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January 21, 2009 9:08 PM

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At 30 Degrees, A Warm Welcome Nonetheless

I was one of the million-plus who stood on the National Mall Tuesday for four hours (or more) in 30 degree temperatures, and to answer your question, no, I wasn't cold.Adrenaline and body heat kept me warm through President Obama's...

I was one of the million-plus who stood on the National Mall Tuesday for four hours (or more) in 30 degree temperatures, and to answer your question, no, I wasn't cold.

Adrenaline and body heat kept me warm through President Obama's speech. But that's not to say that I, and my compatriots, didn't come prepared. There were more floor-length fur coats on women (and men) than I ever expected to see.
A few adults and kids wore full-on snow suits; one guy wore his winter-ready Fed Ex uniform for warmth. Hats ran the gamut from fur to wool knit beanies, most of them adorned with Obama's name or likeness in one way or another. One guy who appeared to be in his  20s or 30s even sported a top hat, though it wasn't clear whether it was to ward off the cold or a nod to Abraham Lincoln.

And of course, if you didn't come with Obama merch, it could be bought from any of the dozens of vendors around the Capitol. There were Obama watches, pins, posters and T-shirts - which were far from appealing in the freezing weather. But, hey, this is the nation of Free Enterprise and as one creative salesman noted, the tees could be "wrapped around your neck and worn as a scarf."
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