December 4th, 2008
04:56 PM ET

Should Pres.-Elect Obama scale back inauguration plans?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/04/art.inaug.b.gi.jpg caption="Preparation for Obama's inauguration is already underway in Washington, D.C."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Oprah's going to Washington along with everyone else. The daytime Diva plans to do her television show from the Nation's Capitol during inauguration week.

Estimates are that 3 million people may show up for this historic event...the swearing in of the first Black President. The mayor of Washington says it could be as many as 5 million.

Some will come to watch and some to celebrate. There will be numerous parties and even formal balls.

But according to a CNN opinion poll out today about the economy, 79 percent of Americans say things are going badly in the country right now and 42 percent say the recession is serious.

News of layoffs and pleas for government bailouts continue. The bad news about the economy shows no sign of letting up, so is it really time for a huge celebration?

Obama insiders won't reveal any details of the inauguration plans but they tell CNN the party will go on. We just don't know how big a party it will be.

Here’s my question to you: Should Barack Obama scale back his inauguration celebration in light of the economic crisis facing the country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Diane from Barneveld, New York writes:
I think he should have his day like every other president. This is the first time in a long time I've been interested in an inauguration and I imagine there are others that feel the same way. Let us have our celebration and see history made.

Jay from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
Absolutely! This is a government, not a frat house. The party ends with Bush. Time to get serious.

JaRee writes:
No way should he scale back. This is once-in-a-lifetime celebration that most of the country has been waiting for. I think we can afford to take a break for one day out of the year to welcome in our new President.

Linda writes:
Absolutely and I believe that he will to set an example. I'm living and working in Macau and Obama is the big hope for the world. He will have to work miracles to live up to the expectations, but this would send an excellent message to Americans and the world.

Christopher from Houston, Texas writes:
Absolutely not, Jack. Given that we are in a huge mess with the economy, daily lay-offs and the Big-Three bailouts we deserve something to smile about. We should honor and recognize this fantastic moment in history; which I, personally, never thought I'd see. This is the symbol of hope for our country. Let's forget about the issues for a day and just enjoy the moment.

Dion from Dallas, Texas writes:
There are two major things that this nation needs now: (1) a celebration that won't cost the average citizen a dime and (2) spending to spur the economy. Let's have a big party with someone else's money and live through the celebration vicariously.

Eric from Tamarac, Florida writes:
Barack Obama's celebration is something that will be remembered for all time. This inauguration would serve as a great coming together of the American people to raise the country's morale and hope during these trying times of economic stress. Make it big. Make it loud. Let the world know that what we have done is historic. We are proud to be Americans and we are ready to begin a new and hopeful chapter in our history.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Inauguration
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. ozzi in AZ

    Not in my opinion.
    I think people are looking forward to seeing him take over the leadership of this country and it's something we can ALL celebrate! It's symbolic and it's a tradition and I think we need the reassurance that he really IS the new leader.
    Maybe they can cut back on some of the excesses and not make it an insultingly extravagant event, but I think we all may want to 'party vicariously'!

    December 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Jenny Rome Ga

    I think that they are smart people and realize that they have to keep the glitz level somewhere between Reagan and Carter.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  3. Zeke

    Maybe Mr. Obama can just ask the oil companies to pick up the bill of his inauguration. After all he backed off of his plan to hit them with a windfall profits tax, they should show some appreciation for that. The only question that I have left is what other campaign promises will he bow to the big business machine on?

    December 4, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  4. Anj in CA

    It's just one night. Whether the plans are elaborate or scaled back, at the end of the day the difference won't matter very much. So I think it should be a great celebration of an end to a nightmare and the beginning of a smart presidency.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  5. Diane/Allentown PA

    If we're footing the bill, and you know we are, I say hot dogs and burgers for everyone!

    December 4, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  6. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    It would be a very appropriate gesture. People that are faced with the everday reality of our economy need to feel that someone in charge is in touch with them and not living on some other planet!

    December 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  7. Jenna Wade

    Should Barack Obama scale back his inauguration celebration in light of the economic crisis facing the country?

    He already has..

    Frankly I think that he should do it up BIG TIME.. His inauguration is historic and it will make the nation feel better..

    Of course the GOP will all have canaries, but hey they got us into this mess so they should keep quite.

    Obama will do what is good and just for the nation.

    Roseville CA

    December 4, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  8. Malith

    No Jack, i've been waiting for this for a long time. This is the only day that can take my mind off of the economy. There will be two parties, one for the Inauguration and the other one for the end of king Bush's era. Thank Lord.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:07 pm |
  9. Lyons-Philadelphia


    Should George Bush scale back all the lavish Holiday parties he is having? Obama deserves this. It's a historic moment and it should be celebrated. Obama has worked very hard and won this election fair and square.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm |
  10. Jane (Minnesota)

    I think surviving these past eight years deserves a big celebration! As long as it's private money funding it-let the party go on – but Mr. Obama, please don't forget the suffering people you campaigned for as you celebrate & get the change agenda moving that will help them as soon as you take office.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  11. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Some traditions are sort of silly. Why should I pay for extravaganza – or why should you?

    December 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  12. Charles, Dallas Texas


    One thing I'm sure of President -Elect Obama is a very smart man, I'm not exactly sure who does all the planning for the inaugrations but I'm sure if he has anything to do with how the tax payers money is spent he will be somewhat conservative in his spending. I don't think even at this historic moment in time President Obama has thrown all of sense out of the windows. I know the tax payers pick up the bill and I'm sure that in the back of his mind and he doesn't want to put anymore burdens on the American tax payers.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  13. Dan from Alliance, OH

    President-elect Obama talked "change" all through the campain so let me see this change. It does not need to be outside wasting millions of taxpayer dollars for the inauguration ceramony. Do it inside with just the minimum number of people and broadcast it all over the world.

    Now that would be true change and would save the taxpayer millions.


    December 4, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  14. gerry

    As intelligent as Obama is, I have faith in him doing the right thing.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  15. Hummer Girl-Florence, South Carolina

    Obama cannot scale back his inauguration plans because this particular inaguration is history in the making. It will be talked about as long as there is civilization – the nations 1st Black President. That is reason alone not to scale it back. People need something to look forward to – and this is it. I've just been informed today that I am one of 2,500 being downsized by the end of the year, and I'm looking forward to this lifting my spirits.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  16. Mike S.,New Orleans

    I don't see why President-elect Barack Obama scale backe of his inauguration celebration. President Bush didn't scale down his inaugurations, and he's the reason we're in this mess. Why should the Obamas be punished for Bush economics?

    December 4, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  17. Cori from Colorado

    Perhaps scaling back somewhat. I think people are expecting him to stick to his promise of better business, smarter planning etc., and in our economic state, he would set a really good example if he scaled back. This would be a great start to his new leadership. I say, lead by example!

    December 4, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  18. David, Tampa, Fl

    Jack. I think he should. Many Americans have lost jobs or are living month to month. While there is a need to celebrate, it somehow doesn't fit when things are going from bad to worse for so many.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  19. Chris, Thousand Oaks Ca

    Based on Pres-Elect Obama's decisions so far, I have faith he will be somewhat prudent. But, this is an historic day for our country and one to be celebrated. The majority of Americans will be breathing a collective sigh of relief when he takes the oath of office. I say, party on!

