Much has been made of late about President Bush’s inauguration: part deux. Critics claim that such a lavish proceeding should not be the mark of any president, much less one that has, they contend, spent too much money on programs at home and abroad.
Never mind that the proceedings were paid for entirely by donations – with the exception of security, which ran close to $20 million – Bush’s detractors came out in force, calling for much of the donated money to be shipped overseas to help tsunami victims or to assist our troops in Iraq.
But even former president Bill Clinton supported the inauguration’s price tag.
“I voted for the other fellow, but President Bush won this election fair and square,” Clinton said on “Larry King Live.”
“His supporters should be able to celebrate it however they see fit. And I don’t think that it will detract one red cent from the money that we will give privately or publicly to [the tsunami] relief effort,” he said.
I guess we can chalk it up to partisan bickering. Or, at least, a loss of respect for the presidency. Either way, these are sad times, indeed. And I can’t help but wonder if we would even be having this debate had the other guy won.
Oh, what a ball we would have with a President John Kerry.