January 1st, 2009
09:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Celebs give big bucks to Obama's inauguration


CNN's Jim Acosta reports on the list of celebrities donating to Obama's presidential inauguration.

(CNN) - The rich and famous are donating big bucks to Barack Obama's inauguration, CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

Steven Spielberg, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, and Jamie Fox are among the Hollywood stars who have donated the maximum $50,000 to the Presidential Inauguration Committee.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Linda

    They are giving all this money, because their beliefs are the same as most liberals. KILL innocent lives, same sex marriage, ect. This immoral behavior will be the downfall of our country. I am an Independant, that believes that everyone has a right to live as they want but marriage should be between a man and woman. I believe that in certain instances abortion is necessary. But abortion should never be okay for women to use due to their iresponsiblity to take care of this BEFORE getting pregnant. You all condemn Sarah Palin for her stance on abortion and then her daughter gets pregnant. At least her beliefs stood strong on this issue. Her daughter had a child that will be loved and had a bright future, they did not let some Doctor perform an abortion and suck his brains out. My daughter got pregnant at 17, she did not have an abortion. She asked me during this pregnancy if I would ever be proud of her again. I told her that when she proved to me what kind of mother she would be to her child, then I would be proud of her. She never let me or her child down, and he has been one of the greatest joys of our lives. He is now 23 yrs old and is going to be a father himself. Yes–that scared 17 year made a great mother and he in turn will be a great father. All of you liberals commenting on her daughter, may need to look in your own backyard and you may find out that you and your teen agers are not so perfect!!! That is what I found out 23 years ago–but I would not change anything–I have had all of these years as his grandmother and it has been a pleasure!!

    January 1, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Stunned

    Amazing! Recession, bailouts and talk of Depression. However it seems that not everybody was bilked to the eyes by the biggest ponzi scheme in history. Only selectively so ensure headlines and good PR. Shame on you!

    January 1, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Obama Jan 09-Jan 17

    The people listed, especially Steven Speilberg, donate way more money to charities and foundations.

    Perhaps CNN should include these charitable donations with their contributions to the inauguration.

    January 1, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    Obama is getting donations from PEOPLE, not the OIL INDUSTRY, HALLIBURTON and the others that paid for the BUSH/CHENEY inauguration. As for the money being better spent. We just authorized $700 billion in bailout. Plenty of money to help every little guy in the country. That's BUSH and his government that spent that money. NOT Obama.

    Yes, I'm the little guy who also donated to the campaign and inauguration. Just like those celebrities. That means Obama owes ME. And I've made sure he KNOWS IT. And he does know it.

    January 1, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    It amazes me that PE Obama and his teams have long spoken of transparency and when they put forth the effort, the media has doubts. Many in the public accuse contributors of buying and paying for a President and many accuse the Obama team of hiding many other large contributions from Lobbyist. It appears that as I have long thought, nothing one does is going to accepted by either the public, the media or the opposition from the Presidential races.

    The Federal Government sets aside a sum of money for the Presidential Inauguration with the understanding that any amount in excess of that funding shall be the responsibility of the President Elect and his Transition Team. If you are one that is supportive of the PE and have the financial resources then you should contribute if you so choose. People that do not have access to that type of resources can contribute also based on their ability and desire to do so but please people stop with the idea that anyone is buying a Presidency and please media stop creating unfounded rumors for the sake of generating your own revenue.

    We have much bigger problems facing our country at this time and do not have time for the petty bickering and infighting. If we continue along these lines this country is doomed to failure. Come together and channel our energies on making a valid recovery effort.

    January 1, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    The inauguration is an economic stimulus plan for the 100 mile radius around DC. Millions will be spent in the tourist industry, and provide jobs from now until the end of January. The emphasis of this article is about how Hollywood celebrities are donating money to support the economy of the DC area with their private economic stimulus – saving the taxpayer a lot of money to stimulate the economy of the DC area. MORE, MORE, MORE. The more money spent on this through private donations, the less taxpayer money is needed to stimulate the economy.

    January 1, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Carolyn from GA

    You know this is great. Another one of Obama's campaign promises that he is keeping before he even gets into office. Obama promised transparency in government and he has already started.

    Unfortunately, the problem is transparency. People forget that every president that has ever been inaugurated has had an inauguration celebration. Obama limited his donanations. Previous presidents have not. Please keep in mind that EVERY PRESIDENT has had an inauguration party. This is just the first time that is so transparent for everyone to see. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to have more information because it only gives you more to argue about. What you don't know, you can't argue about.

    As for the amounts given, donors can give to whomever that they wish that is why they call it a DONATION. Those same people may have given money to charitable organizations. Those who think that they should give money to charitable organizations should check out those websites and see if the same donors are on there. Some people do give to more than one benefit. So, saying that, this money could have been used some place else, well if you do your research, you may find that some of their money have benefitted others. The problem is that those organizations may not be so transparent and they may have given more than $50,000. I look forward to January 20th!

    January 1, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Tim

    It seems to me that some judge their patriotism by how much cash they contribute to their ideoloigcal cause (i.e. Soros) and others judge their patriotism by how much emotion they contribute to their ideological cuase (i.e. our brave soldiers)

    😉 😉 😉

    January 1, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Mike

    Celebrities alway give to unworthy causes. Look at the trips they make to Cuba and Venezuela to lavish praise on totalitarian dictators. The combined I.Q. of the Hollywood elite is something close to zero.

