U.S. Presidency: Biden, Harris sworn in | Premium Times Nigeria


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States of America on Wednesday.

Since 1937, January 20, remains the date for swearing-in ceremonies for all American Presidents except if it falls on a Sunday.

The most important part of the inauguration is the administration of oath of office to the President, usually performed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Mr Biden took the oath of office using his 127-year-old family bible.

Consequent upon the inauguration, which is quite unprecedented going by the heavy presence of security personnel – 25,000 National Guards troops in Washington DC – Mr Biden, 78, becomes the 46th President of the U.S.

Mr Biden, a former senator and ex-VP to former President Barack Obama, is the oldest President to enter the White House as a first termer in office.

He is also the second Catholic to be elected as President after J. F Kennedy. Incidentally, Mr Biden used the same church as Mr Kennedy for his inauguration service.

Mr Biden, from Delaware, succeeds Donald Trump whose four-year reign came to a turbulent end when mob inspired by his tweets invaded the Capitol Building on January 6 to prevent the American Congress from certifying the electoral victory of Mr Biden.

For his ignoble actions in inciting the mob, Mr Trump was impeached again, for the second time, by the Congress, though the Senate could not debate his second impeachment before the expiration of his tenure.

Also, social media giants – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, blocked Mr Trump indefinitely from using their platforms to incite his thugs to unleash violence.

While delivering his inaugural address, Mr Biden, a Democrat, pledged to unite the American people. ”I will be a President for all Americans,” he said.

Similarly, Ms Harris, the first female VP ever produced in the history of the U.S and first person of colour, was also sworn in.

As VP, Ms Harris will also preside over the American Senate whenever important votes are to be decided.

Prior to her swearing, Ms Harris, an attorney, who was elected senator in 2016, resigned from her seat as senator representing California.

California Governor has already nominated her replacement.

Dignitaries at the inauguration.

Former Presidents W. Bush, Bill Clinton and their wives, in keeping with tradition, attended the swearing-in ceremonies.

Speaker of the Congress, Nancy Pelosi, and other top Congressional lawmakers were also in attendance.

Breaking away from his principal, Vice President, Mike Pence, attended the inauguration.

Trump, Melania absent

True to his vow not to attend the swearing in ceremony, Mr Trump and his wife stayed away from the inauguration venue.

Mr Trump’s absence is neither unusual nor historic. Some five outgoing presidents had skipped the inauguration of their successors for myriad reasons in the past.

Meanwhile, in 2017, despite differences in political affiliation and ideology, Mr Obama and his wife attended the inauguration of Mr Trump as the 45th President of the U.S.

Mr Trump’s absence at the inauguration may not be unconnected with his claim that the November 2020 presidential election was rigged against him, a claim that could not be proved.

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