The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Inaugural cost actually $70 million

I hate linking to subscriber-only articles, but this is a meaty one from salon. In fact, it's so chock-full of info that it's hard to choose samples. Here are some of the salient points:

". . .according to a mostly underreported Washington Post poll this week, a strong majority of Americans -- 66 percent, including 46 percent of Republicans -- would have preferred a "smaller, more subdued" inauguration, given the ongoing war in Iraq."

"Most major outlets stuck to the lower, albeit still unprecedented, figure of $40 million, which the Presidential Inaugural Committee said it hopes to raise from private donors. But a more accurate figure may be $50 million. That's the amount cited by the Washington Times (which is plugged in to GOP circles). But even that number doesn't take into account the nearly $20 million that's being spent for security, putting the real cost at closer to $70 million. . ."

Newsweek also reported that Bush's natural self-confidence was boosted by his "clear election victory" in November. But as Salon previously noted, in the past 80 years, only three times have presidents been elected with fewer than 300 electoral votes. Bush accounts for two of the three anomalies; in 2000 he won 271 electoral votes, and in 2004 he captured 286. (Jimmy Carter is the third example, with 297.) By way of comparison, Bush's final margin of victory was almost identical to Carter's win over Gerald Ford in 1976, when there was very little discussion of a mandate for the Democrat. Yet to Newsweek's eyes, Bush enjoyed a "clear victory."