Inauguration fund coming up $8 million short?

posted at 8:31 am on January 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Not only short on funds, but short on transparency, too.  Taxpayers foot the bill for the ceremony of the oath of office, estimated at $1.2 million, but the President pays for the rest of the festivities.  Unlike four years ago, Obama needs corporations to fill the coffers for the estimated $50 million price tab for the balls and the flourishes around the initiation of his second term in office, and unlike four years ago, his fundraising committee is still coming up millions short:

With less than a week to go before President Obama is sworn in for his second term, fundraisers for the presidential inaugural committee were still working Monday to secure their goal of $50 million in private donations to finance the official festivities.

The committee was short $8 million as of last week, but the gap is closing, according to a Democratic fundraiser involved in the efforts.

On Friday, the committee added nearly 600 new donors to its public list of  “benefactors” for the event, bringing the total number of contributors to 993. That includes just eight corporations that have pledged money to help put on the official parade and balls, despite Obama’s decision to reverse the ban on corporate contributions he put in place for his 2009 inauguration.

So how much money are these corporations kicking in — besides “not enough”?  The LA Times notes that transparency has come up short as compared to four years ago, too:

It is unclear how much any of the donors have contributed to the presidential inaugural committee, which is charged with paying for all the official festivities except the swearing-in itself. (A joint congressional committee, financed with more than $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars, has that responsibility.) Unlike four years ago, the committee is not disclosing the size of the contributions until it files a report with the Federal Election Commission in April.

Part of the problem is the scale of the event.  Obama spent $53.2 million on his first inauguration, even though the economy had just tanked; over 700,000 people lost their jobs (net) in the same month as all of the celebrations Team Obama staged for his triumphal entry into office.  They have only trimmed the budget by about 6% for a second-term inauguration, which on one hand seems excessive, but on the other remarkable … since Obama’s usual definition of budget cuts is to slightly reduce the rate of expansion.

They have reduced the number of presidential balls to just two, but don’t confuse that with parsimony.  The two put together will have tens of thousands of attendees, and lots of celebrity power, according to Politico:

Steve Kerrigan, head honcho for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee, has a message for carping congressmen, donors and Obama supporters who’ve heard there’s only one official inaugural ball this year and are afraid they won’t make the cut. It’s a mirage.

One of the best-kept secrets in town is that the one public inaugural ball will be a doozy, with upward of 40,000 partying in a single bacchanalia under one roof at the Washington Convention Center. It’s the equivalent of six or seven traditional inaugural balls such as those held four years ago. ….

Left unsaid, however, was that the two balls together would host tens of thousands of people and feature a stout array of high-profile entertainers performing over two floors of the vast convention center. Among them: Stevie Wonder, Usher, Katy Perry, Marc Anthony, John Legend, Smokey Robinson and Alicia Keyes. “So it’s not a 10 [balls] down to two type situation,” concedes Kerrigan.

There are indeed fewer official social events planned for the hundreds of thousands of partygoers set to celebrate Obama’s swearing-in, but what there are have been underplayed. You won’t find listed on any official calendars, for example, an A-list candlelight dinner Sunday night at the Kennedy Center for high rollers and other Democratic hotshots that the president and first lady Michelle Obama are set to attend.

Look, a presidential inauguration is a big deal, and it’s common practice to have plenty of celebrations.  However, second-term celebrations traditionally get less attention, and for good reason: we have continuity rather than change.  Perhaps, instead of running short with a bankroll of $42 million, Team Obama should just be satisfied with that enormous amount of money and scale the celebrations accordingly.  Plenty of other Americans have had to scale back a lot more than 10% during his first term.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Oh, dear! What a shame! Never mind!

OldEnglish on January 15, 2013 at 8:32 AM

No biggie. Put it on the card.

forest on January 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

…they’ll mint a coin for the shortfall!

KOOLAID2 on January 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Scale back? Pshaw

cmsinaz on January 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Mint another trillion dollar coin and just solve all the problems already!

Good Lt on January 15, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Is it time to summon his Moorlock followers to pitch in $2 or $3 dollors for the common good?

jeffinsjvca on January 15, 2013 at 8:41 AM

It’s a mirage

…so?…JugEars is a mirage!

KOOLAID2 on January 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM

…Mooch can hold a bake sale!

KOOLAID2 on January 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM

He blew 7 million on his Christmas vacation..
Call that his inauguration and move on.

Electrongod on January 15, 2013 at 8:45 AM

the estimated $50 million price tab for the balls and the flourishes around the initiation of his second term in office

Ironic that the new President of China just issued a directive to the party underlings to ixnay all the excessive pomp and circumstance.

It’s a good thing Chitcago’s Finest is above even the typical Marxist piece of garbage, and can still put on a show for the 51% that the 51% demands.

MNHawk on January 15, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Obama spent $53.2 million on his first inauguration, even though the economy had just tanked; over 700,000 people lost their jobs (net) in the same month as all of the celebrations Team Obama staged for his triumphal entry into office. They have only trimmed the budget by about 6% for a second-term inauguration, which on one hand seems excessive, but on the other remarkable … since Obama’s usual definition of budget cuts is to slightly reduce the rate of expansion

…those numbers can be revised after!…where have you been the last four years?

