NBC News-Washington is almost ready for the inauguration.
Massive security barriers are going into place, along with bleachers along Pennsylvania Avenue
for Monday's inaugural parade.
But since a huge crowd, full of hope, saw the first Obama swearing in America has lowered its expectations.
Only 35% of those interviewed in the latest NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll say the country is headed in the right direction.
President Obama's approval rating stands at 52%, his likeability at 61%.
Only 29% say he's working effectively with Congress, and there's new conflict.
Responding to the president's declaration that he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling, Republicans have backed down.
They now say they'll raise the borrowing limit, but only for three months.
If Democrats don't agree to a budget of deep spending cuts by April, they'll cut off lawmakers' paychecks.
The White House is looking on the bright side, calling it "encouraging" that Republicans are backing off holding the economy hostage to get drastic cuts in programs like Medicare.