Q: Can you please tell me why we need another inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama? He had a grand ceremony four years ago when he was first elected, which was fine. With our tough economy, I think it is a waste of money.— Michael Larson, Tucker
A: The tradition of a second inauguration dates to George Washington in 1793, and Obama’s second one will be smaller than his first in 2009. He will, as required by law, take the oath of office on Jan. 20, which is Sunday, and the inauguration will be held Monday, which is the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Between 600,000 and 800,000 people are expected to attend, down from 2 million for the first inauguration, and the festivities have been reduced to three days, instead of four, in reference to the nation’s struggling economy, The Associated Press reported. There are two inaugural balls this year, down from 10 in 2009. It’s the fewest by any president since Dwight Eisenhower’s first term in 1953, according to Reuters. As of Jan. 4, more than 400 donors, including AT&T and Microsoft, have made contributions to help fund events surrounding the inaugural, and Obama’s inauguration committee offered four types of VIP packages to donors, the AP reported. It raised a record $53 million for his first one.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email email@example.com (include name, phone and city).