Some Republicans to skip inaugural hoopla

Jan. 2, 2009 at 12:13 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Some Washington Republicans are using President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration to extend their vacations, booking events beyond the Beltway, observers note.

Scores of Republicans -- who saw their numbers shrink in Congress and lost their eight-year reign in the White House -- have chosen alternative events such as dinners, vacations and NFL playoff games to the swearing-in ceremony Jan. 20, Politico reported Friday.

Republican fundraiser Charlie Spies invited GOP-ers to dinner, saying in an e-mail, ""What better way to mark the Obama Inauguration (and his millions of adoring fans that will be in D.C.) than to get out of town to fabulous Las Vegas!" Fifteen people have taken him up on his offer.

Other Republican insiders said they'll stick around for the quadrennial rite of government, the Washington publication said.

"I'm chasing ball tickets, swearing-in tickets, hotel rooms, reservations, invites -- what's new?" said Robbie Aiken, a GOP lobbyist who has participated in every inauguration since he was on former President Ronald Reagan's staff in 1981. "That's what Washington people are supposed to do, and I'm glad to help, with a smile, as usual."

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