WASHINGTON — After an unprecedented and divisive campaign, Donald John Trump became the 45th president of the United States on Friday, promising in his inaugural address, “we will get the job done.”
“We are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people,” Trump said in his 16-minute inaugural address, striking the populist and America first themes that fueled his campaign.
Speaking to the nation, the real estate tycoon and reality TV show star applauded his supporters.
“What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
“Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens.”
Trump, in a speech evocative of his campaign, promised to build new roads, bridges and airports to “get our people off of welfare and back to work.”
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“We will follow two simple rules,” Trump said, “buy American and hire American. … It is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.”
Concluding, Trump said, “hear these words: you will never be ignored again.”
With three former presidents, and his rival, Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote, looking on, Trump is promising to swiftly dismantle many of the signature achievements of former President Barack Obama.
Turning to Obama and now former first lady Michelle, Obama said “Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. Thank you.”
Following a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, at the stroke of noon, Trump became the president after Chief Supreme Court Justice John Robert administered the oath of office.
Michael Richard Pence was sworn-in as Vice President by Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
The inauguration ceremony, at the West Front of the Capitol, was full of pageantry and symbolism.
Trump used the bible President Abraham Lincoln used at his first inauguration as well as a bible Trump’s mother gave him when he was a boy. Pence borrowed the bible Ronald Reagan used when he was sworn-in as California governor in 1967 and 1971 and president, in 1981 and 1985.
Immediately following the ceremony, and following tradition for the former president to depart right away, the new First Couple, Trump and wife Melania, walked with the Obamas’ to a Marine helicopter parked at the Capitol.
At Andrews Air Force Base, the Obama’s will take a presidential aircraft – the plane is only called Air Force One when the president is aboard and fly to Palm Springs, Calif. for a vacation.
Roughly 1,800 people, many of whom had served in the Obama administration, were waiting for him. As the Obamas entered, the crowd roared and broke into a brief chant of the signature line from Obama’s 2008 campaign, “Yes we can!”
Daughters Malia and Sasha, who the nation watched grow up during Obama’s two terms, were not at the Capitol.
FOOTNOTE: The designated survivor for the inauguration was departing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.