Local Politics

Scoring inauguration ticket a tough act

Posted December 18, 2008

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— After making history last month by electing the nation's first African-American president, thousands of North Carolina residents want to be part of history next month when he is sworn into office.

Thousands of people have put in requests for the hundreds of available inauguration tickets, making getting one almost as hard as getting into the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament.

"No one has ever seen interest like this for any event in Washington," said Ryan Hedgepeth, a spokesman in 13th District Congressman Brad Miller's office.

Miller's staff had to institute a lottery to distribute the tickets he's allotted as a congressman because the volume of requests was so overwhelming, Hedgepeth said.

"Every congressional office gets less than 200 tickets. It's usually not a problem to distribute them, but this year, we had an unprecedented demand for tickets. We had well over 4,000 people contact our office," he said.

Other area politicians said they faced a similar onslaught of requests for the inauguration.

Miller's office has started contacting the lottery winners, and Lindy Brown, a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, is eagerly waiting to see if she made the cut.

"It's a historical time in our life, and as an African-American, he represents the epitome of the struggles many African-Americans have had over the last several decades," Brown said. "To witness something firsthand will be more life-worthy, something that I can tell my grandkids, something I can send onto their grandkids as well."

The Secret Service doesn't want inauguration tickets sent through the mail, Hedgepeth said, so people who are notified that they have tickets will likely have to pick them up in Washington a few days before the Jan. 20 event.

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  • edith wharton Dec 19, 2008

    While the inauguration will be a wonderful event and no doubt would create memories to last a lifetime, I will content myself with watching on TV. The thought of the crowds is similar to thinking of being in Times Square for New Years' Eve: intimidating and a bit claustrophobia-inducing.

    Our daughter had the opportunity to be present for the inauguration through a student group, long before the election. We passed because of the cost of the trip, but it would have been the opportunity of a lifetime. We are witnessing a wonderful time in the history of our country. I hope others don't belittle change we should be embracing.

  • exteacher Dec 18, 2008

    I have my ticket to the inauguration and I can promise you I gave NO money to the elected official from whom I got it. It's going to be a wonderful moment in US history!

  • Hip-Shot Dec 18, 2008

    You can count me out of the competition for tickets to his inauguration: I have more important and meaningful things to do.... like polishing my dog and giving my cat a bath.

  • superman Dec 18, 2008

    Sorry, please remove me from the lottery. Dont care to see the "man" who will get us deeper in this muck.

  • dws Dec 18, 2008

    pass

  • nuncvendetta Dec 18, 2008

    I already have a great ticket to the inauguration ceremonies - it's called a TV set. My idea of "experiencing history" doesn't involve being crammed like sardines in the Metro or outside with 5 million other people, braving the insane traffic to and from, plus the madhouse that restaurants and any other activities will be.

    Remember kids, it's all in the mind that experiencing something first-hand in person is somehow better than "being there via the TV."

  • BIGDAWGShouse Dec 18, 2008

    i have a chia-pet for sale, will that do?

  • Eduardo1 Dec 18, 2008

    imagine, the corruption & payoffs o0n this. O'k, sure you can go, "oh by-the-way", "this is what be nice for you to do top get them" If you do not think that this will be done like crazy, then "i have this great bridge in Brooklyn, that I would like to sell you" or " Chee, we just got in a fresh truckload of pet-rocks to sell you" "I just got some beautiful UNICORNS from our ranch, that we are selling at COST"