Obama prepares for inauguration

Barack Obama arrived in Washington on Monday to prepare for his inauguration as United States...

United States President Barack Obama. Picture: Mandy Wiener/Eyewitness News

Barack Obama arrived in <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><state w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Washington on Monday to prepare for his inauguration as United States President.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

He landed at Andrews Air Force Base just outside the capital on board a Boeing 757.

Obama will spend the next two weeks living in a hotel before moving into the White House after being sworn in on 20 January.

His hopes for a smooth transition were dealt a blow after one of his key appointments stepped down.

Bill Richardson, the governor of <state w:st="on"><place w:st="on">New Mexico, withdrew from the key post of commerce secretary following a legal inquiry into his business associations.

About 100 well-wishers and two dozen protesters braved the winter chill to greet the president-elect where heavy security encircled the historic Hay-Adam hotel near the White House.