12 JANUARY 2009

It is a history-defining event that will be watched by millions of people the world over, so it's only natural organisers want president elect Barack Obama's January 20 inauguration to be flawless. There was a chance to see how the ceremony is shaping up this week, when over 5,000 military and security personnel took part in the second of three scheduled run-throughs of the event.

A crowd of over 200 people stopped to watch the rehearsal at the US Capitol building in Washington DC. They didn't get to see the man of the moment, however. Mr Obama, who - along with his wife and children - was represented by a 'look-a-like' stand-in, was instead meeting diners at a fast food restaurant in the US capital when he stopped by on a lunch break.

As the Illinois statesman makes the last preparations for his takeover of the presidency and move to the White House, there's still one important issue left to be resolved - that of the First Dog. The 47-year-old politician is still to decide on the breed of puppy he's going to buy for his daughters Malia and Sasha.

This week he revealed the family had narrowed their choices to either a Portuguese water dog or a labradoodle - a cross between a labrador and a poodle. "We're now going to start looking at shelters," he said, adding jokingly: "This has been tougher than finding a commerce secretary!".

Photo: Getty Images
A stand-in for the President elect lifts his right hand to swear an oath of office during a run-through of the ceremony, which takes place for real next Tuesday
Photo: Getty Images
Meanwhile the man of the moment was meeting diners at a Washington DC fast food restaurant where he'd stopped to grab some lunch
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