Plenty of us little people in Portland wish we could make it to Washington, D.C., for Barack Obama's inauguration. This is the guy Oregon put over the top in the Democratic primaries and in the general election. Trust us, Obama, Portland would rush the stage and crowd-surf you back to Burnside if we could be there.

But sending multiple emails offering us a chance to win one of 10 tickets to the Jan. 20 inauguration—if we donate $25 or more?

Guess what, Mr. President-elect. We've lost our jobs. We're so broke after the holidays we can't even remember what money looks like. So please, stop guilting us for cash in the middle of a recession so you can throw a massive party we can't attend. Until you stop with the nickel-and-diming, we're swearing you in as our first Rogue of 2009.

When the first email arrived Dec. 30, we were scraping together our last dollars to go drinking on New Year's (with a flask of vodka in our sock, recession-style). And there you were giving us the same odds at a ticket as Willy Wonka.

We totally get that you want to pull this off without Big Money. But you've already gone down that road, accepting donations of $50,000 from dozens of fat cats for the inauguration. Maybe you should lean on those people more, instead of flooding our inbox with false hope. Or better, dial back the party instead of throwing the ultimate coronation ball during a recession.

Never thought we'd miss the days when the Clintons rented out the Lincoln Bedroom instead of asking working stiffs for cash. Tell you what: If you can make it to Valentine's Day without hitting us up for more money, we'll love you all over again. Until then, please put your perpetual campaign on hold.