He's given speeches talking about how it's not going to be easy and that we'll all need to make sacrifices to put our collective finances back on track -- if that's possible after eight years of dire neglect and rampant deregulation.
But it appears that some families aren't paying attention to the facts and are going even deeper in debt to spend a few days in Washington, D.C. for the Obama inaugural events.
Families with little children putting $10,000 on their credit cards because they feel it's important to experience this historic moment? If you're Donald Trump, I say go for it. But for the rest of us, that's just foolishness, no matter how historic a moment Obama's election and swearing in are.
Obama has been having news conferences pretty much every day, so I'm calling on him to talk to the Americans who are thinking of taking the crazy financial step of going into massive credit card debt for him and the parade and the parties. President-elect Obama, tell these families to stay home, save their money for their kids and enjoy the festivities on TV.
Putting family finances at risk for hotel rooms, gowns, tuxedoes and fancy new outfits for the kids is not what this new President would want -- at least I hope it's not.
Barack Obama should make as forceful a statement as possible at his next news conference -- it's more important for American families to save what little money they might have and put the credit cards back in the sock drawer for a real emergency.
Better yet, announce that you're going to scale back for the swearing-in celebration, too. I'm not saying that Michelle should wear a cloth coat like Pat Nixon or re-purpose some gown she already has like Rosalyn Carter. But if Obama really wants to send the message that the 'buck stops with him,' dialing back the January 20 events would be a good place to start.
Joanne Bamberger is a professional writer and political analyst who lives outside of Washington, D.C. and writes about politics (and lots of other things) at her place, PunditMom. She's a Contributing Editor for Politics & News at BlogHer, and her commentary has appeared on CNN, Fox News, ABC.com and BBC Radio, among others.