    December 4, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  20. Larry in Florida

    That would be awesome if he did that. It makes me sick to see all this hoopla that goes on in America when we have people losing homes and jobs. Wondering where their next meal is coming from. Homeless growing at an alarming rate. He does that Jack and he would be my hero and I didn't even vote for him.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  21. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    No! Have a party, Mr President; you and the entire country deserve to celebrate a major shift toward competence, good judgement, transaparency, and fair taxation. OK, so you inherited an economy that is causing pain to the majority of our citizens, have Michelle wear off-the-rack if it seems less ostentatious, but I doubt if anyone really cares. The few extra million pales by comparison to the normal amount wasted every HOUR by Washington.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  22. erico 33139

    In light of the gloomy economic outlook and all the negative events happening lately, I would welcome a fantastic extravagance, filled with thousands of bright fireworks and motivating speeches. We need to get charged up again, to shake off the cobwebs !! To show the world we are resilient and strong !!!

    December 4, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  23. Jim Amstutz

    President-elect Obama will only be able to scale back so much. I would imagine that security will be the big ticket item.

    The ceremony and the celebration doesn't have to be, and shouldn't be, a garish display of wealth and excess.

    That being said, I think that it should be a tasteful display indicative of a great nation and reflecting the historic significance of the occasion – big, memorable, but not over the top.

    Jim Amstutz
    Boulder City, NV

    December 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  24. Tony from Torrington

    Of course not. Did Julius Caesar?

    December 4, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  25. Marie

    It doesn't matter how much he cuts back on the festivities, it is still going to be attended by a massive number of people. It is going to be huge no matter what.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  26. Aaron from Denver

    No. Part of what makes Obama such a promising leader is his ability to inspire. Call me shallow, but I would be much more inspired by an America-style blowout party than by yet another speech by Obama in front of a plain wooden podium.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  27. Jim, Kansas

    No. It is not his fault that the economy has tanked.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  28. Frank from Peterborough

    If my understanding is correct that the inauguration celebration cost is for the most part funded by donations then I would say make it a gala event in line with it's historic nature.

    The other side of this coin is money being spent also injects some much needed stimulus into the economy to some degree and right now that is something the country can surely use.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  29. ingrid, new york

    scale back and save a few million dollars, that's going to make a huge difference, is it?

    it is not the size of the celebration, it is about the tone and the message of the event. this inauguration will mark the launching of one of the most amazing times (the best of times and the worst of times) in American History on so many levels and i, for one, think it is worth making a big thing about it. we need something that will fill us with hope and energy so that we can tackle the issues we need to face as a nation.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  30. Bev, Los Angeles, California

    Knowing Obama, he already has. And Michele buys clothes off of the rack so I know she'll be careful in her plans. The designers are already trying to dress her up!

    December 4, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  31. louis owens, ipswich england

    why scale down? it is only a tiny fraction of the bill that comes from tax payers anyway. i say party on he deserves a treat

    December 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  32. JD in NH

    No. Spending is what creates a booming economy. Think of the benefits the hotels, restaurants and other businesses in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area will reap. This is a time to celebrate and I mean REALLY celebrate. Not only are we ecstatic to have Barack Obama as our new President, it means the worst President in our history will be leaving town and going back to Texas.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  33. chuck in cda

    I say NOT,but the WHITE HOUSE should be closed for the HOLIDAYS because George BUSH wasted trillions during his eight years in office.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  34. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Barack Obama has staged a long, hard campaign to become President of the United States, and what a historical time it is.
    It should be celebrated in any and every way it can, he deserves
    it, his supporters deserve it and it will be a welcome change,
    if even for one day, from the doom and gloom that faces our

    December 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  35. Venia PA

    Apparently he has already cut back on quite a few things, his idea although why he should have to scale back because of the poor choices of his predecessor is beyond me. I would however, like full coverage of George Bush's face on that day, no matter the cost, so I can see if he shows any remorse for ruining this country.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  36. Richard - Knoxville TN

    During the campaign Obama would routinely fill any venue to capacity – including over 250,000 people that attended his acceptance speech in Chicago -

    While others, including the the vaunted Pailin, would draw a few thousand - and sometimes his competition (McCain, Clinton, Pailn) would even have to bus school kids in to fill a small town hall type campaign venue -

    Does it surprise anyone that 3 million + people are going to attend the inaugration – with antoher 10 million or so wishing they could get tickets (or a place to stand in DC) - The people, yes the people who elected him want to help him celebrate - Let Them Do So -

    December 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  37. Rose in Az

    YES, if he understands the needs of people on "main street" then he should keep it low key. Everything he has done has all been about money.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  38. JimD IL

    Maybe not scaled back so much as scaled down. Let the fancy formal trappings in the lavish ballrooms for the few be replaced by the dancing in the streets of the many.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  39. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack:: There's no doubt Obama will scale back the inaguration party planning. He's a profoundly bright person who has not come from financial means. He is truly of the people. Obama rocks!

    December 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  40. vern-t anaheim,ca

    definetly not as this will be a day of rejoicing now that george w. bush and his republican cronies will be gone,i can't wait for january 20th 2009 to get here

    December 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  41. Marie Ontario

    Your country has been through 8 years of the most depressing times in your history and you have earned a gala celebration for your historic advancement.

    I say go for it my friends go all out and enjoy yourselves you deserve it.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  42. NANCY M.- Colorado

    Except for the activities at the Mall, which are important to the whole country, I think it would be good to cancel all the parties. The parties do not represent the middle class, main street or the poor in any way. That would be a huge gesture and a good one.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  43. Elise Dayton, Ohio

    Why? We're about to throw millions of dollars to a bunch of ceo's and crooks in the auto industry rewarding bad behavior and poor management. Should a historical inauguration and world celebration be scaled back?

    December 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  44. William of Iowa

    I haven't been invited so I'll just watch the festivities on TV. Better big then, ratings are at stake and puny parties make for boring viewing.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  45. Scott Gladden


    I'm not sure exactly what amount "scale Back" would mean, but I'm sure that most of the cost of the Inaugural Party (what ever millions of dollars it turns out to be) will be spent on security and public safety. I would hope.
    San Diego

    December 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  46. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    I would rather see a president get into office and say, "These drapes are fine, this carpet is fine, this desk is fine, I will just use one pen to sign this bill and not a new one for every letter of my name. Let's get to work."

    December 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  47. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    Absolutely not, he should have a grand celebration, he deserves it, the campaign was long and hard fought. It is also a historical time. I think the country will be disappointed if the celebration for Obama's presidency is not a spectacular event.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  48. Linda in Florida

    I hope he celebrates for all its worth. I wish I could be there to join in on the celebration. Barack is not only very smart, he is very wise; I trust him to make the appropriate decision.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  49. RJH, Grand Rapids, MI

    Yes he should. That would show that he understands what is going on in main street and also demonstsrate "change".

    December 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  50. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    I do, I also think all the pomp and ceramony surounding the President should be scaled down. It is only for the ego of the President. Do we need 30 "Marine ones" to ferry one person around? We also have way two many big jets to carry the "VIPs" around?
    If we have to cut back so should the Government.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  51. Neatha from Kansas City

    As he did with his campaign, I think he was use money from appropreiate sources and spend it wisely. With everything else going on, and everyone having a lean holiday, maybe, just maybe we need to have a big party. Then it is time to get to work. Has he even taken a day off since the election? I think the whole country needs a little party.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  52. Ross in NZ

    An interesting question Jack, i would say that the interest is that high in this event that the so called free tickets are selling like hotcakes. Look at what previous Presidents have spent.

    The economy is going to takes many years to fix, a Presidential inauguration celebration comes only once and this one will be historic, not to mention Obama's speeches have style and charisma written all over them.

    Lets bring on the Party !

    December 4, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  53. Jackie in Dallas

    While the initial gut reaction is "yes", the reality and truth of it should be "no."

