The first of an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 bundled-up spectators began to descend on the National Mall
Monday morning to watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office for a second time.
The First Family emerged from an 8:45 a.m. service at St. John's Episcopal Church Monday morning and headed to the White House. The president is expected to take the oath a little before noon. Shortly afterwards, he will deliver his Inaugural Address. The First Family will then attend a luncheon, before the Inaugural parade starts around 3 p.m.
Obama took time to tweet during church. "I'm honored and grateful that we have a chance to finish what we started. Our work begins today. Let's go. --bo," he wrote.
The president shared a laugh with his daughters upon his return to the White House Monday morning. Malia ran up to his limousine and shouted "Boo!" at her father. "You scared me!" he joked back as the Obamas together entered the White House.
Early on Monday, it seemed the District had drawn nowhere near the number of guests that descended upon the city in 2009. Streets near the White House were busy at 6 a.m., but very walkable despite the large number of closed-off roads and pedestrian-prohibited pathways. In 2009, nearly two million people showed up to watch the nation's first black president take the oath of office.
Michelle Obama is wearing a navy dress and coat by the American designer Thom Browne, and accessories by J.Crew. The outfit will be donated to the National Archives after the Iinauguration. Malia Obama is wearing a purple J.Crew outfit, while her sister, Sasha, also in purple, is dressed in Kate Spade.
Inside the U.S. Capitol building--which serves as the scenic backdrop for the president's second inauguration--journalists, lawmakers, security agents and decorators zipped across the marble hallways in preparation for the ceremony.
Meanwhile, members of Congress navigated their way to assigned seats on the Capitol portico.
Inside statutory hall, florists put the finishing touches on the room where Obama will dine with members of Congress after the ceremony. Tables were set with coral flower centerpieces and adorned with fine silver and glassware. Walking from table to table, a decorator and her assistant made sure not a single piece of silverware, dish or chair was even a millimeter out of place.
Behind the head table, where the president and the First Lady will dine, stood the lectern, in the shape of a golden eagle, from which Obama will speak later that day.
Obama already took the oath of office in a private swearing-in ceremony on Sunday.