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Obama inauguration again draws big crowds, but not like 4 years ago

Monday - 1/21/2013, 5:08pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even though President Barack Obama's second inaugural again drew huge crowds to the National Mall, people who were there for both events say this one doesn't quite compare.

Sharon Davis of Maryland says there was "a lot of energy" today -- but that last time "it was just off the charts."

Today's festive crowd of flag-wavers filled the Mall to overflowing, and cheered Obama's swearing-in and his 18-minute inaugural address -- about the same length as his speech four years ago.

Skies today were overcast with a breeze, and the temperature was 40 degrees at noon -- sparing the crowd the biting cold morning of four years ago.

Metro officials said subway trains through downtown Washington this morning were no more crowded than they would be on a typical workday. The government is closed for the Martin Luther King holiday -- so the usual commuters were replaced by crowds headed to the inauguration.

One couple from South Carolina took a leisurely ride from their downtown hotel to Union Station. Four years ago, they had to walk across a bridge over the Potomac River. Terry Alexander says, "It was crazy. This is calm."

%@AP Links

171-s-31-(Sandy Kozel, AP correspondent along the parade route at Lafayette Park near the White House)--Tens of thousands of people are lining the inauguration parade route. AP correspondent Sandy Kozel reports. (21 Jan 2013)

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145-a-06-(Gwendolyn Brown, visitor from Philadelphia, in AP interview)-"like President Obama"-Spectator Gwendolyn Brown says she's excited about the future. (21 Jan 2013)

<> 00:06 "like President Obama"

GRAPHICSBANK: US President Barack Obama delivers inaugural address during 57th inauguration ceremony, Washington DC, graphic element on gray (21 Jan 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: US President Barack Obama (l) receives the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts (bottom, c) during ceremonial swearing-in at US Presidential inauguration ceremony with US First Lady Michelle Obama (r) holding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lincoln bibles, Washington DC, on texture with 57TH INAUGURATION lettering, finished graphic (21 Jan 2013)

APPHOTO CAP311: A crowd fills up the National Mall before at the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (21 Jan 2013)

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APPHOTO DCJL105: President Barack Obama supporters arrive on the National Mall in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, for President Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana) (21 Jan 2013)

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APPHOTO WX874: President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 in Washington, during his ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool) (21 Jan 2013)

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