America feels like America again.
Just before noon, Joe Biden took the oath of office, officially becoming the 46th president of the United States. He raised his right hand and swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.
“Through a crucible of the ages, America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge,” Biden boomed during his inaugural speech. “Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause.”
“At this hour, my friends, Democracy has prevailed,” he said.
It felt like the clouds cast over the last four years had parted, and the Capitol concord was bathed in sun as the inauguration kicked off.
Earlier that morning, He Who Must Not Be Named slunk away from the White House in a military helicopter, and in a subsequent speech at Joint Base Andrews, refused to refer to Biden by name. So, to be fair, we’re going to try not to use his name if we can avoid it.
The event included heartfelt performances from Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, and Senator Amy Klobuchar acted as MC sporting a flashy new red hairdo.
“This is a great nation. We’re good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, through peace and war, we’ve come so far, but we still have far to go,” Biden said.
In his speech, Biden stressed unity as the only path forward for the country,. Balancing out deep sincerity and optimism, Biden provided a glimpse of what kind of leader he would be, and what he would not tolerate.
“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path,” Biden said. “We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.”
Unlike his predecessor, Biden pledged to fight as hard “for those who did not support me as those who did.”
This is a developing story.
Follow Interim Managing Editor Leigh Tauss on Twitter or send an email to email@example.com.
Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.