Over the last few days, the media has compared images of Obama’s 2009 inauguration with images of Trump’s inauguration, thereby revealing that Obama’s inauguration drew larger crowds.
It is unsurprising that Obama should have attracted a larger audience given his popularity. Obama had an impressive oratory and an air of dignity to him. Further, Obama’s inauguration was that of America’s first black President. It represented a moment of great significance, relief and hope given America’s troubled history of slavery and segregation.
An improbable claim
A spokesman for Trump has since claimed that Trump’s inauguration drew a larger audience than Obama’s. According to Sean Spicer:
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe”
The pictures the media compared clearly show a larger crowd at Obama’s inauguration. On the basis of that evidence, few people are likely to believe the spokesman.
Trump’s administration could have simply waited for the national conversation to move on from what was essentially a trivial matter. Instead, it has responded with a claim which flies in the face of the available evidence.
Ironically, in claiming to have drawn the largest crowds ever, the Trump administration risks repelling people. Members of the public rarely appreciate attempts to mislead them, particularly when those attempts are as unconvincing and unnecessary as this one appears to be.