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Obama on Inauguration: Logistics Will Be 'Very Difficult'

Barack Obama met with the Washington Post's top editors and reporters yesterday, and he revealed his plans to push for reform of Social Security and Medicaid programs and to hold a fiscal responsibility summit. But, try as they might, the reporters couldn't get him to reveal much about the inauguration.

Though Inauguration Watch was not present during the interview, we have gotten ahold of a transcript.

"What is the central message you want African-Americans to take from your Inauguration?," a reporter asked.

Replied Obama: "I am not going to spill the beans. No, no, no. Look, look, I think you have to open your Christmas present on Christmas. You can't shake the box. So we're not going to give you a preview of the inauguration speech. You're not getting that."

When the reporter followed up by asking to whether it would be okay to ask a follow up question, Obama fell back on his famous catch phrase: "Yes, you can." (Okay, close enough.)

How involved have you been in the planning and details of inauguration week? the reporter wondered.

Obama said he has been briefed on the "broad outlines", and said he was involved in some "key decisions", such as moving the parade staging ground farther off the Mall to open more viewing space for the swearing-in ceremonies. He also said he helped chose who would sing during the first dance between him and wife Michelle.


"I won't preview that either," he said, "but it will be good."

Obama then cautioned about the large crowds. He said his "best advance people" have worked on the plans, and added that "we feel confident that it will be a wonderful event."

He continued by saying that "when you have that many people involved, what I have been trying to do is, what I have told my team to do, and we did a PSA on this, is just to send out the message that, you know, if you think you're going to be able to just drive up to the mall and park, you know, get out with your picnic basket, that that's not how it is going to work. We want to make sure that people anticipate the moving around logistically is going to be very difficult."

By David A Nakamura  |  January 16, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Swearing-in Ceremony
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Posted by: bhttina | January 16, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

When is the inauguration parade expected to be over?

Posted by: keshinil1 | January 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

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