KOOLAID2 on January 15, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Obama: “Hey, let’s party like there’s no tomorrow” #spending

Rovin on January 15, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Salt in the wound to this voter.

Thanks, Obama supporters. Hope you get something out of the next four years.

I think that once interest rates start increasing, the economy will collapse, and then the entitlement brigades will be storming the affluent areas. I hope law enforcement can maintain order. I hope conservatives come out unharmed. I hope liberals get what’s coming to them.

BuckeyeSam on January 15, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Scale back – these two – NEVER!

gophergirl on January 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Plenty of other Americans have had to scale back a lot more than 10% during his first term.

But..but…but this is for the power and glory of The Obamassiah!

GarandFan on January 15, 2013 at 8:55 AM

NEVER!

gophergirl on January 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM

OT…Duke lost!

KOOLAID2 on January 15, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Plenty of other Americans have had to scale back a lot more than 10% during his first term.

But..but…but this is for the power and glory of The Obamassiah!

GarandFan on January 15, 2013 at 8:55 AM

…its always for the children!…you’re mean!

KOOLAID2 on January 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM

What if they threw an inauguration and nobody came? Does he still get to be president?

The Rogue Tomato on January 15, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I’d be willing to start a $50million fund for GOP Balls !
Oh, wait ………

Lucano on January 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

He could always “dine and dash”… IJS…

voiceofreason on January 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Dear leader comes up short running the country, too. How much you want to bet this will be the most expensive swearing in part of the ceremony evah.

Kissmygrits on January 15, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Their hypocrisy has no boundaries.
We got lectured yesterday about paying America’s bills and now Obama is partying like it is the end of the world while his little media stooges dance like monkeys.

NeoKong on January 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Don’t worry, everyone, he will half the Inauguration deficit in his third term in office.

Maddie on January 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

If this was Bush, the press would ask him, in light of the fact that he won the election with less votes than the first time and the fact that they couldn’t even fund their own convention and now the inauguration, why he thinks he carries any sort of mandate at all, about anything. Instead they will have a discussion about the blatant racism in this country stopping Obama from being honored the way he should be. Sickening.

Night Owl on January 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

What a coincidence. Thats about how much his vacations cost.

johnnyU on January 15, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I’d be willing to start a $50million fund for GOP Balls !
Oh, wait ………

Lucano on January 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

LOL

johnnyU on January 15, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Team Obama should just be satisfied with that enormous amount of money and scale the celebrations accordingly. Plenty of other Americans have had to scale back a lot more than 10% during his first term.

This is the guy who flew back to Hawaii after the fiscal cliff legislation was done even though he had nothing to do with its passage and had his staff autopen the legislation like it was some letter of condolence or something. That only cost the taxpayer $7M. You think the bastard is going to shortchange his party by $8M?

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

They have reduced the number of presidential balls to just two

Reduced?! I thought he didn’t have any in the first place.

Archivarix on January 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

I’d be willing to start a $50million fund for GOP Balls !
Oh, wait ………

Lucano on January 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Comment of the Day™ (nobody’s topping this one)

Steve Eggleston on January 15, 2013 at 9:31 AM

M.O.: “I don’t really think this helps my children”

can_con on January 15, 2013 at 9:34 AM

They have reduced the number of presidential balls to just two

Hillary needed one back for her Benghazi hearing.

can_con on January 15, 2013 at 9:36 AM

It would make sense to me to make a presidential term 8 years. You get 8 years to make good on all your promises, or screw up the country worse than it was before. Then you’re out. That eliminates years of campaigning and it leaves us all to suffer through just one inauguration.

scalleywag on January 15, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Sounds like an $8 million platinum coin would do the trick…

right2bright on January 15, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I wonder, if Hillary wins in 2016, how many Presidential Balls will there be?

Guinness on January 15, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Hey, give Owebama a break! At least his inauguration HAS a budget!

katablog.com on January 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Don’t worry.

Never in the history of mankind has a tyrant like our Barack failed to gather up the necessary funds to honor himself.

If his minions don’t cough it up, he’ll merely take it out of the general funds.

dockywocky on January 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Ponder this HAers … King Putt intends to do whatever his ‘team’ wants to do for the next 4 years. And if the SPM (single party media) grows a pair and takes this feckless administration to task sometime between now and the midterms, President 3X Downgrade and his running dogs will get pasted in those elections. Even so, (and here is the troublesome truth) Dear Liar will be lecturing us for the REST OF HIS LIFE. That is about the most depressing thing one can imagine. Not only four more years but 4 more DECADES. We’ll never hear the end of the Pahahou High School’s bench scrub.

Missilengr on January 15, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Where are those styrofoam Greek columns?

mixplix on January 15, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Ed is the best blogger evah and I have the evidence:

They have only trimmed the budget by about 6% for a second-term inauguration, which on one hand seems excessive, but on the other remarkable … since Obama’s usual definition of budget cuts is to slightly reduce the rate of expansion.

Game, set, match.

rogaineguy on January 15, 2013 at 7:47 PM