    President Elect Obama represents hope and change to a lot of us. That should be celebrated; but not with a lot of $5,000 a plate dinners and fancy balls (those rich and famous or CEOs making the big bucks should wait and get their due some other time), but with more parties geared for the people who elected him. And the Obamas (including their girls while it is still early enough) should make appearances at as many of them as possible. A nightmare for the Secret Service, I'm sure, but still...

    December 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  54. don in naples, florida

    I am not really interested in any grand spectacle, or some dramatic event marking the historical nature of Obama's nomination. I could do without all of the pomp surrounding his first day. All that really matters is that Obama delivers on what he campaigned on, and helps dig this country out of this economic mess.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  55. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    No, I do not think they should scale back the inauguration. Next thing you know you will be asking should they chop up the furniture to heat the White House. They should be able to turn back the heat a couple of degrees to save money, because of all the heat coming off of the lobbyists that will be attending.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  56. Joe in DE

    No, the travel and vistor expenses will help the economy.

    December 4, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  57. Eric from J.C. TN

    I think too much is made of theatrical display. Scaling down wouldn't hurt a bit. He has already acheived his goal, so there's nothing else out there to prove other than his performance in the White House. His performance in the White House and not theatrics is what we need to see now. That is what's really important at the present time.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  58. Vivian Fauntleroy

    Let's see now. P-E Obama has inherited the famines, floods and locusts sowed and nutured by the Bush Administration. The least we Americans can do is not expect or need P-E Obama to reduce a well-earned, historical celebration to that of red, white and blue crepe paper hung from the rathers of a high school gymnasium with a garage band supplying the music to signify his empathy with the people. He needs - no, we need - to see a first-rate Inauguration Ball.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  59. Willow, Iowa

    A lot of the inauguration expenses are things that we have to do, such as crowd control, safety glass, secret service, portable toilets, etc. And if five million people show up, they have to have everything in waiting. They can show it on TV, but Obama is the PE of a whole lot of happy people who want to be there personally. I think for safety and security it will be quite expensive just because of the President he will be and everybody's hope for the future.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  60. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    8 years of doom and gloom, more down the road, I think we're all ready to get lost in celebration at least for a day.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  61. Annie, Atlanta

    Personally Obama should be sworn in in a quiet ceremony in the oval office, and get down to the business of being President asap. We're in trouble here and big expensive parties could be insulting right now, while people are in such dire straits.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  62. Annie Naples FL

    yes. He has to start somewhere it might as well be this.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  63. Gord

    Have we become such a joyless nation? You know I think I'll spend the day at home lying in the dark underneath the bed.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  64. Connie from "BLUE" Indiana

    Jack, I can not afford to buy for Christmas , I am saving the money to party with when the Bush, Cheney train leaves Washington. The whole world will be parting on Jan. 20th, 2009. So the inauguration will not be the only party. Have waited eight years spare no expedience.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  65. Rod from Allentown PA

    Yes he should. I was not invited, but have to pay my share anyway.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  66. Randy from Salt Lake City

    It would be nice if he did scale back the festivities. FDR did, I think. But, it'll probably be a huge party. And who cares? I'm not invited 'cause I'm poor.

    Nothing will change in this country. We're headed into a Greater Depression and millions will die. We'll just get a smart person screwing us over instead of the First-Living-Brain-Donor-In-Chief.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  67. g ontario

    this is historic event think the whole thing is out of his hands

    December 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  68. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    My guess is the electing of Obama averted a full scale depression that would have been created by more of the same Republican policies and programs.

    This alone is reason enough to go all out and celebrate your country's change in direction and eventual climb into the 21st century and economic stability.

    Go for it and go all out you deserve it.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  69. Terry in Hanover County

    He should keep it simple - no columns, no appearance of a corination. The parties should be simple, not lavish spectacles. Too many people are wondering where their next meal is coming from in this country. It is not a time for flaunting and frivolity.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  70. Jim from Chicago

    Yeah, Jack. How about dis-inviting the Bushes, the Cheneys and anyone who said that he 'palled around with terrorists."

    December 4, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  71. Winton from Alaska

    Tough question. Should we have our cake and eat it too? I'm sure
    President -elect Obama and his planners will produce a good
    inaugural celebration, given this historic moment, without going
    overboard. It will be something to watch, that's for sure.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  72. Markel Houston

    The inauguration ceremony itself is a somber and patriotic event. It should be a first class affair and open to all interested citizens and dignitaries.

    In light of our current economic situation, there should be one official Inaugural Ball sanctioned and paid for by the government. The other inaugural balls (sanctioned or not) should be privately funded affairs and should be as lavish as the sponsors wish, assuming the sponsors are not state or other local government entities or any of the current or future recipients of bail-out funds.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  73. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Well considering American Tax payers are footing the bill for all of it anyway what does he care?
    Some would complain if he did and some will complain if he doesn't.
    I would be happy giving Obama and his wife each a Kazoo and a hand full of confetti and calling it a night.
    Tough times call for tough measures. So far I see no one but American citizens suffering and having to pay for everything. Even things they would rather not see happen. We are at the mercy of the imbeciles in power....

    December 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  74. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Geez Jack, I don't think a few bags of chips and a few two liters of discount fruit punch are going to cut it. In all seriousness, let the pomp and circumstance of the Inauguration occur for God’s sake. But instead of caviar and duck, how about some Chicago dogs and some Deep Dish?

    December 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  75. Roy - Chicago IL

    I am not sure what you mean by 'Scale Back'. Obviously you can still have a big party while cutting costs, and every incoming President does deserve a big party. Maybe the part where (quoting Hillary) the sky opens and light pours down to make everything all right could be scaled back!

    December 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  76. odessa

    no way!..i have waited so long for this since 04...i understand that we have been in a recession since bush took office..people need to smile as well listening to all the good speeches coming from barack obama..right now, i am counting my calendar days down until jan.20..bring on the party and fun so barack take care of business!!

    December 4, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  77. Dean in PA


    I think the new administration should go before congress and make their case for the money for their extravaganza, then congress could send them back and allow them to take a 400 to 500 thousand dollar paid trip to an exclusive resort area of the Caribbean or Mexico (good for foreign relations prior to inauguration ) where they should formulate their expenses to be represented to congress. On their return trip they should all use commercial airfare or fly back to Florida and car pool to DC, in hybred autos, where they will be asked by congress about their repayment plan. In the meantime the Senators and House Reps. can make an offer of conceding their pensions and taking social security to show their support for the extravaganza.

    Welcome to the real America

    December 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  78. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    December 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  79. Sandi, Chicago

    I believe most of the money spent on the parties – will be donated by his supporters. In answer to your question... No, why should Obama scale back, but, I don't think he will go over board with costs! After all, he is much smarter than what we have had for President the past 8 years. Bushie spent how many millions or trillions of our dollars without explanation or remorse!

    December 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  80. Patricia, Trinidad & Tobago

    Even if he wanted to scale back, the sheer number of people who will be in Washington DC for the event may not allow him to.
    This is historic for not only Americans but for people all over the world....so I say celebrate!!

    I'll be in front my TV with my Obama 08 T-shirt on, cheering for the American people and their new President!!

    December 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  81. Roger (Dallas, TX)

    Jack: This should be the inauguration of all inaugurations. This is history being made and it should be celebrated. Our country spends so much money foolishly – let's spend some money on celebrating the historical significance of this moment in time and do it up right. It should be a true feel good moment for America.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  82. Stan

    No. Whatever they spend will help the economy. Also, watching the festivities will be a welcome escape just like the Busby Berkley movies in the thirties.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  83. Don (Ottawa)

    With all the bad news lately, we need a party to forget our problems. Bring it on!

