By BRITAIN EAKIN, TIM RYAN & BRANDI BUCHMAN
WASHINGTON (CN) – Braving a cold drizzle before sunrise, hundreds have gathered Friday in the shadow of the Capitol to get a glimpse of history for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.
Already Looking to the Future
"I bet you haven't seen a 2020 Trump card,” said Tom Mendenhall, 68, putting aside his Trump 2016 banner to show off the genuine article. “We're ready to go.”
Wearing a Make America Great Again cap over a winter beanie, Mendenhall made the trek from Columbia, Missouri, where he was an assistant state coordinator for the Trump campaign.
"I'm feeling so good you wouldn't believe it," he said.
In a Trump administration, Mendenhall said he is looking forward to the president-elect "cutting back on a lot of these regulations” and "getting things going again."
"It’s going take a while to drain the swamp,” the voter acknowledged, but said the Democrats had their chance.
"They haven't done anything really for the working guy or anything,” he said. “They've had eight years, and we're another $9 trillion in debt.”
Fool Me Once
Eli Valentine had a short trip out to the inauguration from Virginia Beach. He said he hopes to show that there are black Trump supporters.
"I got fooled by Obama," Valentine said. "I thought that Obamacare was going to be something that was going to be really good for America. It turned out backfiring on us. I don't like how our position has weakened in the world. Our military seems to have weakened under President Obama."
Valentine voted for Obama in 2008 but jumped behind Trump when the billionaire announced he would be running. He said he believes Trump will deliver the American dream for his children.
Mary Glaston said she was thrilled to be in town, but the smattering of rain this morning has caused one regret.
“I wish I wouldn't have worn this dress,” Glaston said, touching the hem of a beige mohair shift. "It's Dolce & Gabbana. I regret wearing it, but at least the shoes are right.”
On her feet, the wealth adviser sported Adidas tennis shoes with gold accents.
"I've been ready for this moment since November, and I'm ready to see a peaceful transition of power,” Glaston said.
Dr. W.R. Elizondo, 86, has been invited to four inaugurations, but Trump’s is the first he's attended. After the festivities today, the former Marine sergeant and his wife will fly to France on Saturday for a ski trip. His fur hat boasts nearly a dozen pins from past European ski vacations.
Hailing from San Antonio, Texas, Elizondo said he thinks Trump is bringing people together. “I think he's got the vision, I think he's got the desire, he's got the motivation, he's got the energy – the youthness – even though he's 69 or so,” Elizondo said. “But I think that he can do it because he's got the drive."
Elizondo is excited about job creation under Trump, who turned 70 in June. The voter came to the inauguration armed with photographs he and his family have taken with past presidents like Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy.