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.”
Mr. Stafford is one-upping Obama inaugural vows to “open this up to the public.” It’s heartening to contemplate a few of Washington’s steam-grate hoboes partying spiffy as expense-account insiders.