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Inauguration Crowd Estimate Cut By 2/3

A little more backpedaling expectations lowering by the DNC’s Washington Post:

Members of the media surround a 40 foot square logistics planning map for the inauguration of President Barack Obama at the DC Armory in Washington December 18, 2008.

Inauguration Day Crowd Estimate Reduced by Half

By Mary Beth Sheridan
Monday, December 22, 2008; A01

Officials are casting doubt on an early projection that 4 million to 5 million people could jam downtown Washington on Inauguration Day, saying it is more likely that the crowd will be about half that size.

D.C. authorities said the earlier estimates, provided by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), were based on speculation surrounding the historic nature of the swearing-in of Barack Obama as the nation’s first African American president. After weeks of checking with charter bus companies, airlines and other sources, they’re reassessing.

"It’s more of an art than a science," City Administrator Dan Tangherlini said. "The fact is, earlier it was speculation. Now we’re beginning to flesh it out and what the physical capacities of the system are."

The Secret Service has dismissed the high-end estimates of 4 million to 5 million people. But there is universal agreement among security officials and planners that massive numbers of people will flock to the swearing-in of Obama (D), who had drawn huge campaign crowds.

Turnout could easily reach 2 million, officials said, far outstripping the 400,000 who attended the 2005 inauguration of President Bush. Although it is possible that 5 million people will descend on the area in the days leading up to the inauguration, it appears unlikely that trains and local roads could get them all to the Mall and parade route Jan. 20, officials said.

Jawauna Greene, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transit Administration, said that inaugural planning committees had initially considered up to 6 million attendees. Lately, she said, D.C. officials had scaled back their estimates to about 2 million. "But there’s no telling," she said

With a lack of solid information — the Secret Service and the Presidential Inaugural Committee declined to make their estimates public — colossal numbers continue to be bandied about. Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, head of the D.C. National Guard, said at a news conference Thursday that the crowd estimate was 4 million.

His source? "That is the number I have heard on the television," he said…

Chris Geldart, who heads the D.C. area office for the Department of Homeland Security, said he thought turnout would probably be 1.5 million to 2 million, "because it’s winter, and people getting in and out is going to be difficult."

"But, hey, we may see up to 4 million," he said. "So we’d better be prepared."

In the end, officials might never know how many people turn out. The U.S. Park Police have been barred from providing crowd estimates since they were threatened with a lawsuit for an apparent undercount at the Million Man March in 1995

Yes, the Washington Post headline says “reduced by half,” but it actually sounds like it has been reduced by two thirds:

Jawauna Greene, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transit Administration, said that inaugural planning committees had initially considered up to 6 million attendees. Lately, she said, D.C. officials had scaled back their estimates to about 2 million. "But there’s no telling," she said.

Of course if the numbers don’t even match the 400,000 turn out for President Bush it will still be hailed as an historic turnout. Just like the election.

By the way, where are the usual reports about the number of protesters who are slated to appear? Where are their quotes? And where are their designated “protest” areas?

Oh, that’s right. Mr. Obama has no opposition. At least not any professional opposition.

Besides, nothing will be allowed to tarnish this historic coronation.

By the way, the reference to the Million Man March in this article reminds us that this is probably the first time Mr. Obama will have been at a big get together on the Washington Mall since he attended (and probably helped organize) that historic event.

Would you ever have thought when you were watching the MMM that just a few scant 14 years later, one of its organizers would be sworn in as President of the United States?

Here is a transcription of the Reverend Farrakhan’s bizarre address on that day, if you would like to take a trip down memory lane.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, December 22nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

20 Responses to “Inauguration Crowd Estimate Cut By 2/3”

  1. 1sttofight says:

    I sure hope they were not counting on me being there.

    They could not pay me enough to go and I could really use the money.

  2. Icarus says:

    If the turnout goes badly; they’ll find a way to blame it on something… like the weather (Global Warming), or the economy… or maybe even Pres. Bush

    • Liberals Demise says:

      With the numbers cut by 2/3 if it is brutally cold, watch the count plummet again! I’m looking for a witch doctor to Voodoo the Hoodoo. As for myself…..I think I’ll visit the proctologist for something really important!!

  3. curvyred says:

    Why oh why does this remind me of the hype about the “million man march”?

  4. U NO HOO says:

    “I think I’ll visit the proctologist for something really important!!”

    Plus, a proctologist doesn’t lie to you.

    He’ll be seeing what you would see in DC.

  5. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Most people wont go because of the overall cost or perhaps because they’re dealing with the latest world threat: Global Cooling. Where are all those Global Warming nut jobs right now? Probably covered in snow as they hug their trees ever tighter and wondering why it won’t give off any body heat. LD, ‘As for myself…..I think I’ll visit the proctologist for something really important.’ LOL! What a way to put it all into perspective.

    “There comes a time in the affairs of men when we must grab the bull by the tail and face the situation.” W.C. Fields

  6. VMAN says:

    Why are they cutting estimates? Let’s just say 10,000,000 are attending or why not 100,000,000 Heck lets go for 200,000,000 . It doesn’t matter just lie about it even if only 10,000,000 attend. Heck the 50,000 man march was a big success wasn’t it. They never had a problem stretching the truth before so why are they concerned now?

    • proreason says:

      I’m with you Vman. what does it matter what they say. Tthey might as will print underlines and let the readers fill in whatever they want, kind of like Obamy’s platform.

  7. gipper says:

    There’s an easy fix to a dwindling crowd–pay people to attend just like the CHICOMs did for the Olympics.


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