January 9, 2009

5,4,3,2,1 MILLION: The incredible shrinking inauguration crowd. “Maybe Obama is just another run-of-the-mill Democrat president. After all, Lyndon B. Johnson had 1.2 million people show up for his inauguration in 1965, and that was 44 years ago.” But nobody’ll be counting, so the narrative won’t suffer too much. Related item here.

UPDATE: Inaugural Rentals Begging for Takers. “”I’m blown away by how little demand there is . . . Initially, we were flooded with calls from people looking for [inaugural] housing. For about four or five days, the phone would not stop ringing. . . . But now we have apartments as low as $150 a night that we can’t get rid of.” When I was in DC, I talked to a cabbie who said he would take off a couple of days around the inauguration, because with all the crowds, traffic and blocked streets he wouldn’t make any money. I wonder if Adrian Fenty’s overoptimistic predictions might actually encourage people who would otherwise have gone to stay home, rather than face the kind of gridlock that 5 million people would have produced. The WaPo article suggests that this is the case.

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