From a congressional staffer e-mail:
Listening to the Fox News broadcast of the parade, Shep and Co. mentioned the empty seats along the parade route. Ceci Connelly said that folks were probably scared away by the ramped up security and the closing of metro stations. Perhaps if Fox had a camera outside the security gates, they would have seen the actual reason for the empty seats. At both the swearing-in and the parade, security – believe it or not – was totally undermanned for the crowds. I waited for two hours on Independence Ave to get onto the mall for the swearing in, but only made it half way to the gate in that time. I ended up returning to my office to watch the speech on tv. I have heard similar stories from the parade. The protesters blocking the way didn’t help either. At least I live in the D.C. area and had my office to go to. I feel sorry for the people who traveled across the country, only to miss the events because they were standing outside the security gates.