The Obama inauguration: it's the hardest ticket in town.
The demand for tickets to inaugural events for Barack Obama is extraordinarily high. Let's face it, you'll probably never be able to score a ticket (not to mention a hotel room!), unless you're willing to shell out major money.
But who says you need to go anywhere? You can enjoy the festivities without ever leaving your couch.
Here are 4 things to look for as you are watching on TV:
First is a public service project on Martin Luther King Day, January 19, 2009. Obama and his veep, Joe Biden, are mum about what exactly the project is, but you can bet that it will be a call to arms for all Americans to contribute to their community. It's a way to include everyone in the festivities, and it's a way for Obama to again tap into that theme of optimism that ran throughout his presidential campaign.
Second is the actual swearing-in ceremony, which kicks off around noon the next day, Tuesday, Janaury 20, with a rendition of “Hail to the Chief" from the infantry guard, and a 21-gun salute. Taking the oath, Obama will no doubt be reflecting on the historic nature of the moment when he gazes out across the Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial.
Third is Obama's inaugural address, which immediately follows the oath. This is essentially his first speech to the nation as president. The camera will pan around to take in the sea of people, millions strong, and you're probably going to see some grinning A-list celebs too.
Finally, there's the inaugural ball. Time to loosen up and celebrate in style. Hopefully there will not be any awkward dance moves from President Obama like in 2001 when George W. Bush cut the rug with Ricky Martin! Count on Barack and Michelle Obama to be sharing a special dance together. But who knows, maybe Jay-Z will ask to cut in?
With four full days of events, you can bet that the historic Obama inauguration will be all over TV. So pop open a bottle of champagne, don't touch that dial, and enjoy the moment - right there in your own living room.
Daniel J. Frontworth, 26, is a writer and political activist based in Brooklyn, N. Y. He is an affiliate with the website http://www.FrontPageObama.com - where you can buy an Obama victory poster featuring election newspaper front pages.