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posted: 1/19/2013 5:18 AM

Presidential strut now iconic inaugural moment

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  • President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House from the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.

      President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave as they walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House from the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009.
    Associated Press file photo

  • President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter started the tradition of walking down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington after being sworn in as president.

      President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter started the tradition of walking down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington after being sworn in as president.
    Associated Press file photo

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- President Jimmy Carter wasn't thinking about starting a tradition in 1977 when he walked the inauguration parade route from the Capitol to the White House.

But when the president's limousine stops and the newly sworn-in commander in chief emerges from his car for a several-minute stroll, Pennsylvania Avenue becomes America's red carpet. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be its only celebrities. The victory walk has become an iconic inaugural moment, one expected by the public and the press.

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Charlie Brotman has been the announcer for the inaugural parade for decades and says the crowd never tires of the moment.

Carter was the last president to walk the entire route, a little over a mile long. During his first inauguration, the Obamas walked about six blocks.

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