Reality show star-turned-president elect Donald Trump wanted to put on a huge Inauguration Day extravaganza, so he raised $75 million. But he’s had no luck getting A-list celebrities to sign on as performers, and the Washington, DC hospitality industry is expecting a crowd less than half the size of Barack Obama’s record-setting 1.8 million onlookers.
Perhaps that last fact explains why the Trump transition team has decided to ban remote-control aircraft and ‘selfie sticks’ from the inaugural audience. If nobody can take pictures of the disappointing attendance, then Trump can make up any number he likes without contradiction: We had ten million people there! Bigly historical!
You can read the full list of prohibited items here. Firearms are also not allowed, which is a bit strange because Trump campaigned as a good friend to “the Second Amendment people.” Why does he hate freedom all of a sudden? What changed?
Signs will be limited in size and must be hand-held, as supports or props are banned. District residents will be unable to ride their bicycles to the event. Backpacks must be very small, while thermoses and coolers are out of the question, so attendees will have to suffer the chill without a warm, hydrating drink.
But there might not be much reason to worry about onlookers suffering for a long ceremony. Rather than have campaign trail warm-up act Stephen Miller pen a glorious address touching on all his policy plans, Trump has decided to write a “short” speech of his own, ostensibly because “He doesn’t want people standing out in the cold.”
According to McClatchy DC, an estimated 800,000 people may attend the inauguration on January 20th. But the final crowd size may be even smaller as Trump’s talent-wrangling woes continue.
So far, only three acts have been confirmed for the big day: ‘America’s Got Talent’ runner-up Jackie Evancho, the Radio City Rockettes, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The latter two have become controversial.
Little wonder that Trump’s surrogates have been playing down the whole matter in recent days.
“You know, this is not Woodstock. It’s not Summer Jam. It’s not a concert,” Boris Epshteyn told CNN. “It’s not about celebrities. As Donald Trump tweeted himself, it’s about the people.”
“This is not the Academy Awards,” Kellyanne Conway has told ABC. “It’s the Inauguration for the people, the way that it’s been the election for the people.”
Except for the people who might want to take panoramic photos of the crowd, of course. Maybe they’re just not real Americans?
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