    December 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  84. devildog

    i think he already has he should serve $10 a bottle wine not the good stuffand BYOB IS IN ORDER TOO hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken for every one

    December 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  85. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    I really like that idea Jack. Harvard education aside, President-Elect Obama is actually a Wash-and-Wear kind of guy. Instead of throwing a Billion Dollar Ball, he should make a statement by returning to his roots, and throw a Hawiian Bring Your Own Beer Party. Scrap the hors d’oeuvres and Dom Perignon…hot dogs, burgers and Budweiser are the grub and brew du jour. Tuxedos and Gowns be damned…only Hawaiin shirts, cutoffs and flip flops will be allowed. There’s only one stipulation…leave the Maui Wowi at home.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  86. Don (Ottawa)

    Actually this auguration is more of a celebration of Bush's leaving than Obama's entry. I say make it a national party with fireworks that can be seen from space.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  87. devildog

    you can have a good time on hot dog and beans and cheap wine i know i do

    December 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  88. Daniel Ambrose

    No and here is why. This is a once in four year event and as historic as it is, there is no need for this inaugration to be cut back It's not like it's a yearly, or monthly event. However, I guarantee that the Rightwingers would beg the differ.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    December 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  89. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    It is really simple, he should get sworn in and go to the oval office and get to work on the economy, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and health care.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  90. Tina (Texas)

    I just want a lot of security to keep him safe so we can see the new change coming. You cannot ask the incoming president to tone it down when the out going president did not ask the American people to ration during these two wars.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  91. Laurieann Petker-Huffman Willits, CA

    Absolutely...Does he really want to send the message that while the country is suffering and desperate, we care enough about you to have an evening of luxury and excess...The usual in America

    December 4, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  92. John in Arizona

    Opulence and extravagance should be kept to a minimum, but celebration should be exuberant, abundant and globally inclusive.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  93. R. Harrison, Griffin GA

    In simple words: Why should he? Our economy is in the tank. A party is not going to make it too much worst than it is already.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  94. Cynthia

    No he should not scale back – this is a once in a lifetime for him who knows what 2012 holds. Whatever is going on right now with the economy is not his fault – he won in a huge way because the odds were really against him from the start and look at where he is headed. I say throw one like no one has ever seen before to celebrate that fact.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  95. AndyZag Fairfax, VA

    Sure. Nothing more morale inspiring than an inauguration with a couple of scout troops passing in review, an elementary school band playing their song flutes, and a middle school glee club singing. Why not scale back the dozens of balls and galas?

    December 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  96. Colin Fletcher Redondo Beach CA

    Should he have to, no.
    Will it be good press for him if he does, yes.
    And we know he will do the right thing.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  97. Lois, Ont., Canada

    Absolutely not. this should be a 'great celebration' because he will be the first African American to be inaugurated!!! Amen

    December 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  98. Ken

    In the words of Prince, "Tonight we're gonna party like its 1999".

    December 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  99. Richard Green

    The country needs to celebrate something. Can you think of any other event or person that has impacted this nation in the last eight years that is worthy of celebration?

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  100. B. D. in Saugerties, NY

    No, he shouldn't cut back at all. But the taxpayers shouldn't foot the bill. George Bush should. He and his friends have made tons of money over the last 8 years. Maybe Cheney, Exxon and Halliburton would pitch in as well. They're reporting record earnings while the taxpayers are facing record debts. It is time for them to step up to the plate.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  101. Pugas-AZ

    If the auto exutives can drive to Washington, then I think Washington should tone-down the celebrations-Obama included. Let's hold down the unnessary expenditures and get the money flowing where it will do the most good for the country.

    December 4, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  102. S, Michigan

    Of course not! It is not just a celebration of one person becoming president; it is a celebration of democracy by the oldest democracy on the planet. It is a celebration of the freedoms we have; the opportunities we Americans make for ourselves, and a celebration of us looking past the color of the skin. Celebrate our hearts away- it only comes once in 4 years! We know we need it after being bushwacked for 8 years!

    December 4, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  103. hugh ~ tracy, california

    No way. This was a historic election for our country and the world. It should stay just as planned. Obama and the nation deserves to celebrate. I can't wait to watch it on CNN–there's my plug for you guys.

    An inaugural ball is not going to break the nation's piggy-bank– it's already broken anyway. I'm positive the republicans will cry foul, but who cares–they lost. Let 'em clench their fists and smirk.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  104. David in Granville, Ohio

    One of the biggest causes of the recession is lack of confidence by consumers and investors. Scaling back would reinforce the "doom and gloom" merchants and make the situation worse.

    An optimistic inauguration will send a positive message that might just get the economy moving a little bit. The cost is in reality a drop in the ocean.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  105. Sherrol in Canada

    Absolutely NOT!! The Fed Gov't has a budget for this, does it not? Also, additional funds are being raised through the private sector, folks are donating because they WANT to. I believe americans do need and will welcome something to celebrate in these troublesome times, especially one that is so historical.

    Presently Pres-elect Obama means too much to everyone, we want to see the glitz and glamour.

    Too many barriers have been broken down not to go BIG!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  106. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The inauguration should go on just as it always has. All the festivities will lift the spirits of the country and give us a break from bad economic news. Barack Obama should emulate the calm leadership of FDR who partied hardy at the inagural ball during the great depression, then closed all the banks the next morning. I look forward to seeing the kickoff for the new administration.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  107. Mary from Houston, tx

    Why haven't bush/cheney scaled back on any expenses, oh yeah, president photo op needs the lavish background for pictures.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  108. Mark in OKC

    Having Obama sworn in at the White House on live t.v. then giving his inaugural address sitting at his desk in the Oval Office would be a great idea. The government could then donate all that wasted inauguration money to the homeless and the poor. Let's see how that idea flies.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  109. Erin in Healdsburg CA

    I think we already had the 'Spectacular Event' the night of the election. Now that was a celebration! Keep it sane, keep it simple. Please let's not waste any more money on fluff. A huge party is inappropriate at this time due to the state of our sad and ailing economy.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  110. James in TN

    I dunno..I guess they could but being the event that it is I don't think they will.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  111. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    Given the historic event of the moment, be extravagant, but tastefully and budget-wise.

    Seeing how President-Elect Obama managed his campaign and the various interviews that he has conducted, he doesn't care about flash, just the substance. I see nothing but that happening at that historic event.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  112. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    Having the party be as big as possible may keep Nancy Pelosi from bailing out the catering and liquor industry. Beside, it keeps the lobbyist happy too.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  113. Ethel, Key Largo

    Only Two words Jack:


    December 4, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  114. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Yes! At this time he should show up at the Oval Office with Chief Justice Roberts,take the oath,sit down and go to work on the mess that bush has left him. May God help him.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  115. Joanne Buck

    After Obama's 1.2 Million Dollar Election night party – who knows what he really will do, and what he American people are informed about regarding the actual facts.
    He's no different than any other Lawyer who became President.
    Joanne Buck

    December 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  116. Festus, Montana

    . . . No, Jack. Senator Obama shouldn't "chill" on this one.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  117. Nancy, Tennessee

    The inauguration celebration should be cut-back to the bare essentials with the economic crises we are facing and should be a very somber time. People in the midst of winter losing their jobs and homes want change from the old spending ways of the current administration. And as an American citizen caught in the middle of the crunch feel that Laura Bush should have cut back drastically on her spending to decorate the White House. She talked on the news how this was to be a special time for her family – the last Christmas in the White House. She could have made it real special by showing compassion for those less fortunate and giving to the poor instead of putting up numerous trees in the White House and having chocolate replicas of the White House made that cost thousands of dollars. What is wrong with these people-they have way too much money to know how absurd some of their actions are.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  118. Billy G in Las Vegas

    NO!!! I want ot Party like it's 1933!!!

