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WP: Obama Inauguration Sets Right Tone

From the front page of the positively giddy Washington Post:

For Obama, a Party Tempered by Tough Times

By Alec MacGillis
Saturday, January 17, 2009; A01

When a train pulls out of Philadelphia today carrying President-elect Barack Obama on a symbolic journey to Washington, it will set off a four-day inaugural celebration of unprecedented ambition that has been calibrated to strike a balance between marking a moment many thought would never come and setting a tone that suits the sober economic times.

The event’s planners want to conjure optimism about the country’s ability to rebound from a deep downturn, yet do not want to create unrealistic expectations for Obama — a tension that will dominate the early months of his administration. So they have tried to take into account the reality of the times while satisfying the desire to celebrate the first black president in the nation’s history and the first Democratic commander in chief in eight years

After weeks of anticipation, that experience will officially begin today, as the first of hundreds of thousands of out-of-town visitors descend on a Washington that, despite frigid temperatures, was making final preparations for their arrival…

The official welcoming event in the District will be tomorrow, a star-studded show in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Planners will try to infuse the celebrity gala with sobriety by having the musicians and actors deliver thematically linked performances instead of just a collection of greatest hits — though those selected to give readings include Hollywood stars not known for their gravity. To further ground the celebrations in the needs of the moment, the main theme Monday will be community service — that is, until nightfall, when revelers will head to a slew of inaugural eve galas…

Planners say the first priority of Obama and his wife, Michelle, was that the inauguration be as inclusive as possible, in keeping with a campaign driven by grass-roots support…

But the expected size of the crowds and the tough security measures have raised concerns about how open the celebration will really be. The inaugural committee’s tight grip on information has also made the planning process less than transparent.

In a video about the inauguration released this week, Obama almost seemed to encourage people to stay away if they are worried about the conditions they would encounter. Tuesday will "mean long lines, a tough time getting around and most of all, a lot of walking on what could be a very cold winter day. Fortunately, you don’t have to brave the crowds and commotion in order to participate in this celebration," he said, before listing activities on preceding days or ways to watch on TV…

John Clemons, for one, is undaunted. He is a lawyer from southern Illinois who has known Obama since he was a state senator and who reserved his hotel room in Washington long before Obama clinched the Democratic nomination.

He fully expects the Obama team to "keep to their tradition of staging phenomenal events," and he sees nothing wrong with putting on a big celebration at a time of economic crisis.

"There’s a kind of human nature thing where you party before the bad times, like that the Band song ‘The Last Waltz,’ " he said. "Well, this is the last waltz. We’re going to have some hard times in 2009, so I’m spending my money now."

Mind you, as we have noted, the mainstream media (including the BBC, the AP and the New York Times) were all spitting nails about the extravagance of Mr. Bush’s 2004 inaugural – which cost a mere $40 million dollars. (All of it private funds.)

Meanwhile, we have articles like this about a coronation that is estimated to top $150 million, and will probably exceed that. In these supposedly Depression-like economic times.

But there is no media bias. Just ask any reporter.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, January 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “WP: Obama Inauguration Sets Right Tone”

  1. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Nobody parties harder than the democrats. Unfortunately it’s the average American citizen that often foots the bill for the extravagances.Can somebody please explain to me why the MSM is outraged over Bush’s 2004 inauguration cost of 40 million but won’t bat an eye over Obama’s 150 plus million coronation? Am I missing something here?

    • Liberals Demise says:

      When you’ve been handed 350,000.00 MILLION $$ to dole out as you please on day one with NO oversight…..you can party like it’s 1999 (plus 10). We are the only ones raising hell about this but the blinders have been handed out and the giddy “O”bamians are waiting for that special elation only know to Hilter worship, Beatle Mania and Elvis. Watch for the little rivers of yellow as “HE” assends to the THRONE!
      As for me I think its time to get my teeth drilled and blow air on the open holes (for maxium effect). Hope I don’t piss my pants. I might be mistaken for a Obamanite.

  2. DW says:

    Here’s a really surprising article from the Associated Press:

    Obama hosting pricey party in a dicey economy, but Democrats not worried


    WASHINGTON – Unemployment is up. The stock market is down. Let’s party.

    The price tag for president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration gala is expected to break records, with some estimates reaching as high as $150 million. Despite the bleak economy, however, Democrats who called on President George W. Bush to be frugal four years ago are issuing no such demands now that an inaugural weekend of rock concerts and star-studded parties has begun.

    Obama’s inaugural committee has raised more than $41 million to cover events ranging from a Philadelphia-to-Washington train ride to a megastar concert with Beyonce, U2 and Bruce Springsteen to 10 official inaugural balls. Add to that the massive costs of security and transportation – costs absorbed by U.S. taxpayers – and the historic inauguration will produce an equally historic bill.

    In 2005, Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) asked Bush to show a little less pomp and be a little more circumspect at his party…

    Full article:

    They do attempt some spin later in the article but even so, it’s pretty amazing to see the AP run something like this.

  3. AmericanIPA says:

    Community service will be the theme and the community organizer will be the VIP. Isn’t this inspiring? Makes me want to go do something for my community. Oh, that’s right, I already do. I pay more taxes than I should so a large portion of the “community” can have their time free to complain about how much of my money I get to keep.

  4. VMAN says:

    I got the impression from the AP article that they were trying to spin it in such a way that the O’s inauguration is going to cost less than Bush’s and that most of the O’s inauguration was going to be offset by funds from the MSM. I would say before it is all said and done that the MSM is going to have the O’s inauguration making money for the country.

  5. Penman81 says:

    Bush’s inauguration was indeed around $40 million, but that does not include security costs which have been given in a NYTimes article as around $115 million. Obama’s inauguration costs (though unknown until it’s all over) are given and DO include security costs. Right now, it looks like the difference in spending is only about $5 million more. Time will tell, of course, and I have no doubt it will exceed that. But come on people, let’s at least compare apples to apples here.

  6. sheehanjihad says:

    actually, if you check the NYT archives…Bush’s entire inauguration cost a shade over 40 million. You can be sure of it because the people sent to dig up every last cent did everything they could to pad it and make it sound terrible….but that was the total cost…because the times included security at the time, even breaking down what departments cost what….police, sheriffs, state police, secret service, swat, seals, delta force commandos, national guard, and all of the related equipment. Obama is spending 150 million on his inauguration, and the msm is blowing smoke about that including security. It isnt. But they will never report it as such, because people believe whatever they print without question, and those that do question are shouted down for insulting the great one in his time of triumph. But the NYT dug up every ounce of dirt they could on the Bush inaug…..so I am positive those figures are correct, albeit inflated even then.

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