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Oh, Just 2 Million People

Washington's a nice place to live and work, except on those days when the rest of the country wants to be there, too. Inauguration Day is one of those occasions, and officials were predicting that 4 to 5 million people would try to show up. That's about the population of the entire DC Metro area, and not all of us will fit on the Mall at the same time.

This morning, Mary Beth Sheridan tells us that official predictors are scaling back their forecasts after doing a little research. Our Reader Who Comment have their own views, some on point: Are the estimates valid? Will Metro work? Will security be adequate? Don't you folks know that it can be really cold in Washington in January?

Others raising tangential issues. Some gays are unhappy Pastor Rich Warren is going to give the Inaugural invocation and there are several irrational comments repeating an allegation the Supreme Court tossed in about five minutes, that President-Elect Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore cannot be president. And there is the usual press-bashing: that any crowd prediction will be tainted with political bias.

We'll start with dsrobins, who wrote, "...Of course the crowd will be smaller. Only those who have never lived in WashDC know how cold and unpleasant it can be on Jan. 20..."

And llewis40 said, "I dont blame some people that wont make it. Its gonna be total chaos being among so many who want to be a part of history..."

WashingtonDame repeated City Administrator Dan Tangherlini's statement that Metro trains can carry about 1.2 million people to the inauguration if all goes well and said, "If all goes well? That's some "if." " Tangherlini certainly understand's Metro's challenges; he was its acting general manager.

Jaxxon wrote, "I really hate to say it, but this has all the makings of the Atlanta Olympics. Nothing really special, no heart. Just tons of gawkers and t-shirt vendors."

joey3 said, "hope security is super tight and federal troops nearby. the inauguration is a terrorist, home grown or otherwise, dream target, a once in a lifetime opportunity..."

Samson151 observed that "Better not be more than 2 million, because DC simply can't accommodate it."

Goldmund52hotmailcom wrote, "My partner and I had planned on going for the whole event. But we are NOT going now because, as a loving gay couple, we will have no part in Rick Warren's invocation..."

Imacanadian responded that "How odd that gay activists are surprised and even angered that the president to be has chosen Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration. After all, Obama believes that marriage should be limited to one man and one woman, a position also held by Pastor Rick Warren..."

And omega_man postulated, "I think the selection of Warren has less to do with Obama's beliefs and more to do with dealmaking. Warren helped Obama get votes, now Obama gives Warren a high profile spot in his inauguration..."

DrCha wrote, "We inherited a state of affairs in which the intended folk cannot afford to attend. They have to solve more mundane problems like milk, bread, energy and insurance."

poescrow said, "If Americans truly wanted to make a point to protest the financial rape of this country, boycotting the entire event would be the best action we would take, sort of like a 2nd Boston Tea Party, only on land..."

But fishingriver wrote, "Only 2 million? That is an incredible number."

And we'll close with two comments about the press:
tcdifla predicted that, "On inauguration day, the media will say collectively that 10 million people were there to celebrate, while Bush had a measly 400,000. It's just so predictable, can I have a job with the Obama Post? Or maybe the The Obama New York Times?"

And UnitedStatesofAmerica said, "Like the Million Man march that actually had a few thousand men show - no matter how many show up the press will inflate the guessamate by several million to justify all their hot air..."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  December 22, 2008; 7:34 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration Watch , Obama , Racism , Transition  | Tags: Inauguration Watch, Obama  
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