    "Happy days are here again. The skies above are clear again. So let's sing a song of cheer again. Happy days are here again ......"

    December 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  119. Rick from Hendensonville,N.C.

    OH NO!!!. I can't wait to see it happen. If prez elect Obama is watching.. DO YOU THANG!!! The bigger the better. That will bring much well Peace & Unity for the whole World to see. That Will Be our Message to other nations that we can come together no matter what we face in our time... I AM READY!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  120. Kay in WV

    Frankly yes. It is inappropriate to spend massive sums of money on something that will be meaningful regardless of money spent during a recession. He should scale down to the bare bones: parade, ceremony, one ball, and donate the rest to regional food banks.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  121. Precious Coker

    What will the scaling down prevent? Nothing!!

    Do not forget, this is the inauguration of the leader of the free world!!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  122. Myrtle, Alabama

    . . . Did the Republicans scale back on Neiman Marcus?

    love Myrtle.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  123. Nate Meta

    No expenses were spared when the King of Recession/Depression was inauguarated 2 x no less,that 2nd one was purely a Major waste, so why should Obama be denied any less ceremonial celebration of his historic moment in this phase of American History that was paved with the blood,sweat, tears and suffereing of so many Americans of many nationalites to make this phase even possible!!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  124. dennis north carolina


    December 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  125. Jay in Atlanta

    Absolutely!! This is a government, not a frat house. The party ends with Bush. Time to get serious.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  126. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    I think he should have his day like every other president. This is the first time in a long time I've been interested in an inauguration and I imagine there are others that feel the same way. Let us have our celebration and see history made. This will be the second time in my life I have seen history being made on inauguration day. The first was a catholic president. Makes me feel no matter what, our country can still move forward.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  127. Dianne, TX

    We were in hard times when Reagan came to office. Our economy was in the red when the first George Bush came to office. They were not ask to cut back. This is a mega historical moment for America. There will never be the first black President of the USA ever again. This is a very special time in America. Even in hard economic times, there is joy in hard times as well as good times. We need a celebration noe. Can we not celebrate America's firsy black President?

    December 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  128. Lee in TN

    Of course not!! This man has won the hearts of the people,so let him and the family celebrate with the people.

    Oh, yea, I bet you will not find one road block within five miles to keep those who might be a heckler away.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  129. Michael watching from Canada


    As a Canadian, it isn't my place to make a comment about scaling back inauguration plans. But the world has certainly recognized the historic importance of America electing Barack Obama and I am sure that the world will be celebrating the inauguration of this new leader of the free world regardless of whether the inauguration is scaled back or not.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  130. Cori from Colorado

    I agree with Jim Amstutz.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  131. Ray in Nashville

    Yes. Although this should be a celebration of America finally becoming a country for all its citizens, the economy is so bad that the president-elect should demonstrate his leadership by setting the example and cutting back on the party.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  132. Jay in Texas

    I don't think Obama should cut back on the Inauguration plans. Although I didn't vote for him, I believe the victors should have their day in the sun.
    Brownwood, Texas

    December 4, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  133. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    Not in my opinion. Obama's accent to the presidency of the US is true worlds history and should be celebrated as such.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  134. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    No. The Inaugural should definitely not be scaled back. It's the only thing the countrry has to celebrate right now. I say go for it – and go BIG!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  135. Sid...Texas

    No, I think President Elect Obama should have a great party befitting of the occasion. I personally will celebrate his becoming officially President in as much I will celebrate Bush's leaving by raising my glass high and beaking into a chorus of "Ding Dong, The Bush is Gone". Go ahead , and party Mr. Obama......

    December 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  136. Kristi from Indiana

    Jack, this might be the only boost we get to the Economy this year! People want a reason to celebrate & what better way than to issue in a new government with all the promise & future hardships that we will surely face in the years to come. Let us have our day to celebrate all the hard work we did & for our courage to make the change we knew we had to make!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  137. Sherrol in Canada

    I am so looking forward to this celebration, I can taste it!!

    December 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  138. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    The few things in life that you only get to do once. Do them right and don't do them cheap.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  139. Terry from North Carolina

    he should have the inauguration on AIR FORCE 1 while on his way to Pakistan and then to India. I dont believe the current administration is doing enough to keep the piece between these two countries. Condy says everything is OK , do you believe that ?

    December 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  140. Nuria

    No, he deserves his inaugural ball, and quite frankly, I think it will give us all something to look at to take our minds off of the current situation. It's enough he's going to have to spend the next 4 years cleaning up this mess, let him have his day.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  141. Lynne, Boise, Idaho

    Obama brings the feeling of hope to many of us and we just want to be a part of it, especially in hard economic times. I believe the people who are planning the inauguration will be mindful of the situation and will forego some of the ritz. Other than that, let us have our moment, please.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  142. Margie H.

    Hi Jack,
    YES he really should & use any EXTRA monies towards helping our economy! (throw it in w/the bailout money).

    Queen Creek, AZ.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  143. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    This will be a high point in American history. Than is reason enough to celebrate. The second reason is that we can consider this to be the last reason to celebrate for a very long time . A sort of "the condemed's last meal ", what with all the pain and sacrifice that the average American is faceing to get back to where we should be in our economy, and our place in the world.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  144. mel from ohio

    I'm sure that Obama and his people are smart enough to figure out a level of celebration that is respectful but joyful. We need some joy right now anyway and his scaling back isn't going to impact the trillions of dollars that we are in debt in the least!!!! I hope they have a big bash-wish I could be there with them.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  145. L. Mccullough

    Hi Jack,

    Yes he should. His campaign message was "a new beginning", so the lavish lifestyle of the Bush Administration should be banished. There is no need to spend millions on a huge celebration that mainstream Americans can only watch from the sidelines on TV. Maybe he could use the innauguration funds to pay down the national debt.

    December 4, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  146. James in Trubble Again

    No let it be

    December 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  147. tom in Iowa

    I don't think they need to scale back, just don't get dressed up in $150,000 worth of clothing. 🙂

    December 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  148. Sean from Atlanta, Ga.

    Did George W Bush scale back his?, Did Bill Clinton scale back his? Did George H W Bush scale back his? Did Ronald Reagan scale back his? And none of these previous President-Elects won with a political landslide like Barack Obama did. So all yall party smashers get out of the man way and let him and his family and the AMERICAN PEOPLE enjoy this historic moment. PLEASE!

    December 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  149. spencer/newport news, virginia

    No. No. No. History won't be held up because our economy is in the dumps. If anything, people need to go to D.C. and be vendors and make some extra money. That will actually help the economy.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  150. Melanie, Germany

    Actually, President Obama should ask the parents of these "my super sweet sixteen" reality show to finance his Inauguration. They can afford new cars and huge parties for their kids, why not for an important moment in History ?

