The Tall Man Cometh
Bill de Blasio is getting ready for his inauguration.
Almost exactly one month before the January 1 date when he’ll take the oath of office, the mayor-elect rolled out his inaugural committee today, a list of names “from all five boroughs, every community and every walk of life,” as his transition team put it in a press release.
This morning, the New York Post‘s cover featured the power couple of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration–Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z–under a headline accusing Washington pols of being more starstruck by the celebrity duo than by Mr. Obama himself. Not everyone agrees with that interpretation, however, including GOP Rep. Pete King, pictured snapping a photo of Ms. Knowles. In a CNN interview today, Mr. King said the Post actually had it backwards, and Ms. Knowles was the one basking in his presence.
“It’s a great moment for Beyoncé to be seen with me,” Mr. King joked. “I mean, her career is definitely going to take off. That’s what she was waiting for all these years.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — For most Americans, the phrase Inaugural Ball conjures up images of the commander in chief and first lady clad in full evening dress taking a waltz on the dance floor. If you’d like to maintain that illusion of grandeur when 2016 rolls around, Politicker humbly suggests you stay home and watch the festivities on television, because the reality is far less glamorous. Last night’s main Inaugural Ball was like a low rent prom complete with a gym-like venue, chips standing in for hors d’oeuvres and 80′s music. Amid all these cut-rate accoutrements and incongruously overdressed guests, we also spotted a basketball legend, a dancing congresswoman and, of course, the president.
WASHINGTON D.C. — Long Island chef Butch Yamali is telling Senator Chuck Schumer to go duck himself after the Inauguration.
Senator Schumer was able to put his own New York-centric spin on today’s festivities in his capacity as chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. However, Mr. Yamali doesn’t feel Mr. Schumer went far enough to honor his home state and is holding a press conference tomorrow to “formally rebuke” the senator for not having Long Island duck at the inaugural meal at the Capitol Building.
Cup of Joe
At the inaugural reception earlier this afternoon, Vice President Joe Biden proved he still has the ability to go off script.
As various speakers–including President Barack Obama–stood behind the room’s podium to offer toasts, Mr. Biden offered a heap of praise on Mr. Obama before quickly announcing his toast would instead go to one of his former colleagues in the U.S. Senate, New York’s Chuck Schumer.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An anti-abortion protester caused quite the scene at President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony this morning after he climbed high up into a tree on the National Mall and shouted anti-abortion slogans and criticism of the Democratic Party throughout the proceedings. On stage near the president and other assembled dignitaries, the man’s yelling could faintly be heard, but he clearly made quite the impression among the crowd, which was otherwise overwhelmingly composed of the president’s staunch supporters.
“He was anti-abortion and Democrats,” said a woman named Susan who was seated below the activist’s perch in the tree. “He was really obnoxious.”
Earlier today, President Barack Obama took the oath of office in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands of individuals and the full attention of the country’s media. And, while touting the importance of the American democracy, Mr. Obama also used the occasion to promote some of his policy goals for next four years.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Mr. Obama said, for example, according to his prepared remarks. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.”
Moments before President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden put their hands on the Bible to take the oath of office, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander took the podium to introduce them by quoting Alex Haley, the author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and co-author of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the late Alex Haley, the author of Roots, lived his life by these six words: find the good and praise it,” Mr. Alexander, the-chair of the inaugural committee, said.