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Obama's Second Inauguration Not As Thrilling As First

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    AP
    FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2009 file photo, Barack Obama, left, joined by his wife Michelle, takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts to become the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file)

    Don't expect President Barack Obama's second inauguration to be quite the spectacle of the first.

    While nearly 2 million people turned out to see Obama's swearing-in ceremony in 2009, this year's crowd is expected to top out at 800,000, according to District of Columbia officials.

    In response, the Inaugural Committee scaled back four days of festivities to three, partially because of the slowly recovering economy and a desire by planners to ease the security burden on law enforcement. The ceremony still will begin with a National Day of Service on Jan. 19 followed by Obama's oath of office Jan. 20 in a private ceremony.

    The big day comes Jan. 21 when Obama publicly takes his oath then appears with First Lady Michelle Obama for several Inaugural Balls. 

    "There certainly will not be the sort of exultation you saw four years ago," Mike Cornfield, a George Washington University political science professor, told the Associated Press.

    "This is not a change that commands people's interest automatically," Cornfield said. "It's a confirmation of power."

    The AP notes that plenty of hotel rooms still haven't been booked two weeks before the inauguration whereas some hotels sold out months in advance four years ago.