    January 1, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Myrna Ulrich

    I agee with Stan and Ken.. Thier Money could be Used in Better ways, Like The International Red Cross and Doctors without Borders to Help the Poor and suffering folks in Palestine ! Shame On them for Looking the Other way! I was a Obama suporter and gave My Unemployment money to help see him elected... This is NOT the change I was looking for !!! I am disapointed in the way the whole thing is being handled at the Taxpayers Expense, Most of Us are still Looking for Work and trying to Make ends Meet...... I will NOT be watching the festivties or the events, There are More things Pressing in the world than to watch Celebrities Mingle and Party !!! Former Obama Suporter in Madison Wisconsin

    January 1, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. obama08

    Chuck Norris endorsed Huckabee. Fred Thompson is a celebrity. Tina Fey was McCain's VP. Enough said.

    January 1, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Chris in MI

    Dave, Illinois January 1st, 2009 10:58 am ET ...I'm not a fan of all this celebrity stuff, but many of them do indeed support alot of charities and give tons of money to those as well. And I rather see the money come from them, then to come from corporations, lobbyists and other vultures who have an agenda. This man has done something no one thought could be done and he deserves an inauguration that all presidents before him have had. I don't get the impression that he asked for the 'celebrity' title. He had no control over that. This party is for the country as well. It's a sign of hope and God knows we need it. I only wish I could go...but I'll be watching every minute of it on tv. So lighten up...

    January 1, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. FreeNLovIt

    I'm totally excited Warren will partake in this HISTORIC moment. Go Jesus Go!! For those of you that do not like Christians, I just want to remind you that the Spiritually world of the demons know who he is!!! His name is used to cast the demon-posessed by missionaries!! He is Your Saviour!!!

    Whatever you are, just be TRUE to yourself.

    January 1, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    Like I told a friend, who hated my Christianity background, if he wants be to stop believing in God, then he'll need to sleep in the cemetary for 7 days with his cats and dogs. If he doesnt see shadows of the dark side, I'll deny God his existence. He never dare to ask me to deny God again.

    January 1, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Hall for Obama

    Leigh, why can't people do what ever they want to with their money?Wow how do I know you are poor? Scott, who told you, your tax dollarswas going to anoiting your chosen ONE? Lauren, how do you know what they are doing with the rest of their money?

    January 1, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Salt & Pepper

    To Lauren,...They DO give money to charities also. This is just ONE of the "gifts" they got recognized for! Don't even in a moment think that all Hollywood does is for the "well off". Get the WHOLE picture b4 showing your ignorance. 🙂 PEACE

    January 1, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Joyce

    People who have money are free to spend it as they want. If they want to spend it on a national occasion which most likely will have a postive morale boost for the citizens...great. I am also sure that if you had access to the check books of those donating money, you would find that they donate money to charities for those needing help.

    If my memory serves me right.....haven't other presidents received funds from celebrities. Think about it.

    January 1, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Bob

    I for one will be glad when this inauguration is over as I am sick of hearing about the trash that is coming to Washington. Let us see what will be accomplished or wont be accomplished. I personally do not think BO has a clue what he will be dealing with and he will need all the help he can get as this will not a community organizer project anymore. As he fails and fails big time the Bush presidency will be looking better and better and yes we were kept safe in America. I fear for my safety under the Obama presidency as Obama will not have a clue what to do if we would have another terrorist attack......

    January 1, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Aaron from Ohio

    Inagurations have been privately funded for quite a while. Police and security are paid for by the government. The maximum donation is $50,000. The last time (2004) the max was $250,000. The party taking over the White House sets the limits. This will be the most costly inaguration ever because it will have by far the most people attending. All inaugurations are bought and paid for. The people donating their money are doing so because they want to. It's their money. Liberals support the democrats and conservatives support the republicans. The liberals with big bucks want to throw a party...just like the conservatives do when they take the White House. In a perfect world there would be no homeless people or hungry people. Unfortunately the world isn't perfect. Either go there and join in, stay at home and watch on tv or complain about what those terrible democrats are up to now and throw a little hissy fit. I'll be watching from my living room and popping open a bottle of bubbly. The last eight years were the longest of my life.

    January 1, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. FreeNLovIt

    Last but not least, this is America. People do whatever they want with their money, as long as it is legal.

    January 1, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. bashing baby seals in Alaska

    Im not a celeb but I only give money to the NRC.

    January 1, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Sherrol in Canada

    Please realease my comment posted at 12:38pm, it's been in 'awaiting moderation' status for almost 2hrs now.

    Come on CNN, give a girl a break!

    January 1, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Debby

    Hey better their money than mine.

    January 1, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. 3strikes

    so these rich people would rather waste money on a lost cause then help the needy of america? what about the mother feeding her baby out of a trash can or the homeless guy sleeping under a bridge?

    January 1, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Disgusted with Hollywood

    Hollywood bought their president this time, why not shower him with their lavish gifts, makes perfect sense to me. When they are stupid enought to pay $8,000 for a gawdy purse, or pay $500 for a ragged pair of levis, which I took to the dump the other day, what can we expect. They aren't all that bright! Someday young people will wake up and stop worshipping the ground they walk on and see them for what they are.

    January 1, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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