The 2013 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama is a confusing one. Obama will be sworn in this year not once, but twice (and no it’s not because Chief Justice John Roberts is going to screw up again – not that we know of anyway). He’s being sworn in twice because the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the Inauguration must take place on January 20. But this year, that date falls on a Sunday. And that means Obama will be officially sworn in during a private shindig at noon on Sunday, and then take a public oath of office during the Inauguration ceremony at noon on Monday in front of a crowd of around 700,000 people.
In addition to the public swearing-in ceremony, there’s a whole bunch of other Inauguration festivities, which start on Saturday and run until Tuesday. So prepare yourself for a weekend of non-stop Inauguration – because that’s what you’re going to get.
With all that out of the way, here is a quick, not-confusing guide to how to watch, tweet, and follow the 2013 Presidential Inauguration online.
Watch on the Web
Unlike the Olympics, broadcast of the Inauguration will not be locked down by television networks. In fact, it’s going to be available all over the place. Here are a variety of places you can watch the Inauguration online. Pick your poison:
- C-SPAN: The best option if you don’t want to listen to a bunch of talking heads, C-SPAN will start streaming the Barack Obama Inauguration pagentry starting on Saturday and provide an Inauguration stream all the way through Tuesday. C-SPAN’s broadcast of the ceremony and parade will start at 7am ET on Monday.
- Hulu/Fox: Broadcast will run from 12 to 2pm ET, using the Fox News feed. You can also watch a rerun of the ceremony after it concludes.
- ABC News/YouTube: Broadcast starts at 9am ET, and will run until 11pm ET. ABC will also feature Obama’s signing in on its website from 11:30am to 1:30pm ET.
- Fox News: Not so happy about Obama’s second term? Then Fox New’s live stream is the way to go. Broadcast will start at 8am ET on Monday.
- NBC News: Video stream will begin at 10am ET, and run all day. NBC pundits will be providing “full analysis” of the ceremony, so get excited for that.
- CNN: We assume CNN is going to be all over this Inauguration (it already is), but there are few details about its broadcast schedule. If you’re a diehard CNN fan (anybody, anybody?), just check out this page. And we’re sure the stream will pop up on CNN’s live feed sometime Monday morning.
- CBS News: Live broadcast starts for CBS News at 10am ET. The channel will also cover it again in its 6:30pm CBS Evening News broadcast, which will be followed by an hour-long Katie Couric special.
- Livestation: If you’re looking for an outside perspective, Livestation will provide coverage of the Inauguration on Monday from a variety of foreign news outlets, like BBC and Sky News.
Twitter is going to be an Inauguration clusterfudge on Monday. But if you want to dive in to the 140-character madness, here are the hashtags and some accounts to follow:
- #inaug2013: Official Twitter hashtag for the Inauguration.
- #inauguration: Another popular hashtag for the Inauguration. Other probable variations include #innauguration #inageration #innaugeration and #ernageracion.
- #iserve: For tweets centered around the National Day of Service (Saturday)
- #tcot: Conservative commentators are apparently tweeting under this hashtag.
- #p2: Liberals are using this one.
Note: You can pretty much assume something strange, hilarious, slightly off, or completely wild will happen during Monday’s ceremony, which will immediately trigger some “viral” hashtag that will suck up all the action. Be on the lookout for that – or, better yet, create one yourself.
Who to follow
There are a ton of Twitter accounts to follow, but here are the main ones.
- @obamainaugural: Official Presidential Inauguration Committee twitter account.
- @PRZInauguration: Unofficial Inauguration account that has been around since 2009, and is back up and running this year.
- @jccic2013: The account of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which is putting on this year’s bash.
- @BarackObama: President Obama’s account – though we doubt he’ll be taking time to tweet himself.
- @MichelleObama: The First Lady’s official account.
- @WhiteHouse: Official White House Twitter account.
- @PeteSouza: Official White House photographer, Souza has shot some of the best pictures of President Obama in existence.
- @marineband: The Twitter account of the National Marine Corps Band, which performs at the Inauguration every year.
- @SecretService: The official account of the Secret Service; where to watch if things go haywire.
For news networks, don’t follow every one individually. Just subscribe to this comprehensive list by Reuters Social Media Editor Anthony De Rosa, which includes “every news organization in the world.” And here are lists for every news blog, “great” news editors, and every political reporter on Twitter. (Thanks, Anthony, for saving us all a bunch of legwork!)
Of course, there will be a whole lot about the Inauguration going on over at Facebook. Here are some of the Facebook pages to “Like” before Monday (if you’re into that kind of thing). Keep in mind that a lot of the news organizations will be hosting Inauguration-related chats on their Facebook pages, just in case you want to throw even more on top of this pile.
On Instagram, the best bet is to follow the same hashtags listed under the Twitter section. But for some possible behind-the-scenes shots, check out the (currently underused) official Barack Obama Instagram feed.
If you want to enjoy the 2013 Inauguration on the go, your best bet is to download one of the many related apps. They are as follows:
- Inaugural 2013 app: The official app of the Inauguration will carry a live stream of the ceremony. But be warned: Some say that this app, released by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, will collect data on users, and possibly sign them up for left-leaning emails and other literature.
- NBC Politics app for iOS (iTunes): You’ll be able to watch a live stream of the Inauguration from this app, as well.
- CBS News app
- Fox News app
- CNN app
- ABC News app
And that about does it. Have some other account, hashtag, live stream, or website you think should be on here? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it to the mix.