Madison's wife, Dolly, was baptized and confirmed at the church. It was built in 1816 by Benjamin Latrobe, the architect who also worked on the Capitol and the White House.


Darlene Superville and Jim Kuhnhenn Twitter http://twitter.com/dsupervilleap and http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn


___


CHURCH PRIMER


St. John's Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Park from the White House, where President Barack Obama and his family will worship before the public inauguration ceremony, is known as The Church of the Presidents. Since its first service in October 1816, every U.S president has attended a regular or occasional service.


Pew 54 is known as The President's Pew and is reserved for the president whenever he attends. Located across from the White House on the other side of Lafayette Park, Obama and his family attend services there occasionally.


James Madison is the president who chose pew 54, which is about halfway back in the church. There is an 18th-century prayer book in the pew that many presidents have autographed.


Madison's wife, Dolly, was baptized and confirmed at the church. It was built in 1816 by Benjamin Latrobe, the architect who also worked on the Capitol and the White House.


Darlene Superville and Jim Kuhnhenn Twitter http://twitter.com/dsupervilleap and http://twitter.com/jkuhnhenn


___


GATHERING MASSES


A heavy and steady stream of people is heading toward the National Mall as the sun comes up, but there isn't the same early morning crush of humanity there was at this time four years ago for President Barack Obama's first inauguration.


With several hours to go before the main event, people are having their pictures taken with a flag-draped Capitol building in the background.


I'm not a crowd person, and I was pretty astounded when they estimated there would only be 800,000, says Betsy Seeber of Doylestown, Pa.


It's cool and there's a steady breeze. Handwarmers are being sold by street vendors at three for $5. In 2009, when temperatures were in the 20s, vendors were getting $5 each.


I'm cold, but we came prepared, says Janice Boyd of Bentonville, Ark.


Richard Lardner Twitter http://twitter.com/rplardner


___


ADDRESS: SNEAK PEEK


AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace looks at what we can expect from Obama's second inaugural address:


___


In his second inaugural address, the president is expected to call on Washington to find common ground when possible. Aides say Obama will make the point that the nation's political system doesn't require lawmakers to resolve every difference, but it does require them to act when they can.


He'll also call on Americans to get involved in politics and influence what happens in Washington. Obama has already said he'll seek to build public support for the anti-gun violence plan he outlined last week, a package of proposals that faces a tough road in Congress.


Obama is not expected to tick through his first-term accomplishments, nor will he announce specific policy proposals for his next four years. But he will lay the groundwork for his second-term agenda, including stricter gun laws, immigration reform and ending the Afghanistan war.


How Obama plans to meet those objectives will be defined in more detail during his Feb. 12 State of the Union address.


Julie Pace Twitter http://twitter.com/JPaceDC


___


QUICKQUOTE: OBAMA ADVISER


We're going to move beyond what has paralyzed this town for so long. Obama senior political confidant and former press secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking on CBS This Morning about what the president's inaugural address will be aimed at communicating.


Merrill Hartson


___


EARLY ENOUGH?


Wendy Davis of Rome, Ga., is one of thousands of inaugural attendees who packed Metro trains before sunrise headed for the Capitol and parade route.


Davis came four years ago as well but was among the many ticketholders who couldn't get in because of the massive crowds.


She's determined to get in this time.


I thought I was early last time but I obviously wasn't early enough, she says.


Matthew Barakat Twitter http://twitter.com/mattbarakat


___


'SEE HISTORY'


David Richardson, 45, of Atlanta and his children, Camille, 5, and Miles, 8, were among early morning Metro riders traveling to the national mall on Monday. Their father says he wanted his children to see history first-hand and witness that anything is possible through hard work.


With temperatures around freezing at 7 a.m., the family was bundled up with hats, scarves and warm coats for what's likely to be a long wait to get into the area where the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama will take place around noon.


Alan Fram Twitter http://twitter.com/asfram


___


TIGHT SECURITY


Washington, which became a bastion of tight security after 9/11, becomes even more so on Inauguration Day. National Guard Humvees are blocking every intersection along K Strett into downtown DC. Quite a sight for residents here.


Darlene Superville


___


Follow AP reporters contributing to Inauguration Watch on their Twitter handles, listed throughout the text.


Associated Press
Comments
comments powered by Disqus


Featured Businesses


Poll



Mortgage Minute