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The Presidential Inauguration

Aired January 21, 2013 - 05:00   ET






ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: It is official. And now, he will do it again for the people this time. Just hours from now, an estimated crowd of some 800,000 will gather on the National Mall for President Obama's public inauguration.

Stars and stripes, Katy Perry rocking the red, white and blue at one of the many bashes across the nation's capital last night. And the partying is only getting started.

President Obama's biggest challenge in the next four years may be avoiding the second term curse. We'll look at the obstacles that could trip him up.

Plus, an extra helping of history on the steps of the capital. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to deliver an inaugural oath. We'll show you the warm moment she shared with Joe Biden. This was yesterday.

We've got an exciting four hours for you.

Coming up: former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, four years ago, he was head of security for President Obama's first inauguration parade.

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz at 6:00 a.m., along with Representative Jim Clyburn, Newark Mayor Corey Booker at 7:00 a.m., along with Senator John Barrasso and the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. joining us as well, Bernice King.

Then at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time, freshman Representative Joaquin Castro. And, finally, we have Nick Cannon. He will be joining us. He's performing today for the inauguration.

Good morning to you. Welcome to a special edition of EARLY START. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East. I'm Zoraida Sambolin, live here in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Some folks are already gathering here. I will be joined by Soledad O'Brien and John Berman who are still making their way through what is a solid wall of security here.

So, we begin with President Obama making history again, publicly taking the oath of office on Martin Luther King Day to begin his second term as the leader of the free world. It will be his second time taking the oath in 24 hours and his fourth time as president.


OBAMA: So help me God.

ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

OBAMA: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. Thank you so much.

Thank you, sweetie.



SAMBOLIN: With the first lady and first daughters looking on, the president made good yesterday on a constitutional requirement that he be sworn in on January 20th.




SOTOMAYOR: Congratulations.

BIDEN: Thank you.



SAMBOLIN: As did Vice President Joe Biden who shared a really tender moment with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, telling her, "I love you, it is an honor" right after taking the oath, to which she responded, "I love you." She made history as the first Latina to swear in a vice president.

Between their official swearing in ceremonies, Obama and Biden met at the Tomb of the Unknowns, that's at Arlington National Cemetery and laid a wreath in honor of American soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. That is a tradition.

And looking ahead to what's happening today, the first family will start the day with a service at St. John's Episcopal Church in D.C. That's at 8:45. President Obama will publicly be sworn in a few hours -- a few hours later, that is, at 11:55 Eastern. He'll then give his presidential address at noon.

Then later in the afternoon, at 2:35, he'll leave the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, ultimately to the White House.

And as far as crowds go, it is expected to be a more intimate affair this time around, if you can call it intimate. Some 1.8 million people packed the National Mall during President Obama's first inauguration. So, today's crowd is expected to be about half that, 800,000 to 900,000 people.

Today's pomp and circumstance expected to be peaceful. The FBI says there are no credible corroborated threats to any of the inauguration activities.

And a sense of renewed excitement and possibility for a first term, replaced with a sense of familiarity four years later. Crowds not expected to be nearly as jam-packed this time around.

Our own Christi Paul is on the National Mall here, where people are starting to gather. Organizers are expecting about half of turnout from 2009.

And I am simply shocked they are here this early. But it's probably a very smart move, right?

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, my gosh, you said it. We've been here for about an hour and a half. We thought we'd have to jump a fence just to get in. But we decided we didn't want to be arrested. We took the time to walk around and find out how to get in here legally.

And I have seen in the last hour and a half more people show up. There are a nice group of national guardsmen here who will be dispersing throughout. And it's been sweet. I've seen families taking pictures with the National Guard.

I saw a mom, a young mom here with a couple of kids who, her youngest can't be more than 5 or 6. And, of course, they're all bundled up. I think it's 35 degrees right now.

But it's 5:00 in the morning. So you think about how early they got here with those little children who are walking around, the little girl has her hat on, she's carrying her purse, this little 5-year-old. And even the people who are here are kind of in a line because they want to make sure that they're keeping tight quarters right now.

