WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will accept unlimited donations from corporations -- but no money from lobbyists or political action committees -- to finance his 2013 inaugural festivities, a spokeswoman for his inaugural committee said Friday.
The committee also said the events surrounding Obama's inauguration will be smaller in scope than four years ago; the White House is mindful of the state of the economy and does not want a show of opulence.
The panel did not release a schedule. But officials told donors during a conference call Friday afternoon that there would be just three official inaugural balls -- a candlelight ball for members of Obama's national finance committee, a military ball and a large presidential ball -- down from 10 official balls in 2009, a person who listened to the call said.
The decision to accept corporate money reverses Obama's policy from 2009, when he refused corporate donations and capped individual donations at $50,000 per person or $100,000 per couple. Obama also barred corporations from helping finance this year's Democratic National Convention.
But after the most expensive campaign in presidential history -- Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the party's joint fundraising efforts took in $1.14 billion -- many of the president's contributors are feeling worn out, and the committee concluded that it would be difficult to raise the millions of dollars it needed for the parade and
"Our goal is to make sure that we will meet the fundraising requirements for this civic event after the most expensive presidential campaign in history," the spokeswoman, Addie Whisenant, said.