The New York Times today examines the variety of inaugural celebrations planned by the country's 26 new governors, ranging from lavish to "conspicuous frugality." Particularly representative of the extremes: Florida governor-elect Rick Scott's seven-city "appreciation" tour and California governor-elect Jerry Brown's uber-thrifty party.
Scott's "multiday, multicity inauguration has become known wryly in political circles here as the 'coronation.' Preparations began shortly after Election Day with a prodigious fund-raising drive.
"For the main event on Tuesday, [Scott] will lead a parade featuring 26 marching bands, followed by a black-tie dinner for 2,100 people, with oysters Rockefeller and fried calamari served in mini-martini glasses."
Jerry Brown of California has issued guidelines: no paid entertainment (a school choir will sing) and a rent-free evening reception (in a state-owned building). To highlight his thrift, Mr. Brown, a Democrat, plans to stop at a cookout after he takes the oath to snack on hot dogs and chips.
The extremes seem to reflect the uncertain economic times: shoppers may have returned to their prerecession ways during the holidays, but state budget deficits are ballooning, and there are persistent mutterings about the deep repair work that is needed to fix the economy.