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Obama Picks First Inaugural Guest

Cynthia Russell, a builder from Newberry, Florida, has been selected as the first of 10 winners of an essay contest held by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. She and a guest will be invited to the welcome ceremony, Barack's swearing-in, the Inaugural Parade, and our Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, the PIC announced.

She wrote: "I'm a single woman who has been building homes for over 18 years. I've supported myself and have been able to help out my mother from time to time. Now I find myself wondering how much longer I can hold on and be able to pay my bills and keep the doors open for business. Barack gives me hope. Hope that 2009 will truly bring change to Americans who find themselves in this mess with me."

By David A Nakamura  |  January 6, 2009; 12:40 PM ET  | Category:  Presidential Inaugural Committee , Swearing-in Ceremony
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Another, really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS.

Posted by: hclark1 | January 6, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

'Essay Contest'???

An email went out to all Obama campaign supporters that said if you donate $25+ by Jan 8 you could be one of 10 selected to attend Inaugural events. According to the email I received to day under Michele Obama's signature - Ms. Russell was the first selected. She didn't enter an essay contest. She spent money and won the lottery.

As someone who gave throughout Obama's campaign but whose budget no longer allows for this post- election giving - It'd be nice to get an invite to *something* other than the outdoor Mall activities during the Inaugural week. Anything. Regardless, sorry folks - I'm all out of $$!

Posted by: shes_cleva | January 6, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Essay contest. Every single email I received asked for a donation but there was ALSO a way to "enter" if you are not able to donate. My emails have all had the something similar to the following, allowing me a way to participate in "winning" an invite to the inauguration.

This, from the email I received from Michelle:

"P.S. -- The opportunity to be part of this historic event is open to everyone, regardless of whether you make a donation. Participate now by telling us what this Inauguration means to you."

"Telling us what this inauguration means to you" is another way of saying "essay contest"

Posted by: kashabear | January 6, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

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