Obama Inauguration Invitations

Jacqueline Barr

Many students have been provided with a mulititude of chances to attend  president-elect Mr. Obama’s Inauguration.

 
On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009, president-elect Barack Obama will become the 44th president of the United States.

Students from across the nation as well as MVHS have been offered chances to attend this event through opportunities such as Presidential Youth Leadership Conferences held by Lead America.

Senior Nida Kazi was sent an invitation through the mail to go to the Lead America Conference.

"I think its interesting,"  Kazi said. "I don’t know if I am going to end up going because I am not one of the politically in charge kind of people, but it was kind of cool that I got [the invitation]."
The Presidential Youth Leadership Conference costs $2,695, but Kazi believes it is well worth the price.

"[The money aspect] is a big thing,but I think you make it into a vacation," Kazi said. "I think it would be worth it because it’s a once in a lifetime chance and it’s a first in our history."

Junior Celine Liong disagrees.

"Even if you calculate hotel expenses which are, say, $100 a night if you are going to a really nice hotel, and you add plane tickets it wouldn’t be [as much as the conference]," Liong said. "It was essentially what I thought, a rip-off."

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Celine Liong Photo by Jackie Barr

The money pays for a week-long leadership conference. However, there is no guarantee that attendees will actually see Obama.

"There is so much privacy involved and so many security limitations because they want to make sure that everyone is safe. So you’re not guaranteed to be there, but I guess you’re guaranteed to be in the atmosphere," Kazi said. "I think that it would be more fun to see Obama, but I would understand that it has to be safe."

Junior Prachie Bathia was also invited and declined the invitation.  She predicts it will be a very interesting event. "I think it is going to be very exciting," Banthia said. "My cousin, who is in college in New Jersey, got tickets for it. I know it’s going to be hard to come by."

Banthia adds that she wanted to go in part because of the atmosphere at the inauguration.

Liong also declined an invitation to the Presidential Youth Inauguration Conference, a week-long gathering in Washington D.C. during inauguration week that has scheduled speeches by General Colin L. Powell and former Vice President Al Gore.

Although they are not attending the conference, Kazi, Liong, and Banthia are avid supporters of Obama.

"Because of the Economic crisis, [America has] a really low self esteem. It needs to build the confidence again to become important and I think that Obama can build up confidence in a way that not many other people can," Banthia said.

Both Liong and Banthia wanted to attend the ceremony but for Liong, the long packaged deals deterred her from attending. "I think it was too extravagant, the invitations that I was sent. That’s why I didn’t take them."

"Yes, it would be very, very, very, exciting, It’s a once in a lifetime experience because it’s never happened before. This is something people are going to write about in APUSH class in 20 years,"  Banthia said. "It’s going to be a historic moment, and I’d like to be part of it."

 

 

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