Recession Weighs on Obama's Big Party

Planners seek appropriate tone for huge inauguration
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2008 8:45 AM CST

(Newser) – Washington is getting ready for what promises to be the biggest presidential inauguration in history, dwarfing the record 1.2 million who came out for LBJ in 1965. But with the country in a recession and at war, inaugural planners are struggling to find the right tone for the celebrations. One possibility, the New York Times reports, is that Barack Obama and Joe Biden might perform some community service—before going off to the dozens of balls.

For the Obama camp, the historical nature of the inauguration of the first black president speaks for itself, and they may seek to replicate the tone of his Grant Park acceptance speech: celebratory but serious. While some austerity may be in order, Obama has allowed himself one indulgence: He's ordered his first new tuxedo in 15 years from his longtime Chicago tailor.