Inauguration Diary: One day to go

Even McCain voters are optimistic about Obama

The transition is almost over and although it has not been without the odd stumble, the popularity of Barack Obama seems only to have grown. A CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released yesterday suggests that the President-elect now enjoys an 84 per cent approval rating, up 5 points since the beginning of December. It also said that most Americans regard the inauguration as a rare opportunity for the country to come together. Even the occasional pothole along the road from Chicago to Washington, including the awkward proximity of the muck-spattered governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, has not dulled the halo. A separate New York Times- CBS News poll says that 79 per cent of Americans are optimistic about Obama's first term, including 58 per cent of those who voted for John McCain. All this giddiness means Mr Obama has further to fall once he starts governing. It is safe to assume that that change may take a little longer to deliver than advertised.

Comfort and vanity pale beside presidential safety

Oh, the myriad worries of Tuesday. What to wear at the swearing in – long-johns or no long-johns? How to travel – bus, underground or shoe leather? What to wear at the balls? Such questions of comfort and vanity may seem petty to the agencies for which only one thing matters: keeping the presidents – the 43rd and 44th – safe. Little has been left to chance. Two square miles around the Capitol have been fenced off. Anyone entering the Obama-zone will be screened and searched. Security cameras are everywhere, primed to relay live feeds to a Joint Operations Centre. The military will patrol the skies and the Potomac River and 4,000 DC police officers will be joined by another 4,000 from 99 departments in the region. And then there are the other security operations under the Secret Service that none of us will ever know about.

American capitalism cashes in on the party

The nation's capital is turning into a giant bazaar for all things Obama. Tuesday is the day the souvenir vendors hope to unload all those T-shirts and caps and squeeze their last dollars from Obama-mania. And who can blame them? But big corporations are jumping on the bandwagon too. Ikea, the house furnishing chain, has flooded the market with ads proclaiming "Change Begins at Home," while Pepsi has lined the city's underground platforms with posters bearing the words "Hope" and "Optimism", where the 'O's have been replaced by the company's logo. Who said capitalism is on the retreat?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower