Heading into D.C. on Amtrak. It's the overnight train from Boston. On the way to our seats we passed lots of sleepy-looking people -- some still sleeping, all, presumably headed for the celebration. As we waited to board the train, our friend Kim ran into a commuting buddy, Raquel, who works for CNN. She's heading back into the city -- after a full day yesterday that ended after midnight -- to put the finishing touches on CNN's broadcast platform on 12th Street. She's the unit manager for CNN's Mall site, where CNN anchors will be broadcasting live all weekend with the U.S. Capitol at their backs. Dozens of news agencies, Fox, MSNBC, CNN et al. will be competing with each other, providing live coverage of the inauguration celebrations all weekend from as many angles as possible, from the Capitol steps, to the parade route, to the inaugural balls.
This morning's Washington Post is estimating there will be 600,000 in D.C. for the inauguration this weekend, about half the number from four years ago. There's still a lot of excitement around the Mall, though, according to Raquel. She said onlookers surrounded the CNN booth, cheering and clapping on Saturday as if the CNN anchors were rock stars. Hoping we'll get a chance to stop by later today for a glimpse of Anderson Cooper!!