No stop at Independence Hall, or the Liberty Bell, or the steps of the Art Museum? If this is supposed to be a grand send off, where is the grand? where is the send off? The inauguration committee has been touting this as a retracing of Lincoln's 1861 trip to D.C. When honest Abe came to Philly he toured and spoke at Independence Hall in front of a crowed of 30,000 people. Not this time. A missed opportunity.
Here in Charm City the Obama Express will stop at the War Memorial, and the city is expecting crowds in upwards of 150,000. A far cry from Lincoln's visit in 1861 when he was secretly skirted between the the President Street and Camden Stations, because of an assassination plot (and general rabble rousing) and then onto DC with no fan fare. When the Baltimore crowds showed up to see the train Lincoln was supposed to be on, he was already in Washington.
Don't get me wrong, I love the nostalgia of it, bringing back memories of Presidential arrivals from years past. But this isn't your normal Teddy Roosevelt kind of whistle-stop. The Obama Express will be blowing down the Northeast Corridor at 125 MPH on a charter Acela. Don't expect to stand to close to the track at the stations along the way to to wave because local police will be along the whole route. I'm sure people will still line the right-of-way as he's passing through, just like they have had for every other president who has taken a train anywhere.
If you're in town on Saturday, head on down to War Memorial Plaza and check it out, should be interesting.