The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump

Tanner Jones, opinion editor

On Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. After announcing his candidacy in June of 2015, Trump rode on a wave of populism to the Republican nomination that took him all the way to the White House. To many, his election was a surprise, and on Friday his inauguration filled a page of history.

Several famous politicians attended the ceremony. Former Presidents and First Ladies Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were all present. The only living First Couple that couldn’t make it was George H. W. and Barbara Bush, who were absent for health reasons. Vice Presidents Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden were also in the audience with their wives. Hillary Clinton, who was the 2016 Democratic nomination, and Trump’s foremost opponent in the election, received much publicity for attending.

Just before noon, Mike Pence was sworn in by Clarence Thomas as Vice President. Shortly after, at 12:00 P.M., Trump took the Oath of Office and was sworn in as President by Chief Justice John Roberts on two Bibles. After the traditional 21-gun salute, and a performance of “Hail to the Chief” by the Marine Band, Trump took to the podium for his Inaugural address.

In one of the shortest speeches of its kind in history, Trump emphasised campaign promises and punctuated anti-establishment rhetoric. Trump said that while in office he will prioritize “America First,” a common political slogan which was first used by Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago in his 1916 campaign. Trump also promised to fight crime and poverty and combat the development of what he called an “American carnage.” Some crowd scientists estimate that 250,000 people were in attendance; however, Trump has refuted these claims and purports that 1.5 million were at his inauguration. No exact count was taken, but either way it’s clear that crowd sizes were far lower than Obama’s 2009 inauguration, which reportedly brought 1.8 million to the national mall.

Once inaugurated, Trump and his wife accompanied former President Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama to a helicopter that brought the former first couple to Joint Base Andrews as the new incumbent First and Second Couples waved.

Just a few hours later, Trump signed his first bill into law. It was an official waiver for the National Security Act, which allowed his nominee for the Secretary of the Department of Defense, General James Mattis, to bypass the required seven year waiting period for military personnel taking office at the DOD.

Amid much speculation about his mandate to power and approval ratings, it is in fact official that Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States.