Inauguration-goers had plenty of room to watch Donald Trump become the 45th president Friday.
Photos appear to show that Trump, whose campaign trail crowds snaked for blocks around jammed arenas, only managed to fill about half the National Mall in Washington D.C. The two blocks farthest from the west steps of the Capitol where the transfer of power unfolded were nearly empty — white patches in stark contrast to the same ceremony eight years earlier, when Barack Obama took the oath of office before a record-setting crowd estimated at almost 2 million people.
During Obama’s inauguration, StubHub and eBay refused to resell tickets to avoid sky-high resale prices. This time around, scalpers reportedly lost money. And earlier this month, the Trump team promoted Facebook ads selling tickets to the inauguration. The ads offered “limited edition, commemorative ticket as a keepsake to frame.”
In his inaugural address, Trump returned to his populist message of the disconnect between the successes of the Obama presidency and the voters who feel left behind. “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost,” he said. “Politicians prospered, but the jobs left. And the factories closed.”