by Nathan Empsall, Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 12:53:42 PM EST
A quick note for those requesting presidential inauguration tickets from their Congressperson or Senators: If you live in a state with a new senator or a district with a new congressperson, contact the Member-elect's office, not the outgoing Member. Tickets will be distributed in January after the new Congress is sworn in, so retiring and defeated Members do not have tickets to distribute. I've spoken with several offices to find out how they're handling tickets, and the methods vary. Some selected examples: Idaho Senator-elect Jim Risch (R) is letting senior Senator Mike Crapo (R) handle requests for both offices, so for all intents and purposes Risch has no tickets and Crapo has double the allotment. The office of Representative-elect Walt Minnick (D), however, is creating their own list. In New Hampshire, a snippy and uninformed aide to the defeated Senator John Sununu (R) referred me to Judd Gregg's (R) office, but of course, Sununu's tickets would be Senator-elect Jeanne Shaheen's (D) tickets, and the aide said he didn't know what Shaheen was doing.
Additionally, if your Member or Member-elect doesn't list any information about tickets on their website, try giving the office a call. And as always, be polite; the interns and staff assistants answering the phones are 20-somethings just getting started on their own careers and aren't responsible for any procedural or policy decisions, whether about the tickets or anything else.
Upon further reflection, I probably should have kept this to myself to increase my own odds of getting tickets... you can thank me later. :P