Obama's inauguration is not just his star-studded debut; it's also his first chance for a PR disaster. After the jump, a brief look at all the things that could go wrong on Day One:


  • DC cellphone networks collapse—This one is almost a sure thing. Want to call your mom back in Kansas and describe the moving scene for her? Sorry! (This could also have unfortunate implications for this site's planned ON-SCENE coverage).
  • Hellish gridlock on roads, in subways, and at checkpoints—Virtually guaranteed.
  • Trash, everywhere—Some people feel this is a near-impeachable offense. But Obama is sure to start his presidency in a city even more garbage-strewn than usual.
  • Drunken liberals breaking things—Celebrate Hope by knocking out a Republican Georgetown frat boy in Adams Morgan, pissing in a U Street alley, and waking up without your valuables somewhere on a Georgia Avenue vacant lot! Brought to you courtesy of the DC's temporary "Bars open late for Obama" ordinance.


  • An ugly, public bungled emergency—What happens when that little old lady in the middle of Row #4,316 gets ill in the middle of Obama's speech? Hopefully she is rushed out in an orderly manner. But of course there's always the possibility that she's elbowed to the ground by a hopeful throng and passes away, ruining everything for everyone.
  • DC street crime represents—Some obscure Missouri State Rep. goes over to Anacostia to buy some coke, is shot dead, the Midwest gives up on a racially united America, immediately.
  • Terrorism—Let's hope not.
  • Other unspeakable things—See above.

Surely the spirit of hope will pull us through! It would be a bit unfair for Obama to walk into the White House with a brand new reputation for incompetent disaster management. It took Bush, like, months to get that. In any case I'll be there, come say hey!