So, it's going to be interesting to see how many people do show up and trickle in over the next, you know, hour, hour and a half. But 5:00, they just wanted to make sure, I asked one of them, why did you get here so early? He said we wanted to make sure we got here and got a place to park our feet on the grass and claim our own.

SAMBOLIN: That's actually a very smart idea. Some folks out there also were playing ball at this hour of the morning. They're all having a good time.

PAUL: Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much, Christi. We'll talk to you again soon.

So, it's about 37 degrees right now in the nation's capital. Can you remember at President Obama's first inauguration, it was well below freezing here in Washington? It was around 28 degrees.

Let's go to Jennifer Delgado now. She's live at the CNN weather center in Atlanta with a look at what kind of weather we can expect here today.

And, Jennifer, I've got to tell you, we're counting our blessings because we had heard it was about to be 23 degrees at this hour. So, we'll take 37.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely, Zoraida. You're actually enjoying a heat wave in comparison to what they felt last time.

Now, I'm going to show the radar, you notice, it's very quiet out there. But we will se a chance for a few snow flurries to arrive later into the evening.

Here's your forecast. The good news is high temperatures will be above freezing, 39 right near swearing in, 43. And then notice your feel-like temperature is going to be 37 degrees. So there will be a bit of a wind around.

But for all the parties later on, certainly everybody is going to need to bundle up. Now, if you think it's going to be cold in Washington, D.C., well, more cold air is on the way, and it's going to be arriving from the northern plains as well as the Upper Midwest.

Get this -- wind chill values will be down to minus 50 in some locations. Some of these parts you could endure hypothermia or frostbite within 20 to 30 minutes. You need to bundle up today and put on a lot of layers.

So, Zoraida, I think that makes you feel a little bit better about being outside with the temperatures right now in the 30s. Minus 50 degree wind chill. So, high temperature near minus 5. I feel like I'm doing international weather with Celsius.

SAMBOLIN: I've got to tell you, I could tell you it's super cold. And the wind here is pretty strong. Folks are coming out here, bundle up. But it's a good time.

DELGADO: Stay warm.

SAMBOLIN: All right. We're going to head over to John Berman.

So, John, I dropped you off on my way in this morning. So I expected to see you much earlier. Did you have to hop a fence or something to get through?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you know, security, as you can imagine, is very tight here. We're still in the process of working our way up to the stage which is way there behind me, so we can get into position for the rest of the day. As you said, it is chilly but we're warm with America, Zoraida.

The other thing, we're into the second term here. It is the second term now officially since President Obama was sworn into the office officially yesterday. But if you missed any of the first term, we decided to sum it all up for you in just a few minutes.

Take a look.


BERMAN (voice-over): It starts here, January 20th, 2009 -- screaming crowds, soaring hopes, towering expectations. What could possibly go wrong?

Except the inauguration.

ROBERTS: I, Barack Hussein Obama --

OBAMA: I, Barack --

ROBERTS: -- do solemnly swear --

OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama --

BERMAN: First year, major action: big stimulus, big bailout, big appointments, big smack.


OBAMA: Now, where were we?

BERMAN: President gets Obamacare. Vice president gets fresh.

BIDEN: This is a big (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.

BERMAN: Kagan in, Rahm out, banking reform in, "don't ask, don't tell" out. Republicans in, Democrats out.

OBAMA: Take a shellacking like I did last night.

BERMAN: 2011 -- Tunisia turmoil, disaster, Libya turmoil, Bahrain turmoil, Egypt turmoil.

OBAMA: An orderly transition must begin now.

BERMAN: It turns out the president was born in America. It turns out the president can crack a joke.

OBAMA: I am releasing my official birth video.


BERMAN: That very same weekend -- closure.

OBAMA: The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda.

Now, where were we?

BERMAN: We were here, 2012. Election year. What could possibly go wrong?

OBAMA (singing): I'm so in love with you --


BERMAN: How big a deal that the president sings?

BIDEN: This is a big (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.

BERMAN: Major developments.

OBAMA: I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.

