Story/Photos By Ken Krayeske • 7:40 PM EST
A homeless man walks down Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C. the morning of Obama's inauguration.
President Barack Obama's Inauguration cost more than $170 million. About $45 million of that went to parties and post-inaugural festivities, more than Clinton and Bush spent on their swearing-in bashes.
Most of that $45 million came from corporate sponsors, including some banks enjoying bail out monies, according to ABC News. I had forgotten about this profligate waste of cash until an astute reader, checking in after the Calhoun brouhaha last week, wondered why I congratulated Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for canceling his parties and criticized CT Gov. M. Jodi Rell in 2007 for not, but failed to dis Obama's outlandish spending in 2009. Well, here goes.
To contrast the image of the homeless man, here an ad from Best Buy, a wealthy corporation. This Minnesota electronics retailer rented out the hall of the Daughters of the American Revolution on 18th and Virginia down by the Mall.
I'm not sure what Best Buy paid for the Hall, but during the 2008 election cycle, Best Buy's PAC spent $86,000 or so, according to OpenSecrets.org. Best Buy gave $59,500 to federal candidates, split almost down the middle, 54 percent to Republicans, 46 to Democrats. Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman seems to have received most of Best Buy's largesse.
These other two homeless men, right near Best Buy's inaugural open house on 18th Street, weren't so lucky.
Sure, there were hundreds of vendors selling tchotchke and inaugural schlock. But the worst of it was the Pepsi bookbags and billboards. With a little bit of graphic design flair, Pepsi managed to make its logo look a little like Obama's red, white and blue campaign "O."