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Most Expensive Inauguration . . . Ever!

By Wyatt Earp | January 19, 2009

bush-inauguralAnd it will be more than four times the cost of Bush’s second inauguration. It’s okay, though, the HopeyChange is more than worth it, right?

I’m sure the mainstream media will slam Obama for this excessive spending any moment now . . .

As the recession continues to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy and inauguration celebrations ramp up, a lot of people are asking: “How much will this shindig cost?”

The short answer? More than $150 million — and yep, that’s the most expensive ever. (By comparison, George W. Bush’s 2005 inauguration cost $42.3 million. Bill Clinton managed with $33 million in 1993.)

For the first time, President Bush has declared an emergency in Washington, D.C. to supplement the $15 million Congress has already allotted for security measures. It’s no surprise that security costs are sky-high — Barack Obama received Secret Service protection very early in his presidential run and record crowds (likely anywhere from 1.5 to 3 million people) are expected for the record number of events. In fact, the Secret Service will be in charge of security not just for inauguration day, but for four days, starting Saturday with Obama’s train ride from Philadelphia.

Whew! I’m sure glad the country is not in the middle of an economic crisis, or I’d be worried.

The First Hoopdie also costs a bundle, but that’s alright, because “it’s very cool-looking.”

Obama’s much-discussed (and very cool-looking) custom Cadillac limo certainly couldn’t come cheap, though we’ll never really know how much it cost. Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said the car’s exact specifications are a big secret, including the safety features and production cost.

In fairness, we don’t seem to be paying for it – or are we?

The good news for taxpayers: Inaugural celebrations are paid for by the inaugural committee — and Obama has, once again, been a very successful fundraiser — at least $35 million by recent counts. (H/T – )

Oh, and for those of you with really short memories, the same AP slammed the Bush administration for their “extravagant” affair in 2005. Either way, $150 million is a ridiculous amount for an ego stroke.

Topics: Politics | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “Most Expensive Inauguration . . . Ever!”

  1. Old NFO Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 1:43 am

    The MSM won’t say s**t about it… That would be “criticism” of the lightbringer, which is not allowed…

  2. Glocksman Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Bringing up the new limo is not being fair to Obama as the Secret Service replaced the presidential limo both in 2001 and 2005 for GWB, and the design was finalized long before November 2008.

    As for the rest of it, the article is dishonest in claiming the Bush inauguration cost only $42.5 million.

    From the NYT on 1/06/09:

    In 2005, Mr. Bush raised $42.3 million from about 15,000 donors for festivities; the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers.

    From the same article:

    The $24 million puts Mr. Obama more than halfway toward the goal of raising $40 million to $45 million for what could be the most expensive inauguration ever, topping the $42.3 million that President Bush spent in 2005.

    If Obama raises the $45 million, that’s hardly the almost four times what Bush raised for his own inauguration.

    The only way the author of that piece can claim a cost of $150+ million is to add the state and local costs to the committee spending.

    Note that if we apply the same standard to the 2005 shindig, ($42.3 million + $115.5 million) we come up with a figure of $157.8 million for Bush’s 2005 inauguration.

    Finally, consider that only 400,000 or so were at the 2005 inauguration, while over 2 million are expected this Tuesday.

    Your point that attacking Bush’s spending while not saying a word about Obama’s is valid, but whoever wrote the article you quote must have read the book How to Lie with Statistics and took it to heart.

  3. Glocksman Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Heh….on reading your linked article, the AP writer edited it from your quoted version to reflect that the Bush figure doesn’t include security)

    The short answer? Likely more than $150 million — and yep, that could be the most expensive ever. (By comparison, George W. Bush was given a hard time for the $42.3 million cost of his inauguration …. but that number, as Media Matters points out, did not include security.)

    The AP making stealth edits?
    Nah,…couldn’t be.

  4. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 6:38 am

    It’s starting already.

    The ‘cool’ thing would be not to have a huge hoopla,
    it would be truly demonstrating “change we can believe in.”
    He should celebrate by getting a Fudgie the Whale ice cream cake, his kids would love it!

  5. Ky Person Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 7:02 am

    If I remember correctly, Thomas Jefferson was living in a boarding house near the White House which was still not quite finished. He walked to the Senate Chamber, took the oath and then went back to boarding house.

    My kind of guy.

  6. Randal Graves Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Is there a lemon in the house, cuz someone sounds bitter!

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Old NFO – It’s gonna be sweet when we have eight years of the MSM burying its head in the sand.

    Glocksman – I always thought the AP was a fine, upstanding organ-i-zation that would never tell anything but the truth. And $150 million is still a disgrace.

    Mrs. Crankipants – But then, there won’t be enough cake for every American! HopeChange!

    Ky person – They don’t make them like that anymore.

    Randal – Funniest comment . . . ever.

  8. dorkelina Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Why not take the 35 million he’s raised, add it to the millions the government is pitching into it, and redistribute it to the needy? Skip the Obamapunch & Obamapie routine, do the deal in the Capitol building (televised for the masses who give a rat’s hindquarters, of course). People won’t be out there in the cold, there’s already a considerable amount of security for the building, and telling people to stay home, be safe and watch the proceedings on the boob tube would demonstrate consideration, prudence and a true departure from the shenanigans of most politicians.

    Ohhhh, that’s RIGHT! He IS just like most politicians!

  9. Doghouse Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I saw MSNBC actually asking real questions of a Dem this weekend. She was asked about this very deal, and the response was “But … it’s historic!”

  10. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Dorkelina – That would do two things. First, it would “change” a lot of people’s lives. Second, it would give people a higher opinion of Obama – if that were possible.

    Of course, it will never happen, because Obama is a typical politician – which was my original point in this.

    Doghouse – So was Sarah Palin’s VP nod, and I don’t remember people gushing voer that!

  11. Alan B Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 10:29 am

    “Before Truman there were lots of different ways that the luncheons took place. Sometimes they were held in hotels. On the other hand, President William McKinley grabbed a corned beef sandwich and a cup of coffee in one of the Senate’s committee rooms.”

    In times of austerity one could lead by example but if we are trying to spend our way out of a recession perhaps a big blowout is the way to go? /sarc?

  12. xformed Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    So, this is how it rolls: Rich buddies hand over their donations to the Inauguration fund, all while preaching “MORE HAS TO BE DONE FOR THE POOR!”, which translates to: You boneheads who work for a day’s wages need your cash taken away to give to who the politicians (in this case, The One) decide is poor, which, is really the mechanism to “buy” votes.

    If the rich people just handed their money over to organizations where it would actually be put to work solving the very problems they and the politicians wring their hands over, there wouldn’t be the “quid pro quo” effect of vote as a pay back at the ballot box.

    Somehow, when you give to get, it just lacks the humainty they claim to have.

  13. Deanna Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    This is just the beginning of change… the change in our pockets!

  14. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    150 mill…. that ain’t no chump change…

    …or it’s a ‘chump’ with ‘change’ ? or… oh something like that… heh.

  15. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 20th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Alan B – Teddy Roosevelt is rolling over in his grave.

    Xformed – Very well said.

    Deanna – And pretty soon, we won’t even have that.

    Smite – For some reason, Obama thinks he can spend his way out of a recession. Oh yeah, that’ll work.