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Photos From the
Scene: Inauguration Day 

Photos From the
Scene: Inauguration Day 


The entertainment industry moves east to D.C. for Barack Obama's inauguration. catches stars including Oprah, Denzel Washington, and Beyonce.

A sea of people, many of them starting their journey as early as 4 in the morning, spilled into the National Mall from directions north, south, east and west to watch Barack Obama become the 44th President of the United States. But over an hour before the President raised his right hand, those from America's other power base -- the entertainment industry -- moved into place to catch their piece of history. was up front and center to capture some of the biggest names in the business as they claimed their front-row seats to the swearing in.

Beyonce and Jay-Z mingled with Sean "Diddy" Combs. Oprah swept in with her service detail to cries from the crowd. And Caroline Kennedy, the perfect blend of star power and politics, chatted graciously with passersby.

Make no mistake, though -- Barack Obama has quickly moved beyond political stardom to becoming a full-fledged commodity. Even as some street vendors sold legitimate souvenirs like Obama pins, magnets, T-shirts and even hand puppets, others simply attached his name to whatever they were peddling.

"Getch your Obama water and nuts here," shouted one man. Water and nuts? And apparently D.C. yoga studios are now capitalizing on Barack's Obamaessance, as evidenced by the Ohm-bama poster at the end of this photo collage (yes, seeing is believing).

Barack, apparently, is a one-man commercial phenom -- selling like hotcakes even as the rest of the nation's business withers on the vine. And today, millions of people watched with wonder, hoped beyond reason, and said a little prayer that the new commander-in-chief could sell America on itself again.

Beyonce Knowles

Sean "Diddy" Combs

Denzel Washington (left) Angela Bassett, and Samuel L. Jackson

Caroline Kennedy

Oprah Winfrey

Beyonce and Jay-Z

Don King and Advocate political editor Kerry Eleveld

Obama Yoga

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Kerry Eleveld