On inauguration day, President Donald Trump’s office is cleaned out, swept of signs that he and his staff had ever been there, ready for the Biden team to move in.
The cleaning out of White House’s West Wing offices, and the transition between presidents, is part of a tradition that dates back centuries. It’s a process that has not always been imbued with warmth.
Another impeached president, Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, snubbed Republican Ulysses S Grant in 1869 and skipped the inauguration. Ulysses Grant, who had backed Andrew Johnson’s removal from office, was hardly surprised.
Today, however, the transition stands out for its acrimony. The process usually starts straight after the election, but it started weeks late after President Trump refused to accept the result. And the president has said he will not attend the inauguration. Most likely, Donald Trump will instead travel to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
Even in the best of times, the logistics of a transition are daunting, involving the transfer of knowledge and employees on a massive scale.
About 4,000 political appointees hired by the Trump administration who will lose their job and be replaced by individuals hired by Joe Biden.
During an average transition, between 150,000-300,000 people apply for these jobs, according to the Center for Presidential Transition, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington. About 1,100 of the positions also require Senate confirmation. Filling all of these positions takes months, even years.
Four years of policy papers, briefing books and artefacts relating to the president’s work will be carted off to the National Archives where they will be kept secret for 12 years, unless the president himself decides that portions may be released early.
Furniture in the White House, such as the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, most of the artwork, china and other objects, belong to the government and will remain on the premises.
Other items, like photos of the president that hang in the hallway, will be taken down as the White House is transformed for its new occupants.
The Trumps’ personal belongings, such as clothes, jewellery, and other items will be moved to their new residence, most likely at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
This year, the place will be deep cleaned.
President Trump, as well as dozens of others at the White House, were infected with the coronavirus over the past several months, and the six-floor building, with its 132 rooms, will be thoroughly scrubbed down. Everything from handrails to elevator buttons to restroom fixtures will be wiped and sanitized, according to a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, the federal agency that oversees the housekeeping effort.
Incoming first families usually do some redecoration. Within days of arriving at the White House, Donald Trump had chosen a portrait of populist president Andrew Jackson for the Oval Office. He also replaced the drapes, couches and a rug in the office with ones that were gold-colored. On inauguration day, VP Mike Pence and his wife will also make way for Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff. They will be settling into their official residence, a 19th Century residence on the Naval Observatory grounds, a couple of miles from the White House.
Barack Obama is to be publicly sworn in as US president for second time.
Hundreds of thousands are expected in Washington for the event, which will feature music from Beyonce, parades, black tie balls and tight security.
They will crowd on to the Washington Mall to see the president take the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol.
Barack Obama was officially inaugurated in a small White House ceremony on Sunday, as the US Constitution requires the president be sworn in by January 20.
In the famous Blue Room, Barack Obama rested his hand on a Bible used for many years by his wife’s family and vowed “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.
He will repeat those words at Monday’s public inauguration, in which he is also expected to use part of his address to outline his plans for the next four years.
Speaking at a reception for supporters late on Sunday, Barack Obama suggested he would dwell on the “common good” and the “goodness, the resilience, neighborliness, the patriotism” of Americans.
“What we are celebrating is not the election or the swearing-in of the president,” Barack Obama said.
“What we are doing is celebrating each other and celebrating this incredible nation that we call home.”
Barack Obama is to be publicly sworn in as US president for second time
By the end of Monday, Barack Obama will have taken the oath four times – as many as President Franklin D Roosevelt.
Four years ago, Barack Obama had to repeat the oath privately to make sure all constitutional obligations were met after he tripped over the words.
Following Monday’s ceremony outside Congress, Barack Obama will have the traditional lunch with US lawmakers in the building’s Statuary Hall.
The president is then expected to follow the recent tradition of walking through the crowds for at least some of the way in the procession back to the White House.
Vice-President Joe Biden, who was also sworn in on Sunday, will repeat his oath publicly as well.
Thousands of workers and volunteers prepared Monday’s celebrations. White tents, trailers and generators are set up along the Washington Mall parade route, while nearby buildings have been adorned with red, white and blue bunting.
In 2009, nearly two million people crammed into Washington to witness President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
Inauguration Day schedule:
11:30 EST : Official ceremony begins at the West Front of US Capitol
11:55EST: Barack Obama is publicly sworn in as president by Chief Justice John Roberts
12:00EST: Barack Obama delivers inaugural address
12:39EST: Barack Obama signs nomination papers for his Cabinet
13:00EST: Inaugural lunch in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol
14:36EST: Inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, ending at the White House.
