Waiting for Obama to come to his new home

Charles Dharapak/AP
The new presidential limousine is parked on the north driveway of the White House before it transports President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama to the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol

Behind the scenes at the White House, residence staffers are scurrying to prepare the second floor living quarters for the Obama family while the new president and first lady eat lunch on Capitol Hill.

But the 93 member residence staff works is unpacking clothes and family photographs in parts of the Executive Mansion that the press cannot see.

The new house

Here is what can be seen while waiting for Mr. Obama to come to his new home.

At 12:54 p.m. as President Obama was walking George and Laura Bush to their helicopter for the flight to Andrews Air Force Base, there were only two occupied seats in the White House briefing room -- and one of those occupants was dozing.

Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, was not yet visible. For Gibbs's first briefing on Wednesday, the scene likely will be very different, with every seat filled.

A solitary Secret Service agent guarded the briefing room early Tuesday afternoon. A District of Columbia fire engine was parked outside the briefing room door. Its presence was a precautionary measure. It would be difficult to get a fire engine through the crowd gathered around the White House for the inaugural parade.


The bleachers in front of the White House were filling with spectators. A man on a loudspeaker was posing trivia questions to help pass the time for those who gathered in the 22 degree Washington weather. "Is it a red or a white stripe at the top of the flag?" he asked. Red is the answer.

Walking in front of the presidential parade reviewing stand outside the White House, you can see cue cards to help marching bands remember where the were supposed to look.

"Bands render honors here" and "Eyes left" say the signs and marchers approach President Obama's seat behind bulletproof glass. Once marchers have passed the president, another cue card says "Eyes right."

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