If President-elect Barack Obama really wants change I can believe in and to break away from politics-as-usual, I suggest running off to the Motorless City for this year’s Inauguration. A good ‘ol fashioned elopement is the perfect way to bite your thumb at tradition, especially when the expectations for a traditional marriage between a Man and an Executive Branch (that’s what it says in the Constitution, so it must be true) grow exponentially by the nanosecond.
Estimates for this year’s inaugural bash are pushing the $150 million envelope, not to mention it’s BYOBMCHPPTPH (Bring Your Own Beer, Makeshift Cardboard House, Porta-Potty, Toilet Paper & HOPE). You would think the Inaugural Committee could stretch this money and throw in a couple of kegs and a sleeve of plastic cups.
However, like the federal budget, most of these funds have been earmarked for defense and homeland security purposes. By security I mean party crashers. And by party crashers I don’t mean bitter and/or disgruntled Republicans, rather twenty-somethings who still go to high school keggers, Ryan Seacrest and those pesky Mad Maxian party crashers from the 1980s cult classic film “Weird Science.” Regarding the latter, everyone knows, at least those of us who viewed “Weird Science” as a cautionary tale know the best and by far the cheapest defense against these alien thugs is wearing a brassiere on your head and reciting passages from the Old Constitution – not to be confused with the recently revised edition.
Just think what Obama could do with all that Inauguration money if he were to elope to Detroit. He could use the money for a down payment on a new White House in a new location, say the upper-Midwest where he would not only be insulated from D.C. lobbyists, but he would be closer to his Fortress of Solitude — should he ever feel the need to get away from it all and find himself through introspection and a steady supply of Klondike bars.
Having already spent over $700 million on his presidential bid, I imagine Obama wanted to have something small, quaint and private for his swearing-in ceremony.
But, as is the case in the multi-billion dollar wedding industry, politics almost always trump intentions, whether it be family politics or the loathsome politics-as-usual boogeyman – both of which begin rearing their heads during the initial drafting process of the guest list. If you thought the legislative process was messy, you’ve obviously never planned your own wedding. Bill in Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill” has it made compared to the embattled Guest List in the yet-to-be released “I’m Just a Guest List.”
The process begins with both parties listing immediate family members before moving on to listing people you may actually see after the wedding, thus avoiding any potential snub incidents. After the first draft is complete, you submit it to your managing editors: both sets of parental units (who are more-than-likely funding the impending train wreck). They add all of their relatives and acquaintances you’ve never heard of, yet somehow know all about you.
Next you send out the initial wave and wait for the word-of-mouth to spread, so those folks who were excluded can call your editors and voice their complaints until they are added to the next wave. This process repeats itself until both parties approve the list and send it up to the Mother of the Bride, who ultimately decides whether or not to exercise her veto power.
In Obama’s case this nightmare scenario has been compounded by the size of his potential guest list that draws from the 66.8 million people who voted for him. Any slight and these folks may not ever speak to him again and/or vote for him in the next election, not to mention the underlying tension at next year’s Thanksgiving dinner table.
This alone is reason enough for Obama to elope to Detroit.
Why Detroit, you ask?
If anywhere in the United States epitomizes rock bottom and needs the Obama bump, it is Detroit. Not only has the Motor City been idled by the economic meltdown, but its beloved Lions set a record in futility by losing all 16 games this year. Better yet, Obama could hold the 2009 Inauguration at Ford Field (just blocks away from where Mitt Romney announced his failed presidential bid). Most of the seats saw little wear-and-tear this year and Obama can help Detroit rise from the ashes – an economic rebirth, if you will.
My guess is Obama is already committed to tomorrow’s Inauguration, but there’s still an outside chance we may have our first Runaway President.
At least we can HOPE…