Presidential strut is now iconic inaugural moment

Topics: From the Wires,

Presidential strut is now iconic inaugural momentFILE - This Jan. 20, 2009 file-pool, photo shows President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama waving as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House from the Capitol in Washington. At some point on Inauguration Day, if all goes expected, the president’s limousine will slow to a stop on its journey down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. A Secret Service agent will open the rear passenger door, and the newly sworn-in president will emerge from his car for a several-minute stroll. The crowd will cheer. The president will wave. In that moment, Pennsylvania Avenue is America’s red carpet. And the president is the only celebrity on it. The victory walk has become an iconic inaugural moment, one expected by the public and the press. And though the tradition dates only to President Jimmy Carter, it has already developed an air of inevitability and predictable patterns. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File, Pool) (Credit: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Jimmy Carter wasn’t thinking about starting a tradition in 1977 when he walked the inauguration parade route from the Capitol to the White House.

But when the president’s limousine stops and the newly sworn-in commander in chief emerges from his car for a several-minute stroll, Pennsylvania Avenue becomes America’s red carpet. President Barack Obama and first Lady Michelle Obama will be its only celebrities. The victory walk has become an iconic inaugural moment, one expected by the public and the press.

Charlie Brotman has been the announcer for the inaugural parade for decades and says the crowd never tires of the moment.

Carter was the last president to walk the entire route, a little over a mile long. During his first inauguration, the Obamas walked about six blocks.

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