As he climbed the stairs back into the Capitol after his final moment in the inauguration spotlight, Obama resist turning around for one final look. “I want to take a look one more time,” he said, in a comment that was picked up — barely — by TV microphones. “I’m not going to see this again.”
Standing at the back of the bandstand, just in front of the entrance to the Capitol, the President craned his neck to take in the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the Mall to witness his inauguration, savoring the scene. The 25-second respite didn’t go unnoticed; as New York magazine spotted, Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia motioned for White House photographer Pete Souza to snap a few shots during the historic moment, while the band continued playing the classic Sousa march “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Yesterday’s crowd, while not as massive as his 2009 inauguration, was certainly something to give the president pause. One inauguration official told reporters “at least” 1 million onlookers gathered Monday to watch Obama’s second inauguration, Politico reports — just over half the 1.8 million spectators that reportedly gathered four years ago.