BERMAN: Supreme Court holds Obamacare is constitutional.

Campaign push, presidential debate, presidential dud.

Presidential victory.

A time to look back at sports teams, disaster, promises kept, most troops out of Iraq, sports teams, disaster, upheaval, Gadhafi dead, sports teams, sports teams, promises broken, Guantanamo still open, disaster, tragedy, Ft. Hood, Tucson --

OBAMA: Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing.

BERMAN: Colorado, Newtown --

OBAMA: For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory.

BERMAN: Fiscal debate, fiscal discord, fiscal destiny.

Sports teams, sports teams, sports teams.

OBAMA: Now, where were we?

BERMAN: We were here -- just about to start, again.

OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear --


BERMAN: And, of course, right up there, you can see it right where President Obama will take the oath of office again in about seven hours. That's where the ceremonial -- ceremony will take place where we're standing right now.

Obviously, we got further into the system here. Security very, very tight here, all over the city, in fact.

And when we come back, we're going to talk to the man who was in charge of President Obama's security.

Stay with us.


SAMBOLIN: Every four years, the inauguration parade kicks of the biggest party in town. And when the president is the center of the celebration, that means a big logistical challenge, especially along the 1 1/2 mile parade route.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino knows. Four years ago, he headed up security for President Obama's first inauguration parade. He's also served as an agent under three presidential administrations and he is joining us this morning.

Thank you so much.


SAMBOLIN: So you had a monumental task. You had 1.8 million people and you had that parade route. How did you go about securing that? How many months of planning goes into that?

BONGINO: You know, the inauguration planning for the next inauguration will literally start tomorrow. It's a multiyear task. It's not even months. It's measures in years.

You don't secure it as one big chunk. You know, I've said a couple times, I've been asked, how do you secure the parade route? The answer is you don't, you secure it block by block and make sure all the pieces fit together. There's no way to do it all, all viewed in totality and collective. It's -- the excitement last time was incredible as well, which added to it.

SAMBOLIN: And there are issues you think about. You think about the weather, right? You think about the crowd control.

What are the other things we don't think about that you have to be concerned about?

BONGINO: I used to call them the big six, tactical assault, medical emergencies, chem bio attack, an IED, which is an explosive device, an airborne attack and a fire. These are the kind of things, the big six. There are smaller six is in there, too.

But if you have a good mitigation plan on every single square block of this city, this parade route for those big six and the pieces all fit together, you've got a solid plan.

SAMBOLIN: But what about the moment when they step out of the limousine?

BONGINO: That was my zone. Yes.

SAMBOLIN: How do you do that?

BONGINO: Well, your blood pressure goes up. Those are the moments the Lord invented coffee for. You have to keep your eyes on hands. And it's not just you. Remember, there's -- you have military personnel and police with you. But I emphasize over and over, we have magnetometers. Pretend there were none. Pretend everybody here is armed.

We get paid as the Secret Service to think about things that may seem ridiculous to you to make sure you don't have to. And hands, you can't shoot with your eyes. You need your hands. If you have a cadre of people focusing strictly on hands, you're good. You'll be OK.

SAMBOLIN: I just had one final question for you, because it took us forever to get here today. And I know you said it took you a half hour where you were standing outside. So, for the folks who are coming here, it really is complicated to get around here, isn't it?

BONGINO: It is. It's very complicated. There's a lot of signage up. The Secret Service focused heavily on signage. Just make sure you're at the appropriate checkpoint and carry as little as possible.

SAMBOLIN: That's excellent advice. Dan Bongino, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

BONGINO: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, it's not all about the pomp and circumstance about today's inauguration, we are also wondering what exactly the president will say when he's sworn in. We're going to have that, straight ahead.


SAMBOLIN: Presidential inauguration is an historic moment and a potential financial opportunity for some as well. Emily Schmidt has more.


EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An inauguration comes down to this. One hand on a bible, the other raised in an oath.

OBAMA: I do solemnly swear.

SCHMIDT: That's the moment in history, which makes so many others try to get their hands on this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many different ways can you say you support Obama?

