Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Free Room for the Inauguration

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Yes, there's a catch, and no, you probably can't apply.

If you receive catalogues and junk mail from travel sites, or some high-end retailers, you've seen the offers. The biggest suites, complete with food, drink and amenities. This deal was offered by the JW Marriot in downtown DC on the parade route:

January 18, 19, and 20: 300 rooms, 4 suites, $200,000 of food and drink, and an incredible view of the parade. Attendees will watch from a heated tent on the Marriott roof. Price tag: $1,000,000. The person who bought added to the package a prayer breakfast and luncheon on the 19th (to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday) and two balls (one adult, one youth) on the 20th. He will also be providing gowns, tuxedos and hairstylists for the Balls.

What's he charging the attendees? Nothing.

Earl Stafford of Fairfax County decided to make this "The People's Inaugural". While he owns a military-related company in Centerville, he is funding this through his foundation.

He said:

"We wanted to . . . bless those who otherwise wouldn't have an opportunity to be a part of the great celebration, the inauguration and the festivities," he said in an interview yesterday. "Our objective is to bring in a cross-section of society -- those who are distressed, those who are terminally ill, those who are socially and economically disadvantaged, those veterans who are wounded and served our country."