Biden/Harris Inauguration Plans Taking Shape
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will raise their right hands and take their oaths of office on the steps of the United States Capitol on Jan. 20, but that’s about the only aspect of their inauguration day that will look like those of the past.
The Biden inauguration planning committee on Tuesday confirmed to The Washington Post for the first time that the swearing in will take place on the west side of the Capitol and that Biden will deliver an inauguration address from that location. But because of the raging coronavirus pandemic pretty much every other tradition that has accompanied the installation of a new president is being re-thought.
Elected officials will be present on the platform with Biden, but attendance will be very limited. The Post also is reporting that there will be some sort of parade, but much of it is expected to be virtual, similar to what took place at the Democratic National Convention this past August, to prevent large crowds from gathering in the District of Columbia. The theme of Biden’s inauguration will be “Our Determined Democracy: Forging a More Perfect Union.”
As of right now it’s not known if Biden will host the traditional luncheon with members of Congress after the ceremony, nor is it clear if Donald Trump will even be in attendance. In a recent interview the president said, “I don’t want to talk about that” when asked if he would show up.
Maju Varghese, who’s in charge of planning the 59th inauguration of a new president, said in an interview with The Post, “This is a once in a generation moment that we’re in. What we’re trying to do here is be honest and transparent. We realize the moment that we’re in as it relates to the pandemic, so we’re leaning into doing things very different this time.”
The planning group also is focusing on security for the Biden inauguration, especially since Trump still refuses to concede that he lost the election or call on his rabid supporters to renounce violent protest tactics. The National Park Service reports that it has processed five requests for use of public space in the District for demonstrations on Jan. 20, one of which is a 300-person protest by organizers of Roar for Trump.