If there is one thing President Obama and his administration are consistent about, it is being utterly inconsistent.
In a move that drew immediate criticism, Obama gave the green light to his 2013 inauguration committee to accept substantial donations from large corporate donors, despite his promise to keep big money out of the political game.
Like many other decisions made by the administration, the announcement was followed by a chaser of “defensive spin.”
According to The New York Times, the planners of the inauguration defended the move with the following:
” Museums, philanthropic organizations and service groups, like the Red Cross, all accept corporate money,” a spokesperson told the Times.
Another argument put forth was that donors names will be posted on a website so the public can see who they are. The announcement drew attention because of the president’s stand in 2009 when he refused to accept corporate donations and he put a $50,000 cap on individual contributions.
Not everyone is buying the reasoning, however. Blogger John Wonderlich asserted in his recent post, Obama “slowly turned away from a principled approach to money in politics.”
But most conservatives would argue that it was all a smoke and mirrors game to begin with. Wonderlich writes:
The decision prioritizes a lavish celebration over the integrity of the office, and bodes poorly for an administration whose first term can be characterized as slowly turning away from a principled approach to money in politics in favor of political expediency and fundraising.
The part about “prioritizing a lavish celebration over the integrity of the office” is being argued differently by both sides.
The planning committee noted in a conference call Friday that the totality of inaugural festivities will be much smaller in scale than what took place in 2009, and the number of official inaugural balls the first couple will attend has been reduced from 10 to 3.
Many Americans feel soliciting funds from businesses in our country for extravagant public “shows” is uncalled for and out of touch given the state of the economy.
The January 20th swearing in date falls on a Sunday, so Obama will actually be sworn in at a private ceremony in the White House. The rest of the public activities will be held on January 21st.
The email solicitation to donors offers four packages for access to inaugural activities. You can read more about Wonderlich’s criticism HERE.