Politics

Obama’s ’1 percent’ get best seats on parade route

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — The “one percent” have been allocated the best seats in the inauguration parade — right across the road from President Barack Obama’s seat, and well below the TV cameras’ angle of view.

The roughly 300 donors are wealthy, well-dressed and mostly white. They were bussed down from Capitol Hill, where they have viewed the inauguration, and were given hand-warmers and packaged lunches by staff as they arrived in their seating area.

Most were wearing a large square pin, carrying a gold symbol on an orange background. The pin allowed them their entree into the best-in-the-house seating area, just below the media’s four-story riser.

Their location gives them a level-eyed view of Obama as he reviews the parade from his heavily protected viewing stand in front of the White House grounds.

It also gives Obama a straight-ahead view of his primary donors.

But it shields the donors from the cameras, which are at their back, and arrayed in a four-story rise that prevents the media from getting a front-view of the donors.

However, they’re well within earshot of the media.

The Daily Caller asked several donors for comments. Most refused any comment, but several said they were “supporters” and members of the finance committee.

The National Finance Committee consists of Obama’s leading donors and bundlers. Among its members are Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, such as Wade Randlett, as well as entertainment-industry donors, and their heirs of 20th Century industrial fortunes.

The GOP’s major donors tend to come from older industries, and from company founders.

Both parties get large donations from industries heavily impacted by government, such as real estate and Wall Street.

Obama’s other donors and supporters were escorted by staff to reserved seating areas on each side of the viewing stands.

Many of these seating sections at the White House were set aside for Obama’s volunteers, street organizers and early supporters. Most of these people arrived early.

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