Washington has never seen a security operation like this one. Never. Barack Obama will be the most protected American president in history, although no credible threat has been identified by the security services.
The capital is a sea of uniform; khaki, green fatigues, or blue, totalling 40 000 in all. An unknown number of plainclothes police operatives are also on duty. “Never having seen an event like this in the nation’s capital, if anywhere else in the country, you just don’t know. So, maybe the unknown is kind of what would keep you awake at night. And of course the biggest unknown is how many will come,” says the city’s Mayor Adrian Fenty. Some forecasts suggest five million Americans will mass for the ceremony in Washington posing an immense logistical headsache for the authorities. But the fans do not care. “This is exiting, this is historic and I had to be here. I’m going to try to get as close as possible and then get a good spot for the parade and sure I’ll see Obama there,” said one woman. Obama is ready for Washington. Is the capital ready for him?