With Inauguration Day around the corner, Donald Trump is set to officially replace Barack Obama as the President of the United States.
Dating back to George Washington, the ceremony, taking place on January 20 2017, will mark the commencement of a new four-year term and will play out according to various traditions that have amassed over the past 228 years.
Following the morning prayer, the departing and incoming presidents will meet at the White House and travel together to the Capitol. Then, after Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Oath, Trump will be officially sworn in and give his Inaugural Address. (In 2009, Obama took the 35-word oath again because a word was in the wrong place!)
That’s Obama’s cue to fly off - quite literally by helicopter, as has been the tradition since 1977 - before a long afternoon of feasting at the Inaugural Luncheon and partying at the Inaugural Parade and Inaugural Balls. In 1977, Jimmy Carter broke precedent by joining the parade - a procession of ceremonial soldiers, floats and marching bands down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
Why is the inauguration important? Trump may have won the Electoral College vote on November 8 2016, but he can't put '45th President' on his CV quite yet. Only once the Oath of Office has been taken does the change he has talked and tweeted about over the past few months become a potential reality. With the eyes of the whole world turning towards Washington, D.C., we asked two of our political speakers about what we can expect from Trump, his policies and his relationship with the House and Senate upon entering the White House.
“Donald Trump will be presiding over a divided nation and with minimal opposition from the vanquished Democratic Party,” says Ian King, the leading business presenter on Sky News. “Most opposition to him will come from Republicans in US Congress, many of whom have very different goals and economic philosophies from his own and who will regard some, if not most, elements of his proposed stimulus package as unaffordable.”
Ian King, business presenter on Sky News
Unlike Obama, then, who was often blocked by Congress due to the Republican nature of the House, Trump appears to be facing obstacles of a different kind - one due to the disparate policies and opinions of individuals within his own party.
How will he seek to overcome such resistance? Tim Shipman, the Political Editor of the Sunday Times, comments: "Washington has always been the toughest nut for an outsider to crack. Presidents with little experience on Capitol Hill have tended to run up against the problems the founding fathers quite deliberately put in place to tie the hands of the executive - but Trump has made some clever cabinet picks (at the state department and Pentagon particularly) which show he can play the game."
He continues: "The real challenge will come when he is at odds with Congress. Trump will deploy his bully pulpit and his movement against insider truculence and that is when the constitution could be tested in a way it has not been since Franklin Roosevelt stuffed the Supreme Court or Andrew Jackson abolished the bank of the United States, pitting the working classes against the monied elites. It's worth remembering both of them got their way. Trump won't be as constrained as Obama because he won't allow himself to be."
Tim Shipman, the Political Editor of the Sunday Times
What about businesses and their investors? How is Trump's term likely to affect their decisions going forward?
“Investors have, to date, focused on the most growth-friendly of Mr. Trump’s policies rather than the less pleasant protectionist aspects of his election pledges, many of which would be harmful to global economic growth," says Ian King. "Accordingly, there is plenty of scope for disappointment, as far as the markets will be concerned."
Tim Shipman notes Trump's use of social media as a tool for persuasion. "There is something of the Theodore Roosevelt in the way he is already using the bully pulpit of social media to make big firms rethink their decisions on where to locate."
He continues, "With Donald Trump, it is best to call on the wisdom of his namesake Donald Rumsfeld and say that the known unknowns - the Tweet that taunts a foreign leader, collapses a company’s share price or starts a war - have never been so eye-watering. More pertinently there have never been so many unknown unknowns. However, it seems very likely that the view that the presidency would change Trump was misguided. It is more likely that he will change the presidency."
Say hi to the 45th President of the United States. (Well, almost.)
Trump will no doubt be concerned about his public image right now as he prepares to lay out his vision for the next four years in his Inaugural Address. Just like those delivered by many of his presidential forebears, this speech is expected to serve as an aspirational statement of what will come. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up ten of the most famous quotes over the past 228 years. Regardless of whether you agree with their policies, these orators have produced lines that have truly stood the test of time and continue to echo in the minds of the public today.
1. Barack Obama – January 20th, 2009
"The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity, on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good."
2. Bill Clinton – January 20th, 1993
“Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."
3. George H.W. Bush - January 20th, 1989
“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world."
4. Ronald Reagan – January 20th, 1989
“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
5. Lyndon B. Johnson – January 20th, 1965
“Justice requires us to remember that when any citizen denies his fellow, saying, ‘His color is not mine,’ or ‘His beliefs are strange and different,’ in that moment he betrays America, though his forebears created this nation."
6. John F. Kennedy – January 20th, 1961
“My fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
7. Theodore Roosevelt – March 4th, 1905
“We wish peace, but we wish the peace of justice, the peace of righteousness. We wish it because we think it is right and not because we are afraid."
8. Thomas Jefferson – March 4th, 1801
“But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle."
9. Abraham Lincoln – March 4th, 1865
“Let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
10. George Washington – April 30th, 1789
“And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people"
Seems like only 228 years ago that the very first President was giving his Inaugural Address
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