The Washington Post runs an urgent story today about the trials and travails of planning a party of such scope. Two guys named Erik Smith and Jim Margolis, Democratic communication strategists, have been tasked to cobble the damn thing together. The Post sort of wrings its hands and vaguely prognosticates doom, but the thing is, Obama's a huge celebrity who lesser celebrities lurve. He can get anyone he wants, anytime.
Beyoncé has made her services available, gratis, and Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Joel have all been vocal supports of the boy from Illinois. It seems likely they'll make appearances. And I'm sure any manner of other acts would trip over themselves to be present at this most Hopetorical occasion. The Post needn't worry, unless they're concerned about like set changes and stuff. In that case, well, who really cares.
Plus Obama just doesn't need a ton of famous people encouraging us to like him. He's enough. He's the main act. While Bill Clinton—whose inaugural set the watermark for big splashy presidential fetes—was propped up by his many celebrities endorser-performers, Obama is an industry of fabulous entertainment unto himself. "Clinton basked in the glow of celebrities. Now celebrities bask in the glow of Obama," a Hollywood publicist told the Post. "Somehow he has become the sun and we're rotating in his orbit." Exactly. He can book anyone he wants, but in the end he's still the main draw of the whole enterprise.
As the girls on Super Sweet Sixteen continually remind us: even if Mystikal or whoever shows up, the party is still about meeee. So, as long as the Mercedes the American people promised Barry is waiting, with a big bow on top, outside the White House, I think it'll be just fine.
The most important point to make, though, is that whatever the performance ends up being, even if it is just Obama orating lyrically for a few hours (we wouldn't mind!), it's bound to be better than the last shitstorm inaugural. Here was Bush's line-up. See if you can spot which two of these things (but especially one) is not like the others:
"Destiny's Child, Lee Ann Womack, George Strait, ZZ Top, Clint Black, Brooks & Dunn and Ricky Martin"