Make a minimum donation of $5 to the Presidential Inaugural Committee and get a shot at a ticket to the historic inauguration of Barack Obama ... or you could make no donation at all and still have a chance.Each entry requires an essay on what the inauguration means to you. The essay is required whether a donation is made or not, [committee spokeswoman Linda Douglass] said.
The offer of inaugural tickets to 10 people who each may bring one guest will take into account diversity, she said, adding that fundraising is not the main goal of the effort.
The inaugural committee sent out an e-mail pitch that focused on donations, however, suggesting that those who make a minimum donation of $5 or more could get a trip to the inaugural.
"Make a donation of $5 or more right now," the e-mail says. "You and a guest could receive your ticket to history."
After clicking on the link to make a donation, the donation options start at $25, going up to $2,500, with an "other" option at the end. And the Web page also says that you can make a pitch for the inaugural tickets without donating anything.
"Unlike past inaugurations, this year's event will not be paid for by Washington lobbyists," the e-mail says.
Call me cynical, but . . .
(a) I don't expect any $0 "donors" to get any tickets. Even though "fundraising is not the main goal of the effort" but they vow that the inauguration "will not be paid for by Washington lobbyists."
(b) The essays will be used as almost "testimonials" and fodder for future speeches, since I am willing to bet the topic is not what the inauguration means to someone, but what Obama means to someone.
(c) Evidently it is not a random selection since "diversity" will be taken into account.
So, if I wrote an essay telling them that I am a blind, transgender mulatto who was abandoned as a baby but raised by a pack of friendly vegan human secularists and have risen from poverty to become a community organizer with ACORN and believe that Obama's inauguration will mean an end to racism, sexism, elitism, and restore the Unicorn back to northern woodland forests while preserving Mother Gaia and stimulating the economy . . . think I have a shot?