This is exactly what Barack Obama has inspired, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I love.

The other encouragement is the stroke of generosity by which a Virginia businessman is spending more than $1 million to rent prime hotel rooms and promising that assorted down-and-out citizens — from the poor to the terminally ill to wounded soldiers — will have a perch of privilege on Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade.

The Capraesque gesture — dubbed “The People’s Inauguration” replete with two gala balls — is the gift of Earl Stafford, a 60-year-old Air Force retiree who made a fortune founding a military technology company.

Mr. Stafford is picking up the tab for three nights with meals at the hotel for scores of the normally uninvited and overlooked. He’s even promising gown, tuxedo and hair-dresser costs for those most in need. “We just need to get back to caring about one another,” Mr. Stafford told The Washington Post, paraphrasing the Bible: “To whom much is given, much is required.”

This certainly is a reversal from the Bush administration. And it certainly is an example of everyone benefiting from Obama’s presidency. Something tells me this will be the first of many examples of the “common good” coming to life.

Advertisements