The Morning

MSNBC is reporting that, as of 7 am, over 200,000 people had taken the DC metro in to the city. The mall is so well filled that I'm having a hard time seeing any empty space between the capitol and the Washington Monument.

I'm going to do some very conservative crowd size estimates right now. I'm going to go to Google Earth, and look at the space available. I'm just going to include the grassy areas on the mall (not the paths), and I'm only going to measure as far back as the Washington monument.

Space available (in square feet):

3rd Street to 4th Street: 89,250

4th Street to 7th Street: 183,750

7th Street to 14th Street: 455,000

14th Street to 15th Street: 75,000

Front of Washington Monument (very, very conservative): 196,350

Front of Capitol: 180,000

Total: 1,179,350 square feet.

Assuming 4.5 square feet of space per person, that works out to a crowd of well over a quarter of a million people already - and that's a very conservative estimate that leaves out lots of space that I can already see people filling.

There's still two hours to go. And it's 23 degrees out. 15 with the wind chill.

Yes. We can.

Update 1: OK. The more pictures show up, the more I can see how massively understated my initial estimate was. It's got to be closer to 500,000. And that's not counting the invited guests, most of the area around the Washington monument, any of the area under the trees, anything on the Lincoln Memorial half of the Mall, or anyone along the parade route.


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The best part of today's Obama address will be

'Sixteen-Hundred Pennsylvania Avenue.'

'Sixteen-Hundred Pennsylvania Avenue.'

Amen to that.