Justice Sonia Sotomayor made history yesterday when she swore in Joe Biden to another four years as vice president, becoming the first Latina jurist to administer an inaugural oath.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was present at the ceremony, which she describes as "warm and intimate" on Starting Point this morning, saying that both Sotomayor and Biden appeared thrilled during the occasion.
Rep. Schultz, who is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, also explains what she expects to hear later today during President Obama's inaugural address.
"I think what the president's goal will be is trying to use the inaugural address to unify the country," Rep. Schultz explains. "We should start this new term trying to put away the divisive fights... We all have to recognize that our challenges are significant and we can all give up a little and it’s okay."
The focus all over the country today is on the inaugural ceremony and parade in Washington. Tonight it will be all about the parties. Big name artists including Katy Perry, Brad Paisley, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and John Legend are all expected to perform. But the celebration is somewhat scaled back from four years ago. The presidential inaugural committee is hosting just two official inaugural balls this year compared to 10 official balls in 2009. Brent Colburn is Communications Director for the Presidential Inauguration Committee. With more on the logistics of the festivities, he joins us on “Early Start” this morning.
Colburn describes the differences between the first and second inauguration’s programming. “Obviously second inaugurals are a little different than first inaugurals,” he says. “[They] tend to be a little bit smaller, but they’re a really important moment. It’s an important moment for the president to look back at where we've gone as a country, and for the country to look forward.”
Every four years the inaugural parade kicks off the biggest party in town. And when the president is the center of the celebration, it means a big logistical challenge along the parade route.
Former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino is familiar with the entire operation. Four years ago he headed up security for President Obama's first inaugural parade. Agent Bongino describes the planning behind the monumental task of securing the president, block by block.
Aurora, Newtown, Webster are all places recently marred by tragedies by gunfire. Now, Vice President Joe Biden has officially delivered his recommendations to President Obama with suggestions for trying to stop these horrific shootings from happening again.
The recommendations reportedly include proposing background checks on all gun sales, making certain rapid-fire weapons off-limits and keeping guns away from the mentally ill. White House Correspondent Dan Lothian is following developments and has more on “Early Start” this morning.