Inauguration ‘red carpet’ tradition
At some point on Monday’s Inauguration Day, if all goes as 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 and the first lady will emerge from his car for a several-minute stroll. The crowd will cheer. Barack Obama will wave.
In that moment, Pennsylvania Avenue is America’s red carpet. And the president and first lady are the only celebrities on it. The victory walk has become an iconic inaugural moment, one expected by the public and the press. Posted on January 19, 2013.
President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter walk during the inauguration parade in front of the White House in 1977. (The Associated Press)
President Ronald Reagan gives a thumbs up sign to the crowd as his wife, first lady Nancy Reagan, waves from limousine during the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1981.
President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush in 1989.
President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton and daughter Chelsea wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue Monday Jan. 20, 1997 to start the presidential inaugural parade. (Greg Gibson/The Associated Press)
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush walk during the inauguration parade in front of the White House. Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, in Washington. (Doug Mills/The Associated Press)
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama waving as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House from the Capitol. (Doug Mills/The Associated Press)