While Deval Patrick's $1-million plus inauguration continues to draw attention (see Eileen McNamara's Sunday column), another incoming governor has scaled back his own party.
Florida's Charlie Crist cancelled his big party, which was to cost $2.5-million and funded by donations of up to $100,000. Saying he misread the public mood, Crist instead will have a modest prayer breakfast and an open house at Florida's governor's mansion.
"I made a mistake, and, yes, it was a doozy," Crist said, according to a St. Petersburg Times story published Sunday.
"Upon reflection, it doesn't feel right to me when there are people having trouble paying their insurance bills and making ends meet," Crist told the St. Petersburg Times. "When I was a child, my grandfather told me every pencil has an eraser for a reason. It's a good lesson. I'm not perfect."
In Massachusetts, Patrick's five day celebration will be funded in part by donations of up to $50,000. The new governor will travel to oft-ignored parts of the state. "If I could do it in a day, I would," Patrick told the Globe's McNamara Friday evening, "but it's a big state and I need to sleep. The whole point is to find a way to keep people engaged, all the people, not just the people in the capital city."
As pointed out late Friday, there's some grumbling about the Patrick festivities on the usually pro-Patrick Blue Mass Group.
Patrick sees the inauguration as part of his overall effort to reach out and include people throughout Massachusetts. As part of that strategy, he is conducting "working groups'' on various subjects around the state.