Inaugural Ceremonyby Senator Lamar Alexander
Posted on 2013-01-22
ALEXANDER. Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, ladies
and gentlemen, the late Alex Haley, author of ``Roots,''
lived his life by these six words: ``Find the good and praise
it.'' Today we praise the American tradition of transferring
or reaffirming immense power in the inauguration of the
President of the United States. We do this in a peaceful,
orderly way. There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection. This
is a moment when millions stop and watch, a moment most of us
always will remember. It is a moment that is our most
conspicuous and enduring symbol of the American democracy.
How remarkable that this has survived for so long in such a
complex country, when so much power is at stake, this freedom
to vote for our leaders and the restraint to respect the
Last year, at Mount Vernon, a tour guide told me our first President, George Washington, once posed this question: What is [[Page S185]] most important of this grand experiment, the United States? Then Washington answered his own question in this way: Not the election of the first President but the election of its second President. The peaceful transfer of power is what will separate our country from every other country in the world.
Today we celebrate the 57th inauguration of the American President: Find the good and praise it.
(Applause.) It is my honor to introduce Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor for the purpose of administering the oath of office to the Vice President. Will everyone please stand.
Associate Justice SONIA SOTOMAYOR administered to the Vice President-elect the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution, which he repeated, as follows: I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
Justice SOTOMAYOR. Congratulations.