Dear Mr. Obama,
Congratulations on your big week!
I know this has been a very long time coming, and yet in other ways I’m sure it has come up like a whirlwind!
I have to admit, although I don’t agree with you politically about some things, you seem to me like a guy with a lot of class…
You won a good bit of respect from me through the interviews you did on 60 Minutes. Your relationship with your wife and kids connects with me, and gives me hope that there’s a good man somewhere behind all this rhetoric that I fear is shaped by dozens of other people.
I also think it’s a pretty cool thing that you rode to DC on a train, in honor of the presidents who have served before you, and also that you have shown a fair amount of respect for President Bush while he has finished his term.
Anyways, I know you’re about to be a very busy guy, so I’ll cut to the chase: I gotta ask you a question.
The news tells me that your inauguration is going to cost about $170,000,000, and when I heard that, I got to thinking.
After a little bit of reflection, I admit that the number isn’t completely irrational — you’re gonna be the first black president of our country, and that’s a really big victory for our whole nation, and especially for those who have worked so hard and sacrificially to make this day possible. And it deserves a worthy celebration.
Not only that, but I know that to some extent, you have somewhat of a rock-star persona to live up to. John McCain used the word, but let’s face it, you’re the real maverick. You’re the opposite of what most of us are used to, and we count on you to be in touch with our culture and what ‘the people’ want.
So… sure, it makes perfect sense that you would get guys like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Bruce Springstein for the event.
And I gotta tell you that I think it took some real guts to ask Rick Warren to be there when it made you so unpopular with the gay community.
But here’s all I’m wondering:
Did you really need to spend that much?
You ran your election promoting yourself as being the guy who stands up for the helpless… the guy who gives hope to the hopeless.
Could you have gotten by with just $100 million and given the rest to a good cause?
My local rescue mission tells me that it costs $2.04 to give a homeless person a good meal. Using that figure, $70 million is enough to give every homeless person in the country a good meal.
Or, you could give 50,000 homeless people 2 meals per day for the rest of the year.
It seems like that’s more of the kind of guy you marketed yourself to be.
You have said that your first act as president will be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. I’m sure a lot of those kids at the ‘youth ball’ on MTV are counting on you to do that so they don’t have any… inconvenient consequences to their partying tonight.
You spent your whole campaign telling people how you want to stand up for justice, and the first thing you do is going to take life (to the tune of 3,300 abortions per day) rather than give it.
I don’t know Mr. Obama. I want to like you. Could you try to make it a little easier?