If you're thinking about heading to Washington, D.C. for the Obama Inauguration, it's getting late.
Hotel rooms are all but gone, unless you want to have a very long drive. (We like the fan who spent $1 million to reserve an entire 300-room Marriott. You probably get a lot of points with that.)
Getting tickets to official events is yet another matter, and one that isn't entirely clear yet. Hopeful attendees have to apply through their local congressperson, and the Houston delegation says they're being swamped.
Gene Green's office has received over 500 calls, faxes and e-mails, spokesman Jesse Christopherson tells Hair Balls. Names are being put on a waiting list.
And even some heavily Republican districts are feeling the wave.
Bonnie Buchanan, spokeswoman for Kevin Brady, says the easily reelected GOP rep from The Woodlands rep is also getting hit:
I can tell you we are definitely receiving a large number of calls about inauguration tickets. From what we can tell it is more than before. At this point we are just trying to take all contact information and number of needed tickets from those making the request until we find out exactly how many tickets we are going to get. We are doing our best to accommodate everyone.
Buchanan mentions part of the problem -- no one knows for sure yet how many tickets each Congressional office will get. And of those, how many will go to supporters as opposed to regular people.
Congressional officies for some of the biggest Obama districts in town -- represented by Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green -- didn't respond to our request for info. In fact, the DC line of Lee's office was steadily busy, something a local staffer didn't seem too surprised about.
There will still be plenty to do in DC if you don't get the tickets to the official swearing-in. But be prepared to stay a long ways away and not get any VIP treatment.
Update: Culberson's office has received "significantly more requests this year than ever before," says spokesperson Mollie Schall.
-- Richard Connelly
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