CampusProgress.org: the Obama inauguration's young audience

Military personnel act as stand-ins for President-elect Barack Obama and family on the West Front of the Capitol during a rehearsal for the Inauguration Ceremony in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Military personnel act as stand-ins for President-elect Barack Obama and family on the West Front of the Capitol during a rehearsal for the Inauguration Ceremony in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

A story I wrote on the young audience expected at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration was featured on CampusProgress.org yesterday.

At least one student doesn’t have very far to go to see a seminal moment in American history. To see Barack Obama inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States of America next week, Jonathan Cohn, a Georgetown University junior, can walk. Cohn lives in Washington, D.C., and will be among the millions who are expected to crowd the nation’s capital for Obama’s historic oath. Cohn will be part of what may be the largest contingent of college students at a presidential inauguration in the event’s 220-year history. Read the rest here.

See some extras that didn’t make it into the story below.

Go and read the story first, comment, get a buzz. Then come back here and see what tidbits from my interviews didn’t make it into the article.

Jim Bendat, author Democracy’s Big Day

  • “Aside from the fact of the first African-American. He’s the first Senator elected in forty-years. The first Democrat not from the south since JFK.”
  • “There are many reasons he is exciting. Even though Obama represents a different kind of presidency and politics, most of the inaugural balls will remain ultra-exclusive. That doesn’t change. So, the main focus will be on the ceremony when Obama takes the oath.”
  • “It’s evident more that more people paying attention to the entire event than ever before.”
  • “Younger people are usually more idealistic. Younger people have hopes and dreams. They don’t want to hear from older people that you can’t do things that way, and Barack Obama spoke to them in his campaign,” Bendat said. “The inauguration is a celebration of that.”

Jonathan Cohn, Georgetown University junior

  • “This is a complete change of the types of people who are going and the aura that surrounds it.”
  • “I expect a lot more diversity. I expect it to be overcrowded. I know a 73-year-old [alumnus] from Orlando, Fl. and his wife are coming…”
  • “I pass by the grounds and they’re busy building stands. I just think, ‘those aren’t going to do it.”
  • “Take all of the expectations for what everyone is hoping. This event is the physical form.”
  • It’s a great time to come to D.C., to see the lights and the excitement,” Cohn said. “I think a lot of young people will just come for the environment.

Shin Inouye, spokesman for the inauguration planning committee

  • “It’s fair to say this will be the most open and accessible inauguration.”

Any thoughts? Put them here or on CampusProgress.org.