December 2, 2008

No We Can't! Strollers Banned At Obamafest09

Longtime DT reader Buck sends word that infants and kids may have a rough go of it at Obama's inauguration next month. The US Capitol Police have banned baby strollers, backpacks, thermoses and large bags from the secured audience area around the Capitol during the swearing-in ceremony. Then there's this:

Direct questions regarding the admittance of items required for child care to the U.S. Capitol Police at 202-512-1226.

The Swearing-in Ceremony is a outdoor event held on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Inauguration day is typically cold--normally 37° F at noon--and occasionally wet.

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened immune system. A vast majority of attendees will be in standing room sections and should be prepared to be on their feet for several hours.

I tried calling a couple of times and got voicemail, so no word on what kinds of food or drink is permitted, or whether Baby Bjorns or slings will be allowed. Still, I'm sure that the GWU grad student who's renting you his walk-in closet for $5,000/night will be happy to watch the kid for, say, an additional $2,500/hr.

Inaugural 2009 | Plan Your Trip [inaugural.senate.gov]

3 Comments

I can understand the safety concerns surrounding small children, but why not set up some specific family-friendly events? The President-elect's children are young enough to warrant some events welcoming them into the White House too! With events being scheduled all week long, certainly we can come up with some kid friendly ones too!

Should we form a committee?

the kid-unfriendliness wrt strollers and gear is just for seeing the swearing-in and speech from the capitol grounds. there are going to be jumbotrons all along Penn. Ave and the mall, so there are/should be plenty of more kid-compatible spaces.

I don't think the Capitol police are picking on families. It's a security issue, not only for the President-elect but everyone else. Can you imagine if some enthusiastic soul sets off a firecracker? Secret Service pounce, crowds panic, people are trampled to death (hey, if it happens at a WalMart opening with a few thousand people, can you imagine 100K+ heading for the exits?) Backpacks and thermoses are ideal for carting around explosives and biological weapons. I mean, if I were a terrorist, here's an ideal spot to wreak whatever brand of terror I can manage to pull off, live and televised world-wide. Secret Service folks must be sweating bullets right now (no pun intended) trying to secure the area to make sure NOTHING happens except the peaceful transition of power we expect.

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