First Lady Michelle Obama paraded her new haircut as she took the stage with her daughters at Kids’ Inaugural Concert, the star-studded gala for military families Saturday night, marking the beginning of inauguration weekend festivities.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest recording artists, from Usher to Katy Perry, Alicia Keys and Fun., gathered at the Washington Convention Center in DC entertain hundreds of DC-area children and spouses of service members.
Dressed in a casual yet chic ensemble consisting of a while loose blouse cinched at the waist with a vibrant belt paired with ankle-length trousers, Michelle Obama appeared on stage accompanied by her daughters. President Barack Obama was not in attendance at the gala.
“Inauguration is a really big deal. There’s balls. Everybody dress up and dances,” Michelle Obama told the children.
“Let me tell you: I love every single minute of it. Every single minute. But I have to tell you that my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you.”
Usher performed his hit song OMG after Yeah and Without You, while Katy Perry put on a patriotic show with Firework set to a slideshow of President Obama shaking hands and talking on the phone.
Far East Movement and a gospel fusion group called Soul Children of Chicago performed as well, but neither Stevie Wonder nor Smokey Robinson, who were both originally reported to be in the lineup, made an appearance.
The night’s entertainment also included Mindless Behavior and members of the cast of the Fox series Glee.
The concert continues a tradition started at the 2009 inauguration by honoring the nation’s military families. It’s being hosted by Michelle Obama and the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, and emceed by Nick Cannon.
But the Kids’ Inaugural Concert was not the only glamorous event in town Saturday night.
Michelle Obama paraded her new haircut as she took the stage with her daughters at Kids’ Inaugural Concert
To continue the weekend’s festivities, the Texas State Society hosted the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball at the Gaylord National Resort in DC.
The western-themed gala featured performances from several country acts, including legendary signer Charley Pride, Rodney Foster, Jack Ingram, with a special appearance by actor Jamie Foxx.
This year’s ball continues a tradition that has been in place for more than 30 years.
The glamorous variety show featuring musical performances, a presidential puppet show and speeches from dignitaries came just hours after the first family took part in the National Day of Service.
On the brink of a second term, the president invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to service Saturday.
“I think we’re on the cusp of some really great things,” Vice President Joe Biden predicted for a country still recovering from a deep recession.
The president made only a glancing reference to race as he spoke at an elementary school not far from the White House after he and first lady Michelle Obama stained a bookcase as part of a national service event organized by the inaugural committee.
“We think about not so much the inauguration, but we think about this is Dr. King’s birthday we’re going to be celebrating this weekend,” the president said.
The National Day of Service and the night’s star-studded event set the stage for a weekend of festivities to mark the beginning of Barack Obama’s second term in office.
Freshly built inaugural stands at the Capitol gleamed white in the sun, and hundreds of chairs for special guests were set out on the lawn that spills down toward the National Mall as the president and vice president began their inauguration weekend.
Officials estimated that as many as 800,000 people will attend Monday’s public ceremonies. That’s more than live in the city, if far fewer than the 1.8 million who were at Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
Because the date for inauguration set in the Constitution, January 20, falls on a Sunday this year, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were to be sworn in for second terms in separate, private ceremonies on Sunday.
The public ceremonies are set for Monday, when Barack Obama will take the oath of office at noon, then deliver an inaugural address before a large crowd and a national television audience in the millions.
American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson will perform My Country Tis of Thee, James Taylor will sing America the Beautiful and long-time Barack Obama supporter Beyonce will entertain the crowd with her rendition of the national anthem.
The traditional lunch with lawmakers in the Capitol follows, and the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House.
There, a reviewing stand was adorned with the presidential seal and equipped with seats enough for Barack Obama and other dignitaries to watch in relative comfort as military units, marching bands, floats and thousands of participants go past. A pair of inauguration balls will cap the day, including one with a guest list that runs to 40,000 names.
A select few – those who donated as much as $1 million to defray inauguration expenses – received special access to public as well as invitation-only receptions and parties.
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton headlined a National Day of Service gathering under a tent on the National Mall, where she said she had been inspired by her grandmother, as well as her famous parents. She urged her audience to become part of a “chain of service” by helping the less fortunate.
Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, spent time at an armory pitching in as volunteers packed 100,000 care kits for deployed members of the military, wounded warriors, veterans and first responders.
