Our own Hamilton Nolan has been braving the chaos and lack of cell phone coverage in DC to get a glimpse of Barack Obama's big day. He just got through:

We got off the train at 11:30 in China Town. Barack was speaking at 12. We pushed through the crowds behind the White House and at 11:45 we came to a crowd stopped four blocks from the mall and we were stuck. We were about to turn around when a gate magically opened. The crowd surged ahead and we made it to a jumbotron on the mall just in time to see barack take the oath. It was the power of hope in action. We were behind the Washington monument and it was solid people as far as the eye could see. when Obama came on everyone shut up and listened to his speech. After the speech Bush's helicopter flew over us on the way to the airport and everyone just started jeering at him and flicking him off. At least, I did. Now the streets are just packed and T-shirt vendors are desperately trying to sell their wares.