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President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration formally kicked off a half hour ago with the start of a massive concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

"A diverse and excited crowd converged on the National Mall this afternoon to await a star-studded concert that will be the official welcome to the festivities marking the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president," wrote the Post's Debbie Wilgoren, noting that some people have taken to calling the concert "Obama-Stock". (If you need an explanation as to why, you shouldn't be reading this blog.)

(A few of the Fix's friends on Twitter are saying crowd estimates are 750,000 but we'll let the authorities give the official number.)

Bruce Springsteen -- not the God but a god -- just finished up playing "The Rising" and now Jon Bon Jovi ands Bettye LaVette are singing Sam Cooke's "A Change is Going To Come". Good stuff.

You can watch the concert, which HBO is broadcasting for free, here or listen to it on NPR here. You can also follow the proceedings via the Post's music blog -- "Post Rock".

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 18, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama Announces "Organizing for America"
Next: Fix Pick: Maraniss' Masterpiece On Obama's Rise


Jackie Robinson wasn't the best baseball black player, but he was considered the best choice to deal with the racism of his day. Obama, raised in a white atheist family, elected to the state senate from a white liberal area... All during his national political life he has had to downplay race, while benefiting from it at the same time by getting 90% of the black vote. It seems to me that if a black man has to down play his race in order to get white votes, then America really hasn't come as far as folks say it has. Black men still have unemployment rates that are at Great Depression levels, incarceration levels 5 times their population and they still seem to be the recipients of white police bullets while unarmed This has been a fact of life for DECADES, yet there has never been a BAILOUT for brothers. We have just been shown the way out or to get the hell out (America love it or leave it). Man, despite all the changes, some things still are the same!

Posted by: rkhufu7 | January 20, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse


Barack Obama is the greatest liar in history (no wonder he is an excellent lawyer!) During his campaign, he told lots of hope in future for America if he was elected, but now he warns Americans of oncoming darker economy and not to put too much hope in his promises. He promises a big plan to reduce budget deficit but his inauguration ceremony this January will be the most costly in history (50 millions) while the nation is in deep depression, as well as his presidential campaign (600 millions), which was far more than his opponent John McCain's. He swears to clean up Washington DC, but he failed to first clean up his homestate Illinois, one of the most corrupt state with the scandal of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who greatly helped Obama to win his state senate seat in 1996, 1998, and 2002. And his favorite slogan is "Yes, we CAN", yet he himself CANNOT quit smoking at all !!!

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 19, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Don't understand why the dietmanager wants all shows who don't love Obama unquestioningly cancelled. The First Amendment is still in operation, and we listened to 8 years of Bush being called every hideous name under the sun. The left felt free to criticize, make fun of, laugh at, excoriate, denounce, and hate George W. Bush, yet they feel that conservatives don't have the same rights to criticize Obama in any way, shape or form. How is that fair? I'm sure the left will justify it by saying Bush deserves it and Obama doesn't. There is always justification. Do as I say, not as I do, right?

Posted by: nickelflipper | January 19, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

mattadamsdietmanager: is it necessary to call people names (like "moron"), or hope their programs fail because they deign to criticize Obama? I have a simple solution to your problem. Instead of wishing people harm or bad luck or calling them names, simply don't watch Fox News Channel. MSNBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and NBC are nonstop Obama coverage, and all very favorable towards Him. So do you feel it's truly necessary that every single channel available to the American public heap nothing but praise on Him? Your man just may get some criticism during his reign as President. You'd better get used to's unreasonable and childlike to think everyone will always be thrilled with every little thing He says or does.

Posted by: nickelflipper | January 19, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Where can I get some of this Obama Kool-Aid?

Posted by: newbeeboy | January 19, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hi Chris, Great Job this morning on the Today show, very proud of our hometown boy. Its been a while, but you may remember Jim Dandeneau (Pat Dandeneau, younger brother) both Xavier alumni and Marlborough natives! Keep up the good work! Enza Dandeneau

Posted by: EnzaDandeneau | January 19, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

lylepink, Is that really you? How are you?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 19, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

The media has every right- you moron- to have a so call Love affair with him. This has never happen in our American history before. As a former Republican, I noticed that OBAMA is a uniter not a divider like the Republicans. The media like Chris, and others, should be applauded for their Obama coverage. Obama will be reelected in 2012. After 2016 this could never happen again and its perfectly understandable why they love him.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 19, 2009 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Considering the LOVE the Media has for him, I cannot expect any but FOX News to have anything even resembling fair coverage as to what this is all about.

Posted by: lylepink | January 19, 2009 5:13 AM | Report abuse

Can we pass a law right now to make Obama President for Life? Can't we get the Pope to make him a saint? How about a national holiday in his name like MLK? We Isn't it possible that he is the REAL Messiah? He's bigger than Jesus! Yes, he can!!

Posted by: lightnin001 | January 19, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

America, please sober up!
Who’s playing the violin when Rome is burning? President Obama is said to have 510 promises so far! How ironic it is to celebrate Barack Obama our first African American president’s inauguration with such mad enthusiasm and fanfare, with such glee and wildly hopeful slogans such as Yes We Can. Yet how ironic is that for example, in Washington DC where we celebrating the inauguration of our first Black President also happened to have the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the entire Western Hemisphere. Our nation’s capital has a higher HIV/AIDS rate that the destitute Caribbean Island of Haiti. Ironically at such a historically moment, things all around America looks gloomier than ever. America is literally falling apart. Although we still can shout such slogans like Yes We Can─ the hard reality of America’s chances of making a comeback as a world power is teetering in balance, at the eve of our first black president’s inauguration. I think we Americans simply can’t comprehend what’s happening to us. The media isn’t going to tell you what’s happening. It never told us a word about the most devastating collapse of America’s economy. Today America’s is placed 42 in life expectancy, in infant mortality US is 41st in the world. But at the eve of inaugurating our first black president if you take African America separately for the moment, the situation is far worse than rest of America. Our Black America is belongs somewhere in the middle of the third world. In infant mortality, African America is placed 88th in the world. And in life expectancy of African America is 80thin the world. Most young American men are incarcerated and 34 percent of black men between the ages of 18-24 are in jail. There are more black men in jails than in collages! American has the highest per capita prison population, in the world anyway. Russia comes close second. So please be sober, those who are jumping up and down, for Barack Obama before you bounce out of orbit. For African Americans things have been dismal as destitute as always it has been. The reality is a far cry what African Americans are pretending to be on TV. Marching merrily down the path of decline, America has become dizzy with buzz created in the media. But the reality of America is sobering.

Posted by: charleychaplin | January 18, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris - you said you'd wait for the crowd estimate from the authorities, you may be waiting awhile. The Park Service stopped releasing estimating crowd sizes after the controversy over the actual number of people that showed up at the "Million Man March." Is the Inaugural Committee doing their own count here?

Posted by: vtavgjoe | January 18, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | January 18, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Bruce Springsteen, ¿¿¿¿not the God but a god???

I read you everyday, but if you say something like that i'll reconsider my addiction to your blog hehe. Who could be the God but Bruce?

Just kidding. I'll read you anyway.

Enjoy the concert Chris!

Posted by: ERICJORDI | January 18, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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