WASHINGTON – If second inaugurations are not as exciting as the first, Hollywood apparently didn’t get the memo.
Perched with one of the best seats of the day, there was actress Eva Longoria (most famous for her role on “Desperate Housewives”). Nearby was musician John Legend.
In a seat below the podium, in an area between journalists and space reserved for spouses of congressional members, in walked singer Katy Perry (known for unconventional fashion tastes, she was in an orange and black knitted sweater) and her boyfriend, singer John Mayer (black tie).
As a bodyguard escorted them away briefly, a Washington Post reporter asked Perry whether she was glad to be there. “Yes,” she said. “Proud.”
Musician Stevie Wonder was escorted to the second row, just below the podium where Obama was sworn in, and singer Cyndi Lauper was in a VIP section.
Cheers went up when Beyonce, who sang the national anthem, entered with her husband, Jay-Z.
Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell was spotted on the Capitol steps wearing a Celtics cap (though he was mistakenly identified by ABC host George Stephanopoulos as actor Morgan Freeman ). Actor Omar Epps was there, along with actor Marlon Wayans.
There was some political royalty there as well. Two former presidents – Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton – were there, while two others – George H.W. Bush, and his son George W. Bush – were not. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also opted not to attend, being the first losing candidate not to appear at the inauguration since Michael Dukakis in 1989.
Another Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, had prime seats with his wife, Callista.
Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, was wearing aviator sunglasses; Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, stood by in a cowboy hat. Representative Edward J. Markey, a Malden Democrat, took numerous photos with his phone, capturing images before and after President Obama took the stage and perhaps finding a few celebrities in the crowd.Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.