The Blog

Public 'Inauguration' Just for Show, Likely to Cost Taxpayers Over $100 Million

3:53 PM, Dec 6, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Stephen Dinan reports that "Because next year's inauguration falls on a Sunday, President Obama will hold only a small, private swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, and will hold a big public redo the next day. The Inaugural Committee announced Thursday that activities will last three days: a day of service on Saturday, the small private ceremony on Sunday, and the public swearing-in, parade and balls on Monday."

That means, the public "inauguration" is just a show, while the actual inauguration will again be behind closed doors (just as it was last go around). 

What's the show going to cost? If the cost of recent past inaugurations are any indication, well over $100 million.

In 2005, for President Bush's second inauguration, "the federal government and the District of Columbia spent a combined $115.5 million, most of it for security, the swearing-in ceremony, cleanup and for a holiday for federal workers," according to the New York Times.

And for Obama's first inauguration in 2009, the cost for the government was over $125 million, according to reports:

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services. 

And then there is the party bill.

We have a budget of roughly $45 million, maybe a little bit more," said Linda Douglas, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee. That's more than the $42.3 million in private funds spent by President Bush's committee in 2005, or the $33 million spent for Bill Clinton's first inaugural in 1993.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers