President-elect Barack Obama will journey to the nation's capital for his historic inauguration by train, his inaugural committee announced today.
The trip on Jan. 17 -- three days before his swearing-in -- is designed to highlight the inaugural theme of "Renewing America's Promise" by reviving a tradition of presidential whistlestop tours and by stopping in cities crucial to the American story: starting in Philadelphia, where independence was declared in 1776, and Baltimore, where the national anthem was penned to honor the War of 1812. In between, Obama will pick up Vice President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del.
"As part of the most open and accessible Inauguration in history, we hope to include as many Americans as possible who wish to participate, but can't be in Washington," Emmett S. Beliveau, the inaugural committee's executive director, said in a statement. "These events will allow us to do that while honoring the rich history and tradition of previous inaugural journeys."
Obama, who is patterning his Cabinet choices in part after President Lincoln's team of rivals, is taking another page out of the Lincoln playbook for the train excursion.
Lincoln took a train all the way from the state capital of Springfield, Ill., where Obama announced his presidential bid in February 2007, to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration in 1861.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.