Inauguration celebrations. Fun or a waste of time and money?
I think it should be tasteful and not a slap in the face to all the rest of the country that is struggling just to make it paycheck to paycheck.
Not taking the bait…
Did you see what Beyonce wore to sing…geeez
I think it's important to celebrate one of the most unique qualities of this country, which is the peaceful transfer of power every 4/8 years.
Now, whether or not that's actually what is being celebrated . . .
Celebrate the fact that power passes peacefully from one US government to the next, even if you don't particularly like the person it's passing to. You get your chance at the next election.
Peaceful transfers of power are pretty unusual in human history. We are lucky to have them.
Boom! My check is $70 less a week now, sooo not happy.
How about a donate the money to charity comment?
Every four years, we get to nonviolently elect a leader. I think that's something to celebrate.
Of course, living in the DC area, I get annoyed with the additional traffic and accompanying problems, but overall I'm pro a little celebration.
@karen. When they scanned the crowd on the tellie, I thought, "Shit. I would hate to live in DC today."
Inauguration Day is a day of pride for me. I did not vote for Obama, but I'm an American and I respect him and his office.
I don't buy what he's selling on most issues, but whatever. He won the election fair and square.
Agree that we're VERY lucky to always have a peaceful transfer of power.
I'm not just saying this about Obama, I said it about Bush, Clinton & Reagan – is it necessary to put on such a show for the 2nd time? I understand the first time, the winner wants to celebrate and we want to show the peaceful transfer of power. But this time (and 2004, 1996 and 1984) there was no transfer of power – merely a re-affirmation. I suppose seeing another swearing-in is appropriate (although does the original oath expire?)(and it may be constitutionally mandated) but could easily be done such as Obama did yesterday, in the White House, with press coverage. You want to have some parties, no problem as long as they're paid for privately. But these obscenely elaborate re-inaugurations are just a complete waste of money. Money that could go to healthcare or the military or working on the infrastructure. Just my opinion.
We need some pomp and circumstance in our lives. This is at least as important as the Super Bowl halftime show.
@Susan, luckily (even though I live a few miles outside of DC) I work in the opposite direction so things were fine for me. My housemate planned to call in sick because her company said that no one was allowed to telework even though their office is right on the DC/MD border and will have ridiculous traffic.
I watched it last week.
I think it's cool to celebrate a peaceful passing of power, but it seems pretty frivolous to do it for a president's second term.
I think Redd hit the nail on the head. It is okay to celebrate, it is a big deal. However there is no need for an over the top, waste of funds party.
I am all for them when it is the person I voted for. When it is not, it's clearly a frivolous waste of money.
That's the right answer, right?
I am overwhelmed with the funness of this event right now.
FSP- you are a new kind of beautiful my friend!!!
Hmm nope. I voted for Obama in 08 & 12, am deliriously happy he won both times, and I still think today is a frivolous waste of money.
My thoughts exactly. First time a ball and concert events is fine, second time around keep it low key.
I am sure they could save money on things, but I also don't think it's that big of a deal that they put on such a show. As far as huge wastes of government money go, this is just a drop in the bucket.
Hmm, a little from column A and a little from column B.
If you take into account all the luxuries the Obama family has enjoyed at the expense of working class Americans, and I mean the bottom thereof, there is really no reason to put on such an extravagant display. He won, hell, I voted for him, we get it, he's the first ever black president, woo hoo. There should be a spending limit on the inauguration and we, the people, should get to vote for the limit.
@SusanB…It's paid for by donors and the party in power, so the money wouldn't go to other government things.
*except for the parade and, of course, security.
Not at all. I'm sure Republicans are going to incessantly whine about it, like they do everything else. The "Thanks, Obama!" meme is cracking me up, though.
I think it's a waste, but I'm glad work was cancelled and I didn't have to drive into the city today.
It's not something I really 'get' to be honest – in Britain we manage to have a peaceful transfer of government every 5 years and there isn't any big party or special ceremony or anything, it's just business as usual. The entity of government carries on regardless of who the individual people are, so there really isn't anything to make a fuss about. Is it really such a big deal for the US?
A total waste in all respects. They have a celebration when the party nominates a presidential candidate, they have a celebration when a candidate wins the election, and they have another celebration when the candidate is sworn in. All that money spent could certain be put to a better use.
Why should we get to vote on the spending limit for the inauguration? Taxpayers aren't paying for it. For as long as I can remember (I'm 26), the inauguration has always been a big deal. I'm just happy I have cable, and am not forced to watch it on my day off. Booooring.
I think alot of the celebration oarts are more for the people who throw them. Idk, they have a cmmitte and private funds and thats their living so pres goes along with it. Plus plenty of people get and make money from this- builders, shops, resturants, planners, clean up crew etc. obama a pretty no nonesense guy; i doubt he instigates the hoopla.
