Inauguration Turnout Likely To Be Lower Than 2009

The crowd for the President’s Second Inauguration is likely to be far below 2009’s record crowd:

Now that Christmas is over and New Year’s Day is just days away, the next big event on D.C. residents’ calenders is the inauguration.

And while it will still be a D.C. party, this time around President Barack Obama will attract far fewer visitors than he did for his historical 2009 inauguration.

The AP has some of the numbers for the Jan. 21 inauguration:

In 2008, 1.8 million people flooded the District for inauguration. For his second term, city officials are expecting 600,000 to 800,000 people.

Four years ago, hotels sold out months in advance for the event and visitors paid an average of $600 a night. At this point, very few hotels are sold out for the 2013 inauguration and some hotels still have half their rooms open. Many hotels may even drop their prices closer to the Jan. 21.

Not entirely surprising. It was going to be hard to match the enthusiasm of January 2009 to begin with, and Presidential second terms rarely generate the same level of interest as the first one does. In fact, it won’t be long before people start speculating about when President Obama becomes a lame duck.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. gVOR08 says:

    Not at all surprising that the enthusiasm of the first inauguration won’t be duplicated. You only get to elect the first black president in history once. You also only get to replace the W Bush administration once. As in tennis, holding the game after the break isn’t as emotional as scoring the break, but it’s just as important.

  2. JKB says:

    Why get a hotel room. Outside a few cronies who’ve profited from their relationship with the Obama campaign, most further then 50 miles from DC haven’t been fairing to well in the Obama economy.

  3. Tillman says:

    I don’t care about numbers, man! Aretha Franklin’s hat is where the buzz is!

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: Missouri unemployment rate now stands at 6.9%. Last time I checked we are a little further than 50 miles from DC. But then, I guess we don’t count, at least, that is what you keep saying Obama feels.

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Dude, do you have any conception of how high 6.9% unemployment is? FYI from May 1994 through September 2008 the highest recorded unemployment rate was 6.3%. Think about that for a few moments.

    In any case, it goes without saying that the crowds for Obama Part Deux will be a lot lower than they were the first time around. The more intriguing (and ironic) question is exactly how disastrous will conditions on Main Street be as of Jan. 2017.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “[F]rom May 1994 through September 2008 the highest recorded national unemployment rate was 6.3%,” that is.

  7. anjin-san says:

    Those happy days when we were losing 500K jobs a month under Bush – clearly Obama’s fault.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Let us not forget 1982 when unemployment hit 10.8% under the guidance of Saint Ronald.