(LAUGHTER) SCHMIDT: The Presidential Inaugural Committee store is up and running.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Been going like flashy things.

SCHMIDT: Ready for shoppers marking the occasion with officially sanctioned, made in the USA, memorabilia.

(on camera): What are you seeing that you like?

DIANN MCCOY, SHOPPER: I like everything. And that's my problem, because just being such a historic event, I want to have a lot of merchandise to share and a lot of merchandise to give other people who could not, you know, come and visit.

SCHMIDT: It is likely President Obama will take the oath of office on what will be a cold January day, so people are stocking up on warm sweatshirts and these official hats, even some official blankets. The one thing sold out today, the official tube socks. They're coming in tomorrow. But people point out, still available online.

(voice-over): Washington is preparing for an expected crowd of about 900,000 people. They'll need to eat, so about 100 permits have been issued for food trucks and vendors, down from the first Obama inaugural, but three times as many as the second President Bush event.

(on camera): In business, it's all about location. And right here, one block from the White House, it doesn't get much closer to the president. These vendors are preparing for big crowds. They've got 60 of these "Witness to History" T-shirts ready to go. Their challenge, they have to sell now, because by Monday, the day of the inauguration, they'll have to move farther away for security reasons.

SYLVIA NORRIS, INAUGURAL VOLUNTEER: I got the e-mail saying that I was selected to be a volunteer. I was excited, ecstatic.

SCHMIDT (voice-over): Sylvia Norris will be an inaugural volunteer Monday. She hasn't been told yet what she will be doing. She says it doesn't matter, as long as she's there making the same memories others are paying so much to have.

NORRIS: If I could afford it, I would do it. Why not? It's all part of history.

SCHMIDT (on camera): Members of Congress are passing out their allotted tickets to the inaugural swearing in ceremony. The tickets are free and printed with "not for sale". However, if you look on online sites like Craigslist and eBay, you'll see tickets for sale, selling memories at a price, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Emily Schmidt, CNN, Washington.


SAMBOLIN: And tonight, the presidential inauguration festivities will continue as CNN takes you live to the inaugural balls. All the celebrities, musical acts and a who's who of Washington, D.C. That's CNN tonight, live 7:00 Eastern.

And up next, our own John Berman takes us on a behind the scenes live tour of the VIP section for today's inauguration of President Barack Obama.

We'll be right back.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody.

In just a few hours, President Obama will do it one more time, publicly taking the oath of office as he begins his second term as leader of the free world. He's doing it on today, Martin Luther King day no less. It will be his second time taking the oath in just 24 hours.


OBAMA: So help me God.

ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

OBAMA: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. Thank you so much.

Thank you, sweetie.



O'BRIEN: With the first lady and daughters looking on, the president made good on a constitutional requirement that he'd be sworn in on January 20th as did the vice president, Joe Biden.


SOTOMAYOR: So help me God.

BIDEN: So help me God.

SOTOMAYOR: Congratulations.

BIDEN: Thank you.



O'BRIEN: Looking ahead to what's happening today, President Obama will be publicly sworn in at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. He'll then give his presidential address at noon.

Then, later in the afternoon, at 2:35, he will lead the inaugural parade from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

So we expect lots of celebrating, lots of pageantry and some historic firsts.

White House correspondent Dan Lothian is following the day's events for us.

All right, Dan. Lay it out. How's it going to go?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, first of all, I should point out, that the president will begin his day here at the White House much like he often begins, which e gets up in the morning, will work out at the gym here and then attend his presidential daily briefing with his national security advisers and other top aides here at the White House. He'll sit down for breakfast with his family before heading across the street, about 8:45 to St. John's Episcopal Church. It's a church that the president and his family have attended from time to time.

And then as you pointed out will head up to the Capitol for the official swearing in ceremony that will take place, where hundreds of thousands of people will be watching. In addition to that, the president and first lady, the vice president and Dr. Jill Biden will also be attending an inaugural lunch up at the Capitol. It is capping off a weekend of festivities and inaugural events here in Washington.