Even the Cheap Seats Had a Good Perspective

A Whispers-eye view of the events.


By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

There were probably better seats for the inauguration of the 44th president, but Whispers wasn't complaining with ours just 50 yards from Barack Obama. From our perspective, we could make out the new president and his veep, Joe Biden, and were able to get out fast enough to watch as former President Bush lifted off for the last time in his Marine Corps helicopter, which is called Marine One only when the passenger is the sitting president. We heard many tales of people, especially those with blue tickets, being locked out of the event because their seats had filled. But even that, and the nearly half-mile-long lines to get into the Capitol South Metro station, didn't seem to dim the high that people felt from the day.

The Capitol dressed for the inauguration


Barack Obama, with his wife, Michelle, taking the oath of office


Joe Biden taking the oath of office


After his inaugural address, Obama waves to the crowd.


Former President Bush taking his last flight in his Marine helicopter


Code Pink women cheering near the swearing-in stage


Throngs on Independence Avenue leaving the inauguration


Huge groups of people, some stretching a half mile, trying to enter the problem-plagued Metro