President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration festivities have been shadowed by reports about port-a-potties, the Women's March protest, and mockery that the biggest celebrity to perform on Jan. 20 is a toss-up between Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, and Lee Greenwood. But that's not taking the wind out of the sails of Boris Epshteyn, the communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, The Daily Beast reports.
"Our message has been, and my completely full-hearted, convinced belief is that this inaugural, just like the campaign was and just like the presidency will be, is about the American people," Epshteyn told The Daily Beast. "That's what this inaugural's all about."
The inauguration committee has insisted that the performers aren't lame (President Obama had Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, and Bruce Springsteen on hand in 2009, by comparison) but rather that the inauguration is to be a moment of "soft sensuality," whatever that may mean. "You know, this is not Woodstock. It's not Summer Jam. It's not a concert. It's not about celebrities," Epshteyn has defended.
Or maybe it is about celebrities? "We have the biggest celebrity in the world, and that's the American people," Epshteyn also said. He apparently hadn't coordinated that response with the chairman of the Inauguration Committee, Tom Barrack, who earlier told CNN that Obama, Washington, D.C., and President-elect Trump are the biggest celebrities in the world.
But if all that seems a little lackluster, well, think of the coal workers. "What does a coal worker in Pennsylvania, what does a mom in Florida, what do they care about?" Epshteyn asked. "Do we really think they care about whoever's sipping champagne cocktails in the Hamptons or mojitos? No. Now, having said that, we've got amazing events, very beautiful celebrations are planned."