    December 4, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  151. Ralph Nelson

    I think it is a great idea. Give the money to food kitchens and homeless centers for the growing unemployed. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  152. Ken M . Millington MI

    Hello Jack. No i believe that the people of the United States need to have a celebration that compares to high hopes of saving our nation. We need to have our faith restored that by unity and selfless hardwork and by supporting President Obama's Leadership during the tough decision that he will have to make, that we can right this ship and sail into a brighter future for our great country.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  153. Happy in Arizona

    Yes. He can still celebrate in a more modest way and still have a lovely inaugural event.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  154. Daniel, Indiana

    Why? If people are foolish enough to donate their money to the Inaugration Fund, why should they scale it back? There are millions of Americans that are suffering great need, but the elitist attitude of Americans says to forget them and to have a party to drown the suffering. Even the middle-class has this elitist attitude. This is the American arrogance that foreigners hate about America. Why should we do anything different?

    December 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  155. Jeff from Minnesota

    I think a less ostentatious and subdued celebration would be called for under the present circumstances.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  156. Jackie in Dallas

    Guys, a lot of you are missing the point. This money is not coming from the government, it isn't coming from the taxpayers in that it isn't coming from taxes we've paid. A lot of us have contributed in our small ways for the transition and inauguration of an historic Presidency. No, I don't think that CEOs (especially those standing in line for handouts) should be sponsoring $5,000 a plate dinners, and dressing in their diamonds, furs, and designer clothes - and if they do, I hope the Obamas don't go. But I think going for a "block party" atmosphere would be wonderful. Let the common people, the ones who sweated out $10 and $20 donations to get him elected have a party to celebrate.

    I may not have a home by that time, but whereever I am, I'm raising a glass (boxed wine, anyone?) to celebrate the hope for a return to sanity.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  157. Beverly Hutton

    NO. This is a day that many Americans have been waiting a lifetime to see. Why should the grandeur of the event not reflect that?

    December 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  158. Steve C

    He has got plenty of dough. Maybe, he should step up to the plate and spend his own money on the event. It would really prove that he is passionate about helping our economy.

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    December 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  159. Dan Fox

    Those 50 or so percent of Americans that are satisfied with the healthcare system are the ones that have healthcare. It seems that they do not care for others less fortunate.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  160. Kelly, NY state

    No way. Let Barack Obama have his historic moment just like all the other presidents. It is a time for celebration at a time when there is precious little to celebrate.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  161. Bill in PA

    I think he should cancel all of the celebrations and donate those contributions to help people who lost their jobs. That would be a real president of the people but I won't hold my breath.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  162. Al, Iowa City, IA

    Barack Obama is Truth and Grace. He deserves a celebration worthy of his character.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  163. Brad


    December 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  164. Vicki, Montana

    YES!!! What a huge slap in the face to those American's who have lost their jobs or homes, or both and are struggling to make ends meet, to spend millions on an innauguration!! What a huge waste of money.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  165. Irv Lilley

    Jack He should keep it modest. Whic can be done without looking cheap. But I think , he will have little to say about it.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  166. Frannie

    I bet he gets it just right.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  167. Rob. in Detroit

    NO! Jack Jan.20 will be a historic day,history in the making,Obama has to do it so big.that it will be talked about for decades.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  168. jc vortz

    It would be the most amazingly ethical thing a politician has done in years

    December 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  169. Ken Paros


    The 49% who are satisfied more than likely have insurance from work or can afford to have it. I am part of the 41% who just can't afford it. If I made more than $10.25/hr I am sure I could help spend the econony back to reason. However...

    Ken in Wheeling, WV

    December 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  170. Leslie

    This is a time to celebrate and if there are wealthy individuals who wish to use their money for that purpose, that is fine. I would much rather see large sums of money go to charities or to help people in need. There is enough wealth in this country for everyone to have a pie of the pie. The event that will only last one night would pay off a lot of mortgages. I am not suggesting that private individuals pay the mortgages of others, I am using that as a comparison. This is not a time to over due it.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  171. Tenisha

    I don't think that President-elect Obama should scale back at all. There have been other low points in our history and no other President has scaled back. His election marks should a great day for America that we should celebrate to the fullest. This is a celebration for America. Amist these times, we all need a little joy and happiness!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  172. A.C. Mitchell

    Absolutely ...Not! This is history.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  173. chris @ stl

    No. He should spend as much as possible .... that would help the economy!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  174. Jacqueline Mongeot

    Maybe I am not well informed but I do not know any of the details of the inauguration party. I have the feeling it will be more modest than proclaimed. The 3 or 5 million of citizens who will participate want to celebrate the end of a sad era and the joy of change. I would go if I could, woul'nt you? The president-elect seems more prepared and better organized than any of his predecessors...and ready to work for us. Why should'nt we rejoice and express our hope andconfidence in him? I hope it will be a success
    Jacqueline. San Diego CA

    December 4, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  175. Jane Greiner, Lakeland, FL

    One viewer remarked "why should I pay for the inauguration, why should you"..... we don't. If the dems want a party, party on!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  176. Jeff Crocket

    Of course he should!! he is the man of the people?? or is he???

    December 4, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  177. Nuwan

    He may simplify it still have a strong tone to the inaguration to characterize its significant. The economy is bad, we all know that. But that is not a reason for everyone to weep. This inaguration is about celebrating change, a defining moment in American history. So I think it is ok. Anyway, what people do as individuals or as groups to celebrate this event can not be controlled by the government. Anyone has the right to celebrate this significant moment, in Washington or outside. So lets wait and see how Obama would do it.

    – Nuwan from Houston, TX

    December 4, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  178. carrie

    yes not only for the ecomony but for his and his familes protection. scale but to prove to us that he really meant what he said during his campaign

    December 4, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  179. Chadq


    This will be a historic day..
    Obama should be allowed his day in the history books to be a great day.

    Bring it on !

    December 4, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  180. Al, Iowa City, IA

    For some strange reason, the construction photo with the White House in the background reminds me of a scene from a Clint Eastwood movie where the condemned (W in this case) watches every painful detail of the gallows under construction from their jail cell window.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  181. Paul, Riverside, CA


    Absolutely NOT!

    This is a historical moment for our country at a time when Americans need something to feel proud about. To "Scale Back" would only take away from the enormity of the impact Obama's campaign and win had on this country.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  182. Jon in Austin, TX

    Absolutely not! I supported George W Bush and voted for McCain, but I'm rooting for President-elect Obama and hope he earns my vote in four years.

    We, as a people linked by the ideals of our forefathers, need to properly and enthusiastically celebrate this testament to the greatest nation on earth! The people have spoken and ultimately, Democracy wins again. This inauguration, we should put aside partisan beliefs and revel in a moment that is not merely a footnote, but a defining chapter in our nation's history!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  183. Suzanne, Ontario, Canada


    No, I don't think so....he worked hard for this party!! Let him enjoy it. It is after all, quite a historical time for our neighbours south of us. He deserves all the fun he can have now....because he has quite a mess on his hands that he has to take care of after the inauguration....so NO...get the party started!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  184. Lorraine, Syracuse NY

    I say party and party hard! Think of it like the night before your wedding- you want to have a good time before you face the rigors of marriage. Let Obama and his supporters have a day of fun before its time to take out the trash 🙂

    December 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  185. Diana Ewing NJ

    People are so happy about this election, I do not think he could stop them from coming down to Washington... If I were healthy enough... I would be right there along with the crowd...

