12/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama The Wild Card At Illinois Inaugural Gala

A U.S. president or president-elect has never attended the Illinois State Society Presidential Inaugural Gala since the group upgraded its inaugural reception to a ball, starting in 1989 with the first Bush.

But the society, which now has one of the hottest tickets in town, is hoping President-elect Barack Obama will make an appearance at its $1 million affair at the Renaissance Washington hotel on Jan. 19.

"He came four years ago as a senator," said Jeanne Jacob, a past president of the society.

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