Hoedown in the Capitol

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This morning in Washington, fighter jets are patrolling the airspace and the manhole covers have been welded shut.

Revelers from last night’s Black Tie and Boots Ball are rubbing their bleary eyes and suiting up to watch President Bush place his hand on the family bible for his second inauguration. The last time he took the stage the country was at peace in the world, but political tensions at home over the 2000 election were roiling. This year, America is at war and the President’s victory is undisputed.

And so the party planners are rolling out a $40 million fete — with fireworks, parties and celebrity spectacles all bought and paid for by corporate and Republican donors. There are balls for the wounded soldiers and for wealthy Texans and giant TV screens for the public to watch democracy celebrating itself…again. We look in on the party and what’s ahead in Bush’s second term.


Pam Fessler, NPR reporter covering Homeland Security

Martha Joynt Kumar, Professor of Political Science at Towson University

Carl Cannon, White House Correspondent for The National Journal

George Terpilowksi, General Manager of The Fairmont Washington.