    I am one of the common people.... and all the people I know want to be there.. right by his side.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  186. bridgette

    For what he has waiting for him he should party again like it's 1999. Because he has a real situation waiting for him and there won't be much partying after that.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  187. e quintero

    It is good for the economy. People will be spending money on airfares, hotels, taxis, restaurants, souvenirs, etc. We need this type of activity without any government bailout. Get over!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  188. Sue from Pasadena CA

    If you scale back the party plans, you deprive many people in Washington DC and environs of making their living, of having a boost in sales and income. There are many reasons to keep tradition, and they are all good reasons.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  189. Joe - Chicago, IL

    I think a low key cerimony is in order, of course I think that for every inauguration. It would be a nice symbolic gesture that the president is willing to cut the frills of his office for the betterment of the country.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  190. Cynthia Zigmund

    Absolutely not. Americans deserve a spectacular celebration as a reward for putting up wtih total inadequacy for 8 years. Don't even try to take our party away from us. So many Americans have worked hard for Obama to be our president and we want to see him honored with all the pomp and circumstance possible.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  191. Less Austin, Texas

    The inauguration is a tradition. Why should Obama scale back, when everyone else wasn't ask to do the same?

    Regardless of whether or not the inauguration goes on, the economy crisis will still exist. It isn't Obama's fault the economy is in a big mess – he wasn't president for the last 8 years.

    Let the people and the country, who have supported Obama, enjoy this time to witness history in the making. Obama deserves this special occassion.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  192. Maggie from SC

    We have had an 8-year war going on and it did not stop other celebrations along the way. This celebration will be the a new beginning instead of the same old same old.....

    December 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  193. Jeffrey from LA, California

    Absolutely not. Barack Obama is being inaugurated on my 20th birthday! I am going to Washington to soak in the exciting atmosphere of seeing him become our next president. The American people should be excited about this and this inauguration should be made a big deal of!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  194. Barbara - NC

    The money is from donors. Let him enjoy what people are willing to pay for.

    The shrubs (whom I don't like) are spending taxpayers dollars (which I don't like) on all their festivities (which I don't like).

    December 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  195. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I have a feeling that the Obama administration has already thought about the "Bush Disaster" they are walking into, and know that our Nation is in bad shape.

    Yesterday CNN reported on the big hoopla the Bushes are planning for their last White House Christmas, they are the ones who need to tone-it down!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  196. Noël

    Yes, bit I feel if they went all out it would be excused.
    Much joy and much happiness pressed upon the people and politicians when Obama won. I feel that this would be a great, allbeit poor timing, show of our joy.

    Although people may be adversive in times of great struggle, I feel I could and America could pardon such joy.

    December 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  197. Sheryl

    No this is to big to scale back!!!! This is something most of Americans have been waiting for; Why scale back to remind us of hard times No not this time!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  198. Randy - Denver

    In my opinion no.

    Three reasons
    1) This is mostly a privately funded celebration and therefore the cost to the average taxpayer is low.
    2) It is uplifting and in times like we are starting to experiance now the uplift is important to the countries morale. If you "news" organizations would stop, this one time, talking about the cost most people would not even care.
    3) Finally all the money being spent on this inaguration is going to SOMEONE. To stop it now would be taking money out of the businesses, including the caterers, hotels, florist etc. pockets and would ahve a negative impact on the (local at least) economy. Much like the the money spent here in denver during the DNCs little visit here was a large boon to the economy this inauguration celebration will be a boon to the DC area.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  199. Tory

    I voted for Barack Obama because he told us that he would fix what has been a horrible situation for working Americans these last eight years. I voted for Barack Obama because he promised to be a voice for regular people, not someone beholden to Big Business or Big Washington. Well, regular people are hurting right now, and the millions of dollars that could be spent on inaugural parties aren't going to do anything to help us find jobs, educate our children, or afford to pay our mortgages. President-elect Obama should scale back inaugural plans as proof that he really is going to work for the people, not just for the people in charge.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  200. J0 Ann DANIELS

    I don't think there should be any scaling back. He's for change, but this is not meant to be one of those changes.Obama is full of surprises, so it may be that he might plan something different. Remember the balloons that he decided against at the Democratic Convention? This is a historic moment, let him enjoy. Jo Ann, TEXAS

    December 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  201. Molly

    Yes, but I say that disregarding the economic conditions. I think over the past few decades these events have gotten out of control. They are starting to look like Hollywood gatherings...and while we all like to look at the sparkly hollywood type nobody takes them seriously.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  202. Linda Barron

    With so many people in this country adversely affected by the economy, fearful of what the future will bring and having little to celebrate, I think it would show tremendous compassion (which Mr Obama claims to have) and sensitivity to cancel these expensive balls and parties. Let those bankrolling these events donate them to local food banks, shelters, educational retraining programs and other worthwhile endeavors.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  203. Eric in Metro Houston


    I'm 51 years old, a taxpayer like most everyone here and I say NO, don't scale it back. Something historic like this may never happen again in my lifetime. My only real fear is that there are some nuts out there that would like nothing better than to turn this into a tragic event, hence the increase in secret service.

    Now, if he wins again in 2012, then I say yes that should be scaled back, but now I don't mind seeing my tax dollars show me this!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  204. Brandi

    Of course not. Why should he? Why not just get it out of the way so that we can get down to there REAL issues facing our country.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  205. Lane

    Definitely not! The worst thing to do in a recession/depression is to stop spending. That causes more job losses, and creates a vicious circle. We need those who can spend to do so.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  206. judy

    No he should not scale back. He should ask for donations. I would not go to the big bash but I am more than willing to donate dollars. It's a historic event. Nothing should be changed!!!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  207. chaz

    i believe he should scale back the celebration but remember it is a celebration, and also that will be a historic stay and should be celebrated as one

    December 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  208. JaRee

    No way should he scale back. This is once-in-a-lifetime celebration that most of the country has been waiting for. I think we can afford to take a break for one day out of the year to welcome in our new President.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  209. Stephen


    December 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  210. Jamie Hall

    I think that this celebration is the beginning of healing for the US and the relationship with the rest of the world. I think it should be a big blow out that concentrates on morale and positivity and I hope that it would be a symbol for ongoing momentum.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  211. chaz

    I believe Obama should scale back the celebration but remember it is a celebration, and also that will be a historic day and should be celebrated as one

    December 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  212. Rick (Denver)

    No! I think that the country should celebrate this historic moment in full! Even though times are tough, a little celebration can kick off the optimism that this country and the world in general needs to get back on track!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  213. Bonnie Richard


    December 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  214. Cheryl Tennessee

    One can only hope, Jack, one can only hope.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  215. martina pickett

    No they should not scale back. Bush just got through lighting the Christmas Tree and I didnt see anyone asking him if he was going to cut back on that ceremony. No, Obama should have the party that everyone else had.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  216. Kathleen

    No! No! No! The events are privately funded and should not be curbed if donors want to fund it. This is a historic inauguration.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  217. Laura

    Absolutely! This is such a great accomplishment and a huge milestone for our country, but we're in financial turmoil as a country too. There should still be a celebration, but stick to the basics and don't do anything too over-the-top. That money can simply be spent better elsewhere.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  218. Aaron from MD

    Definitely not! I have been waiting 8 years for this day to come. I wouldn't even mind if Barack Obama held an after party at the White House. To me, it's a day of celebration; Obama in, Bush out.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  219. marilynn


    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  220. Roger in Ca.

    Just imagine Jack, looking out across the green grass lawn right up to the walls of the White House and not seeing a Bush anywhere in site.
    That in itself is cause for celebration.
    I think he should scale back until Bush is out of town and then let her rip.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  221. Matt

    Everyone can party, but Obama has to get to work the instant he's sworn in.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  222. val from Oklahoma

    No President Elect Obama should not scale back his inauguration celebrations, I know they say we're in a recession, but afterall we do have a lot to celebrate about. George Bush is leaving office. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  223. Laura

    Absolutely, PLEASE scale back!!! There are so many people hurting in our country and in the world. I think it is VERY important for the Obama administration to "walk the talk" of real change and compassion for those in need, and cut down signficantly on Inauguration expenses and instead use that money to helping toward people's basic needs like food and shelter. This would also serve as an important exampe for Americans , to encourage them to reach out and help others more.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  224. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    Let's party!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  225. Cheryl

    Obama should throw a huge party.

