Witness to a Coronation: Working Stiffs Edition
Wonkette operatives keep their eyes on inauguration. Send your personal accounts or inauguration frustration to . This issue irony-free.
• "Stopped at a bar at Union Station last night (MARC typically screwed up), and the tender told me he'd been photographed and had given up his Social Security number in order to work tomorrow night's 'Freedom Ball' at the station.
More after the jump.
• "I walked by the front of the Capitol at midday [Tues. 1/18] and attended a reception later at Dirksen for the new chairman of the Senate HELP Committee (sponsored by maybe 20 ed organizations and attended by 300 reps. of ed organizations, all of whom want something from him. Kennedy was there, more florid than ever and having trouble walking). Two days to go, and the crowd around the Capitol numbered in the hundreds. I spotted four buses that had conveyed a high school band from Minnesota for the parade. Limos are all over the place, and I mean all over the place. As I write, four of them are parked in front of the hotel adjacent to my office, which has been booked for months.
"Security is tight. Vehicles couldn't get close to Dirksen, though they lowered the barrier for the government car that transported us there and picked us up an hour later. Our car was scanned by one of those bomb detectors that look something like the dealios people use to detect coins on the beach, and they took a good look in the trunk.
"The chairs have been on the front lawn for the better part of a week, but no VIP will sit in one of them. They'll be down on the parade route watching from the comfy offices of law firms and others while sipping martinis.
"I'm told nobody dances at the balls Thursday night. The idea is to see and be seen."
• "In my building (one block from White House, roughly), which is in the 'security perimeter'!, I had the audacity to leave my building at 2:30, right past the guard, who has seen me over a kazillion times over the past 15 years, to go get a sandwich at Quizno’s. I came back about 10 min. later and he asked for ID. When I told him I left it in my desk, he said there was a Secret Service man in the building watching 'everything' and he could not let me upstairs, even though he knew me, so I would have to be escorted.
" And I was.
"And right up to my office, where the escort, with holster and weapon, watched me open my desk drawer and pull out the ID.
"The feds informed fed employees that they are encouraged to get outta Dodge starting at noon on Wednesday, but that we should make arrangements to take our own leave for that purpose. Our garage closes at 6 pm Wednesday, but my work day isn’t over until 7. Go figure."
A government lawyer in Washington DC