Obama Pushes For Inauguration Donations

(CBS)
Barack Obama today sent an e-mail to supporters asking for donations to help pay for his presidential inauguration.

"I know we've asked a lot of you," Obama acknowledges in the e-mail, a reference to his unprecedented fundraising efforts during his presidential campaign.

"Just like we did on the campaign, we're relying entirely on supporters like you -- ordinary people giving whatever they can afford to make [the inauguration] an event for all Americans," the e-mail says.

Mr. Obama – who signs off with his first name in the e-mail – writes that new contributions are needed because his team is organizing the "most open and accessible inauguration in our nation's history" without the help of lobbyists or big corporations.

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Mr. Obama has already taken in about $27 million for the inauguration; "much of it with single checks of $25,000 or $50,000 from executives from Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Hollywood as well as from former supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton," the New York Times reports. Donors thus far include Steven Spielberg, George Soros and Halle Berry.

According to NPR, the inaugural committee and transition project together need $50 million, however, and are now facing potential budget shortfalls.

"The inaugural committee pays for the official inaugural festivities: the lavish balls, the jumbo video screens on the National Mall, most of the parade activities and almost everything else except the swearing-in ceremony itself," writes NPR. "The transition project finances the grunt work of the new administration, ranging from recommending appointees to assessing the condition of agencies."

In the e-mail, Mr. Obama uses an age-old tactic to encourage donations: He offers a prize.

"And if you make a donation of any amount before midnight tonight, you could be selected to come to Washington, D.C., and be part of the welcome ceremony, the swearing in, the Inaugural Parade, and the Inaugural Community Ball," he writes. Full e-mail below.


Brian --

On January 20th, our journey to bring change will officially begin.

We're organizing the most open and accessible inauguration in our nation's history. And we're doing it without contributions from Washington lobbyists or big corporations.

Just like we did on the campaign, we're relying entirely on supporters like you -- ordinary people giving whatever they can afford to make this an event for all Americans.

I know we've asked a lot of you. But changing the way business is done in Washington will take a commitment from all of us. Right now, you can help give this administration a strong start.

And if you make a donation of any amount before midnight tonight, you could be selected to come to Washington, D.C., and be part of the welcome ceremony, the swearing in, the Inaugural Parade, and the Inaugural Community Ball.

Make a donation of $5 or more and be part of the historic moment you made possible.

We have a long road ahead of us, and we're going to face some major challenges as soon as we start. But I know I can count on you every step of the way.

Thank you for everything you've done and happy New Year,

Barack

P.S. -- You could be there for this historic moment even if you cannot make a donation. You can show your support by sharing what this Inauguration means to you. Learn more here:

https://donate.pic2009.org/tickettohistory

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