The Obama presidential inauguration signaled the conclusion of the Bush administration with the swearing-in ceremony of president-elect Barack Hussein Obama, and Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. as Vice President, on Tuesday January 20, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. EST. 1.8 million people came to Washington D.C. to watch the ceremony, the largest crowd ever assembled for a presidential inauguration since Lyndon B. Johnson's inauguration speech in 1965.
In President Barack Obama's inauguration speech, he mentioned, "On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." Unfortunately, the official WhiteHouse.gov website includes the following statement, "President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush..."  The phrase has since been replaced with "President Obama will keep the broken promises to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast." Instead of directly blaming Bush, the White House has kept the worn out dogma of Bush failed New Orleans, indirectly.
Cost of the Inauguration
According to an article by Gregg Walker, publisher of the Lakeland Times, the cost of Obama's inauguration may have exceeded $160 million; in comparison, the cost for George W. Bush's 2005 inauguration was only $44 million.
Walker notes the comments from the liberal mainstream media regarding Bush's 2005 inauguration:
- "Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in unarmored Humvees"
- "Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"
- "Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans get the shaft."
and the comments from the liberal mainstream media regarding Obama's 2009 inauguration:
- "Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"
- "Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"
- "Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million"
Fox News' Sean Hannity agreed, saying, "the cost of Obama's inaugural will dwarf past celebrations and make those of President Bush's look like budget bashes".
However, Factcheck.org states that "Claims of a huge disparity are untrue. Actually, an apples-to-apples comparison shows that the two inaugurations likely cost about the same." In a column for MediaMatters.org, Eric Boehlert explains that the $44 million figure cited for the Bush inauguration did not include the federal government's spending on security for the event. The New York Times notes that, "In 2005, Mr. Bush raised $42.3 million from about 15,000 donors for festivities; 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 Boehlert, the combined total of Bush's 2005 inauguration was $157 million, a cost similar to that projected for Obama's inauguration.
- While inviting a Christian to give an inaugural prayer is not so controversial, the gay community is in an uproar over the invite to evangelical pastor Rick Warren. Pastor Warren voted for Proposition 8 in his home state of California.
- Rev. Sharon Watkins of Protestant Christian denomination gave an opening prayer. She is the first female pastor to give an inaugural prayer.
- Openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson from New Hampshire prayed at a concert held two days before the inauguration. Bishop Robinson was among those responsible for the breakup of the American Episcopal Church over the issue of gay pastors.
- Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, was invited to give an inaugural prayer. Mattson's group says it does not condone terrorism. The Holy Land Foundation and five of its former leaders were convicted of funneling millions of dollars to Hamas, for which the ISNA funded and supported.
- In an additional break with Obama's predecessors, no Catholic or Jewish speaker was invited to give an inaugural prayer.
- ↑ D.C.'s Inauguration Head Count: 1.8 Million NY Daily News, January 14th 2009
- ↑ Additional Issues/Katrina WhiteHouse.gov
- ↑ Lakeland Times, The American people need a leader, by Gregg Walker (Publisher), 1/30/2009 
- ↑ FOXNews.com, Obama Inauguration Price Tag, by Sean Hannity, Tuesday, January 20, 2009 
- ↑ FactCheck.org, Q: Did Barack Obama's inauguration really cost 4 times as much as George Bush's 2005 inauguration?, by Joe Miller, January 21, 2009 
- ↑ mediamatters.org, The media myth about the cost of Obama's inauguration, by Eric Boehlert, Jan 17, 2009 
- ↑ New York Times, Obama’s Inauguration Fund-Raising Tops $24 Million, by KATHARINE Q. SEELYE, published January 5, 2009 
- ↑ Obama's next pastor controversy - at inauguration Reuters, December 18, 2008
- ↑ Female minister to deliver sermon at inaugural prayer service, a first AP, January 11, 2009
- ↑ Gay bishop to give Inaugural prayer Washington Times, January 13, 2009
- ↑ Feds Say Obama Prayer Leader Is From Group Linked to Hamas Fox News, January 17, 2009