President Obama’s second welcome into office will be brought to you by Bank Of America, Coca-Cola and Microsoft.
Those three companies are among the many backers of Obama’s inaugural festivities, according to a list posted by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Other corporations donating to fund the president’s pomp and circumstance include AT&T and FedEx.
Organizations with lobbying arms that are backing the inauguration -- which include labor unions in addition to major corporations -- have spent $283 million lobbying since Obama first took office, according to an analysis from the Center for Public Integrity. Obama banned individual lobbyists and political action committees from donating to his inaugural festivities; they can’t even buy inauguration swag online, according to the Washington Post.
The corporate-backed inauguration is a departure from Obama’s first-term policy. In 2009, the president shunned corporate donations for his inauguration and instead raised the $50 million to cover the festivities from other sources, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This year though, Obama’s individual donors are worn out. The president won reelection thanks to the most expensive campaign in history, which clocked in $1.4 billion. After the pricey campaign, committee officials were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to raise the necessary funds for the festivities and so they opened it up to corporations, the New York Times reported in December.
Of course Obama isn't alone in accepting corporate donations for his inauguration. Many of the company's backing this year's festivities -- including Coca-Cola and Microsoft -- donated to George W. Bush's first inaugural committee in 2005, according to the Washington Post.