A VIP section at a democratic event! Does anyone else see the problem here?
Really, no fuss? Dont you have a royal family and castles and coaches and horses and coronations and huge weddings? Lolol. Thats not no fuss!! Yes, it is abig deal, and most of us enjou it. If not, as stated above, theres always cable!!!!
I dont find it a waste. It looks like fun. Its all private funds anyway. We dont have alot of pomp in america, so this is nice.
Munch, how long did the Queen's Jubilee Celebration last?
The last coronation was over 60 years ago and weddings aren't held every 4 years, so no, not really. Anyone winning an election is just an event that happens, not really a big thing for celebration. It happens every 5 years and someone or other is going to come out on top.
As for horses and coaches… horses are there year round whether they're being ridden or not, same with coaches, castles more or less just sit there looking castellated for several hundred years, so… not sure what you mean. Are we expected to remove them when not in use?
To be clear, not saying it's a bad thing if you want to have a party for any reason, just that I don't really get why it's a big thing for an election which happens with great regularity.
Yes, It is a tremendous waste of money and resources. It's basically a huge round of payola and ego-stroking for the winners and their financial contributors.
BUT, in my adopted country, four people died yesterday, still fighting to establish some form of nascent democracy. And it just keeps getting worse here. Celebrate, America, for as flawed and full of pompous asses as your system is, it is still the best in the world. So celebrate your safety, celebrate your freedom, celebrate your DEMOCRACY!
Im saying your country is not without pomp. Perhaps not on occaison of new PM, but on other occaisions. We feel its a big deal. We were founded on orderly sucession of power, and we like to celebrate that.
Isn't most of the cost of the event donated? I thought most of the cost came from committees and supporters, not the government.
I have watched a bit of it today –there is something special about having it on MLK day–you can tell it means a lot to Pres. Obama. Mrs. O looked beautiful and warmer than the last time–her coat is great.
I don't know who decides such things, but I don't see a problem having a big celebration. I'm kind of envious bc it looks like a lot of fun.
@Turkish, that's really a great way to look at it. Thank you for sharing that with us.
Richard Blanco, chosen as poet laureate by Obama. Here's a link to what he wrote for today's inauguration, I thought it was beautiful. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/21/text-of-inaugural-poem//
Tuxedo, so you didn't receive your invite in the mail either? My next door neighbors go to go, I think they stole my invitation.
Turkish, thank you.
@ Turkish – thank you for your wise words.
@Agent – thank you for that link. His poem brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful.
Hey, as long as we'er(the taxpayers) not paying for it I say party on dudes. Lol!!
Want to be horrified your from OK? Shocking, http://www.thelostogle.com/2013/01/21/top-25-crazy-anti-obama-comments-posted-by-oklahomans-on-kfors-facebook-wall/
@jel – oh, no – I can only imagine. I'll have to look and feel the shame!! I know it'll be nuts – I've seen plenty of stuuupid stuff in my fb feed.
both. but when i saw it film of people waving flags and going kind of nuts, it reminded meof those weird political clips you see of china or the old USSR.
Best day ever.
Thank you Agent, I have been offline for a few days celebrating my anniversary, but I watched this in my hotel room this morning and was blown away by his words…Nd turkishtaffy and everyone else who spoke so eloquently about today, right there with you. I sang along with the patriot songs (James Taylor!), cheered on the beautiful Obama daughters and Presidents Clinton and Carter, And teared up multiple times. So, yeah, I think the entire thing is worth celebrating.
Utter bs the second time around.
When I was young – and a Democrat – I worked on the 1977 inauguration. In the parade, I had responsibility for everyone other than the President and Vice President. So the Inaugural committee – headed up the Senator Hubert Humphrey – the cabinet, the Supreme Court were all within my responsibility to get them seated, then into their vehicles and down to the reviewing stand in front of the White House. I had my own car in the parade – just after these officials.
One of my friends stole the "Ted Sorenson – CIA" sign for that car that was to carry the Carter appointee for that post. He withdrew after the firestorm and I told him that story a decade or so later.
Later that night, I was in charge of security at the Georgia/staff inaugural gala. I missed meeting John Lennon although I saw him at the event; I do get to say that I was at a party once with Lennon. I did meet Freddie Prinze – just days before his death.
I've been invited to several others since and have not attended. But I think it is worthwhile for everyone. We live in a harshly partisan time and, while I am no fan of the current Administration, I like to think that we can come together for a moment and celebrate who we've been and reflect on where we're going.
We have a great country. The peaceful transition of power in a powerful democracy is worth celebrating.
waste of money, If a president is re-elected there is no need for him/her to be re-sworn in for the 2nd time and it should just be business as usual, except for the new cabinet, that's too be expected.But this pomp & circumstance ceremony is not needed, unless the USA has a huge budget surplus it can afford to have a big splash.