Will Economy Tone Down the Inauguration?

Opulent or muted, Obama has chance to set tone for presidency
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2008 4:22 PM CST
Workers construct the inaugural platform at the west end of the Capitol in Washington in preparation for Barack Obama's presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009.    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – Unemployment is on the rise. The stock market is in the tank. Is this any time for a party? For the sake of the masses expected for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, let's hope so. While Obama must be sensitive to the nation's time of war and recession, there's still reason to expect a rollicking time. "Americans are people who love to indulge," one expert says.

"We're mindful of the fact that people in this country are hurting," says a spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which has disclosed few details. "On the other hand, we see this as a time for people to celebrate their shared aspirations and goals." Though never cheap—George W. Bush raised $42 million to finance his second inauguration—an inauguration helps set the tone for a presidency, says a political scholar.