WASHINGTON (AP) - In the nation's capital, it's the ultimate vanity plate: "44."
President-elect Barack Obama arrived in town Saturday night after a daylong train trip kicking off four days of inaugural celebrations. Cheering crowds of hundreds lined the streets near Union Station to welcome him.
Carrying the president-elect's entourage were two massive, specially reinforced and outfitted shiny black vehicles, one for Obama and his family and one as a decoy for security reasons. The numbers on their navy blue license plates read "44," a nod to the soon-to-be 44th president.
Sure, the 43rd president, George W. Bush, is still in town and in office. Yet many of the trappings of the presidency - intense security, hordes of aides, motorcades for his every movement and a permanent press entourage - have surrounded Obama for a while.
The Secret Service is putting a new presidential limousine in service for the new administration. Cadillac, which produced the new version for the government, recently unveiled the sleek, heavily armored vehicle. Most Americans will see it for the first time when it carries Obama to his inauguration on Tuesday.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)