Joe Biden credited former President George H. W. Bush, a Republican, for starting the “Points of Light” program, which was a sponsor of the event. He said service was an antidote to “the coarsening of our culture. We’ve got to get back to reaching out to people”.
Barack Obama is due to be officially sworn in for his second term as US president in a small ceremony at the White House.
Although the US Constitution requires the oath of office to be taken by noon on January 20, as that falls on a Sunday the public inauguration will take place on Monday.
Barack Obama will take his official oath in the White House’s Blue Room.
The public ceremony with pomp and circumstance will follow a day later.
Thousands of workers and volunteers have been working to finish construction for Monday’s celebration, with white tents, trailers and generators being set up along the Washington Mall’s parade route as nearby buildings were adorned with red, white and blue bunting,
For his part, Barack Obama rolled up his sleeves and donned gloves to spend Saturday sprucing up a school with other volunteers, as part of a National Day of Service kicking off the inauguration ceremonies – similar to the way he spent the day before his first presidential inauguration in 2009.
Barack Obama urged volunteers to honor the memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, whose birthday, a national holiday, falls on Monday. This year is the 50th anniversary of Luther King’s march on Washington.
Barack Obama rolled up his sleeves and donned gloves to spend Saturday sprucing up a school with other volunteers, as part of a National Day of Service kicking off the inauguration ceremonies
In 2009, nearly two million people crammed into Washington to witness President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in Washington for that event – a smaller number than the 1.8m who flocked for the swearing-in of the nation’s first black president in 2009.
They will crowd onto the Mall leading to Congress wrapped up against the cold, to see their president take the oath of office on the steps of the flag-draped Capitol and listen to his speech.
The day will include music from Beyonce and Fun, parades, black tie balls and very tight security.
Venezuela’s National Assembly has approved a request by President Hugo Chavez to postpone his inauguration for a new term in office, which was scheduled for Thursday, January 10.
Hugo Chavez is in hospital in Cuba after cancer surgery, and has suffered complications caused by a lung infection.
Legislators voted to give Hugo Chavez as much time as he needs to recover.
He has not been seen in public since his last operation a month ago.
Earlier, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro had confirmed that Hugo Chavez would be unable to attend the ceremony.
Venezuela’s opposition has called for the Supreme Court to rule on what should be done if Hugo Chavez is absent.
Its leader, Henrique Capriles, says Hugo Chavez should be declared absent, with the speaker of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, taking over as interim president.
President Hugo Chavez, who has been in power since 1999, was re-elected in October for a fourth term.
The government insists that the inauguration is a mere formality for an incumbent leader.
Venezuela’s National Assembly has approved a request by President Hugo Chavez to postpone his inauguration for a new term in office
After weeks of speculation, Diosdado Cabello announced to legislators that Hugo Chavez had requested to be sworn in at a later date before the Supreme Court, according to Article 231 of the Constitution.
“On the recommendation of his medical team, the process of post-operation recuperation will have to be prolonged beyond 10 January, [as a result of which] he will be unable to present himself on this date to the National Assembly,” he said, reading a letter from Vice President Nicolas Maduro.
On Monday, Diosdado Cabello called on Hugo Chavez supporters to take to the streets of Caracas on Thursday to show support for him.
He said several foreign leaders had agreed to be at the Miraflores Presidential Palace on inauguration day.
But Henrique Capriles urged them to stay away and not succumb to “a game by a political party”, meaning Hugo Chavez’s ruling party.
In his most recent update on Hugo Chavez, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said his condition was “stable”, and he was “responding to the treatment”.
Article 231: The president-elect shall take office on January 10 of the first year of their constitutional term, by taking an oath before the National Assembly. If for any reason, (they) cannot be sworn in before the National Assembly, they shall take the oath of office before the Supreme Court.
Article 233:(…) When there is an absolute absence of the president-elect before taking office, there shall be a new election by universal, direct and secret vote within the next 30 consecutive days. Pending the election and inauguration of the new president, the president of the National Assembly will assume responsibility for the presidency of the Republic.
If the absence of the president of the Republic occurs during the first four years of the constitutional period, there shall be a new election by universal, direct and secret vote within 30 consecutive days. Pending the election and inauguration of the new president, the executive vice-president will be responsible for the presidency of the Republic.
Article 234: When the president is temporarily unable to serve, they shall be replaced by the executive vice-president for a period of up to 90 days, which may be extended by resolution of the National Assembly for an additional 90 days.
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