Bay Area Obama-Lovers Arrive in D.C. for Big Bash

Inuagural festivities are only days away

Bay Area residents are beginning to arrive in Washington, D.C., to participate in inaugural activities and witness history as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take the reins as the nation's first black commander in chief.

Noah Hart, 31, who lives in San Francisco's Cole Valley, arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday night and is staying with a friend in Maryland.

He worked as a volunteer on Obama's campaign and, although he doesn't have tickets to any official inaugural events, wanted to be in the nation's capital to take part in the excitement.

Hart works as a wine specialist at Whole Foods Market in San Mateo and studied political science at Tufts University.

"I've always been into politics, finally I thought I had a candidate that had a chance to win and that I also believed in wholeheartedly," Hart said.

"He's intelligent and well spoken and I think that he believes truly in what he's doing," he said.

Hart said he also liked that Obama "took a moral high ground during the campaign."

Friday morning Hart was still waiting for his luggage to arrive but planned to head into Washington later in the day to go sightseeing.

Sunnyvale resident Kristin Rasmussen, 28, arrived in Washington early Thursday morning. She bought her plane tickets after winning a ticket to the inaugural swearing-in ceremony through U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo's office.

Rasmussen, who grew up in Palo Alto, said she doesn't know anyone else in the District of Columbia but decided to come on her own.

"It's going to be a great moment, a historic moment, and I decided to be here," she said.

"I've supported Obama ever since he was running against Hillary," she said.

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