Skip to comments.Bush inauguration fever hits Washington
Posted on 12/26/2004 2:45:53 AM PST by RWR8189
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Holiday parties will look tame this year compared with the grand events planned in January for the official inauguration of President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s second term in office.
The US capital is already busy gearing up for the pomp and ceremony. Four days of festivities will culminate January 20 with Bush's swearing in ceremony at the US Congress, his parade to the White House and nine inauguration balls.
The final bill for all the celebrations will be a cool 40 million dollars -- a record in US history -- mostly financed by donations.
Before Christmas, wealthy private donators, industrial, financial and lobby groups, Republicans and Democrats, will have turned in their checks for 50,000 to 250,000 dollars to the inauguration committee tasked with organizing the events.
In return, the donors will receive sought after tickets to the inauguration events, which they can then offer to their friends and favored clients.
The biggest contributors (250,000 dollars) include oil giants ExxonMobil Corp and Occidental Petroleum Corp, and computer maker Michael Dell, officials said.
"It was more a case of political extortion than political generosity," said a Washington lobbyist who spoke on condition of anonymity about his donation.
"When someone high up in the inaugural committee gets you on the phone and solicits you for 100,000 dollars for an administration that is going to be in power for the next four years, what was I going to say? Certainly not 'no.'"
In addition to the 40 million dollar inauguration bill, slightly higher than in 2001 when Bush first made it to the White House, there is the undetermined cost of the biggest security operation for the first post-9/11 inauguration. The tax payer will pick up that tab.
The most popular events include the January 18 "Saluting Those Who Serve" gala honoring the US armed forces and the January 20 "Texas-Wyoming Ball," where country singer Lyle Lovett will perform and a proper attire of tuxedo plus cowboy boots is recommended.
Tickets for these events are already fetching several thousands of dollars at internet auctions.
A more formal event, the "Commander-in-chief's ball" with about 2,000 guests, "will be a special celebration for active troops and their families focusing on those who have recently returned from Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites) or (who) will be soon deployed there," said Greg Jenkins, executive director of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
The sprawling lawn behind the White House will host on January 19 another service honoring US troops called "celebrating freedom."
The most spectacular events will be fire works and a grand parade through Washington of 10,000 people, including musical bands from 50 US states and close to 300 horses.
Rooms at Washington's top hotels are completely booked up despite their requirement of reserving a minimum of four nights and a no-money-back policy.
The richest and luckiest will have the run of a presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton costing 150,000 dollars that includes a personal butler to tuck away the guests' belongings and a 20,000 dollar gift-set of luggage.
"We are sold out. The package (presidential suite) has not been sold yet," said Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Coleen Evans.
Security at the inauguration events will be very tight. The tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who want to see the parade up close will have either have to be frisked or pass through metal detectors.
To reinforce thousands of local police patrolling the events, some 4,000 troops will be deployed, as well as bomb-sniffing dogs and hazmat units capable of dealing with chemical, biological or radiological attacks.
And completing the inauguration picture, tens of thousands anti-Bush and anti-war demonstrators are also expected to hit the streets to vent their feelings.
The source: Agence France-Presse.
Let's all hope the same rag-tag groups of losers show up from the GOP convention, so America can see the "real face" of the opposition.
Surely the best of all of the inaugural events.
That link takes you straight into the doorway to hell. Seriously, i do visit DU every now and then, and they're really in a pi$$y mood over there over this story. They're complaining about how the money spent on the inauguration could have been used to help the poor. I'm sure they were saying the same thing about Clinton's inaugural.
I am sorry Happy Christmas America strong President!
.....When someone high up in the inaugural committee gets you on the phone and solicits you for 100,000 dollars for an administration that is going to be in power for the next four years, what was I going to say? .......
Well, when the call came to my office I asked "Is a hundered grand enough? How about a quarter mil?"
If we're going to do it, let's do it right.
"Certainly" MTV will be throwing an innauguration ball this time around, right?
They claimed they didn't in 2001 because the election was decided so late in the year that they were unable to plan for it as they did Bill Clinton's two balls.
The left loved Clinton's balls.
What's there to get pi$$y about?--I thought there wasn't going to be a Bush inauguration since Kerry will prevail and be sworn in instead? Which is it? They should make up their minds.
Yeah, anyone know anything about it? Unlike 2000, they don't have an excuse, even the lame one they gave last time around. Of course it wouldn't surprise anybody if they don't have one, as everyone knows where their loyalties lie, despite their bogus claim of being "nonpartisan." It's obvious they loathe Bush, hell, it's obvious they loathe republicans, period, it's not just limited to him.
Perhaps a group of young republicans should protest outside of MTV-Viacom's big picture window.
Is their live show "Total Request Live" still on weekdays?
Ask them why they aren't celebrating and what their lame excuse is? After all, they swore Rock The Vote was non-partisan, they also had their Choose or Lose banner, and all those news interruptions about "the draft". We "Rocked" the Vote and they took their jumprope and went home.
And the left still has the nerve to claim that the media is biased to Republicans. Anyone hear a followup into the CBS Memo-Rathergate scandal? Weren't they supposed to have an internal investigation? What are they waiting for? To release it at 5:45pm on the Friday before New Year's eve?
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