    Some of the problem with the economy is that people are not spending. The money donated for the inauguration should be "redistributed" to florists, caterers, cooks, waiters and waitresses, cleaning people, hotels, carpenters and all the folks it takes to make a successful inauguration.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  226. Betty Sheldon

    From Lincoln, NE – in addition to a more modest celebration for the folks able to attend in Washington D.C, I'd like to see community centers, homeless shelters, senior citizen facilities, churches, all kinds of gathering places all over the country open with meals, music, and connections to the festivities so that all might participate at the grass roots level.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  227. Erik in Washington, DC

    Absolutely, America should be celebrating. Things may be tough in the economy and on the international front, but after 8 long years of the catastrophic leadership of the Bush Administration, we should celebrate that we finally have a leader with the vision, intelligence and character to lead our country out of these troubled times. On January 20th, the Occupation of America will finally have ended. Let The Liberation (and the celebration) begin!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  228. CC Missouri City, Texas

    No, President Elect Obama should have the largest party the US has ever seen. No other President elect was asked to scale back their inauguration party. Regardless, of the situation, why should we slight this President. We have been in this situation in the past. Why should this President make an exception.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  229. JPL


    The celebration must go on, there shouldn't no cut back.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  230. Kurt


    I just learned today that our annual department holiday party will be canceled this year due to the economy. Our chairman is trying to save money for the department. While I agree that it will save money, he did not offer any type of alternatives. I don't think holiday parties should be all or none. Obama should scale down his party but not strip this grand occasion for everyone. There are many things that can be done without "throwing in the kitchen sink". I'm sure Obama knows how to throw a good party without running up a huge tab.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  231. jane, Venice, FL

    We need a joyous occasion. The lavish events could be tempered with lavish donations - perhaps set a goal, set a record, and set a precedent for the most giving on a single day? There could be even more to celebrate along with a greater sense of pride.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  232. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    Absolutely go forward with the celebration.

    With all of the negative, depressing things happening, this is the one positive and sincerely proud moment for this country. To diminish its historic impact would be shameful. If people can't afford to go we won't. That doesn't mean we don't approve of others that will be able to participate by attending, and the rest of us will be watching with all the enthusiasm this event calls for.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  233. Patrick in Central Florida

    I say if we're gonna be broke lets go out with a bang. So lets make this a day that the world will never forget, as we all got used to saying " yes we can".

    December 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  234. kathy

    i dont think so, let us celebrate history freely

    December 4, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  235. James Monroe

    I don't think this afair should be scaled back because of the economy. I'm not rich and I have to pay the same price for bread and milk as everyone else. The unemployment rate is nearing 7%, so that means that about 93% of the country is enployed. I hope the country can recover from this economic down turn, but this event in our history is something to go all out. Let the party begin!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  236. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    That depends on how much taxpayer money is being used for the inauguration.
    If taxpayer dollars will be used to host fancy parties for a bunch of rich campaign contributors, those should definitely be cancelled.
    Or at least make the rich people pay their own way.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  237. Gerry from Virginia

    No Jack. I don't think so. We have waited to long for a person of Barak Obama's quality to take leadership of our country, surely we can afford a real celebration of this historic event. Let us have a wonderful, joyous celebration. It may be our last...

    December 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  238. Richard Robinson, Cupertino CA

    President Obama should certainly have a large inaugural. This celebration would help the local Washington DC economy. It will be paid for by individual contributions, will employ a large number of people and send a message to the rest of the world that the United States is coming back.

    A small event sends the wrong message.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  239. Ben

    Why should he is my question? The economy will most likely benefit from the wealthy spending money for this wonderful occasion. Party on and support your local business.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  240. Linda Scott

    Absolutely NOT – I guess I'd like to know if any other President elect has ever cut back on his Inauguration celebration ?? If so, what were the conditions –

    In my opinion, this is a well deserved celebration for President elect Obama and all Americans.

    Also, thousands of people traveling to Washington, DC in January to attend Oprah's visit is bound to create additional revenue for local businesses -and that is a good thing Right ??

    December 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  241. Debbie

    No, the bigger the better! We need a party after the past 8 years. We should eat drink and be merry as much as possible for tomorrow we may be out of work out of our home and standing in the soup lines. We might as well have a good time getting there. We need to show the world that even in bad times we can celebrate Obama's Great victory. We have made History! It is a joy to be a part of it.
    Loganville, Ga.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  242. Emanuel & Raquel

    We must realize that this is historic and monumental event that is well deserving of a celebration. Even though economic times are grim, we truly believe that our chosen president-elect will make the right decision to help turn this economy and nation around. Scaling back is not not going to put a dent in our debt nor is it a solution to America's economic woes. The party should and must go on!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  243. Alan, Buxton Maine

    The bigger the better. Anything that infuses money into the economy is a help.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  244. FreeNLovIt

    This is the shining moment in our history. We shouldnt hold back. It's a new beginning and we should have fun with it!!!!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  245. ange in ny

    No. Nyet. Nah. Nay, forsooth! Nope.
    Five million guests are attending this historic event, including my sister and me. I don't care if I have to stand on the Prince George's county line – I Will Be There! Soooo– Let there be fireworks, bands, joy, music, dancing, rejoicing, and a bash to end all bashes. This is a day we have all waited for and WE WILL CELEBRATE! We will not be denied...

    December 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  246. Joe


    December 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  247. Greg

    No. In my opinion this inauguration ,like past others for Ameicans is a historical event and should be celebrated accordingly. No one is saying that it should be to the scale of the Beging Olympics opening ceremony.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  248. DP

    Sure. As soon as Bush gets rid of ALL the Christmas decor in the White House.

    Not to mention all the taxpayers money he wastes in flying Airforce 1 here and there. Has Bush concidered flying commercial and paying for the trip himself?

    Did he forget who created this recession?

    December 4, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  249. melissa

    Perhaps they should use the leftover capital from the campaign to assist in funding the inauguration festivities. They managed to ahve a surplus of funds after the presidential campaign; they should reward themselves for a mission accomplished and a debt free campaign. Barack it out!

    December 4, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  250. Richie from Burlington, Wisconsin

    Yes, I think he should. Wouldn't it be telling and inspirational to an economically-hurting nation if the inauguration just cut to the chase without all of the lights and mirrors? What a way to introduce yourself to the nation.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  251. Pepe Le Pew

    Go for the gold! Our country has been a lot already. We don't need to tip toe through the forest on this one. We need to let other countries know that we ain't that broke.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  252. LL Cox

    As he has promised big change, we'll see what his first opportunity to act upon that promise looks like. I guess we'll see if words are just words now that the election is over.


    December 4, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  253. Brenda

    President-Elect Obama should not scale back. Plus, no matter how much he scales back, "we-the people" will do what it takes to be a physical part of that day. We want to be in the midst to feel the emotion, to witness the crowds around us and to really be a part of history. Many of us have heard our parents and grandparents talk about being in the crowd when MLK spoke. We want to feel that same kind joy and proud emotion.

    Thank You

    December 4, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  254. Diane

    Guess we will see if Barack really means CHANGE.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  255. sandee from Portland

    Heavens no! Not only is it a celebration of PE Obama being sworn in but also a celebration of a new beginning for our democracy.

    December 4, 2008 at 6:37 pm |