Gil Troy “Will recession mean a toned-down inauguration?”:
Though costly, an inauguration helps set the tone for a presidency, said Gil Troy, a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
The president shouldn’t be seen noshing on caviar, but neither should he dispense with glamour entirely, Troy said. Americans want their leader to be a man of the people and a celebrity superstar, both.
“Americans are people who love to indulge, and deep in our hearts want our leaders to be like the king and queen of England — but not too much,” he said.
President Ronald Reagan fit the bill best when he set a new standard of opulence for his 1981 inauguration, Troy said. Nancy Reagan wore a $10,000 gown to the three-hour gala with Frank Sinatra.
“Reagan had the ability — and maybe the Obamas will — to somehow make spending look patriotic,” Troy said.