Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Trump draws a way smaller inaugural crowd than Obama

Published:Saturday | January 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM
President-elect Donald Trump arrives during the 58th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington yesterday.


Far fewer people attended President Donald Trump's inauguration yesterday than his predecessor's swearing-in eight years ago.

Photos of the National Mall from President Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009 show a teeming crowd stretching from the West Front of the US Capitol all the way to the Washington Monument. Photos taken from the same position on Friday show large swaths of empty space on the mall.

Thin crowds and semi-empty bleachers also dotted the inaugural parade route. Hotels across the District of Columbia reported vacancies, a rarity for an event as large as a presidential inauguration. And ridership on the Washington's Metro system didn't match that of recent inaugurations.

As of 11 a.m., there were 193,000 trips taken, according to the transit service's Twitter account. At the same hour eight years ago, there had been 513,000 trips. Four years later, there were 317,000 for Obama's second inauguration.

There were 197,000 at 11 a.m. in 2005 for President George W. Bush's second inauguration. The Metro system also posted that only two parking lots at stations were more than 60 per cent full.


May prove humbling


The smaller crowds may prove humbling for Trump, who frequently boasted during the campaign about the attendance at his rallies and would claim, often inaccurately, that thousands more people were waiting outside and unable to get into the event.

Some Trump supporters were slowed entering the mall due to delays at security checkpoints caused by protesters. Thousands of people at Obama's inaugurations were also delayed due to logistical hold-ups at the security checkpoints.

An official crowd count of Trump's inauguration may not ever be known.