Two million people that descended on The Capitol and the National Mall to watch the swearing in of President Barack Obama. About 150,000 of those people had tickets. We got in line at 6am with our now infamous purple tickets. We stood crammed packed next to strangers (that now are no longer strange to us) for the next five hours. Some pushing. Couple of laughs. Chattering teeth. Little bit of confusion. More laughs.
There were a lot of people really, really upset that it wasn’t done right – it wasn’t the machine that was the campaign. It was two million people – which is almost an entire microtrend attending one event. Some were turned away. Some never got a chance to get to that point because of gridlock.
It was unprecedented but not totally unanticipated…so try and balance those two.
There were a couple of issues with people that had tickets. Tickets that were a really big deal to get your hands on. We kept on hearing that purple ticket holders got screwed. But then every other color we talked to (save the seated tickets) said they had the same experience with confusion and frustration trying to get through security to The Capitol.
Again, there is no amount of planning that would have made this event completely flawless to every single person attending. But there were no arrests or stampedes or anything else reported.
Man, there were a lot of people there. It was twice the population of San Fransisco clad in Obama winter gear.