elections

Trump’s Inaugural Speech: Pitchfork Populism
But will he ‘preserve, protect and defend?’

President Donald J. Trump hugs his family after being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on the West Front of the Capitol, January 20, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The flamethrower has been passed to a new generation, an older generation, bristling with resentments yet faithful to themes of the 2016 campaign.

Donald J. Trump’s inaugural address was one for the ages. For decades to come — no matter how his presidency is remembered — the bluntness of his words on a grey and rainy Friday afternoon will be recalled as a turning point, a fork in the winding road of American democracy.

The Final Dignity of Hillary Clinton
An example for the nation: Time to move forward

Hillary Clinton, seen here at inauguration, shows America again and again that it’s returning from failure that matters, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I can’t remember how many times in the last three months I have typed “the final indignity of Hillary Clinton.” Even for a woman who has been in the spotlight for decades, she seems to have had more than her fair share.

Had she not run for the Senate as first lady, it’s possible that Clinton’s final indignity would have been her husband’s betrayals, literally in the Oval Office, after she had supported him for years. But after a failed impeachment against him and a New York listening tour for her, “Mrs. Clinton” became “Sen. Clinton” and she was on her way to a political career of her own.

President Trump: ‘From This Day Forward ... Only America First’
45th president signals major policy shifts in inaugural address

Donald Trump greets President Barack Obama moments before Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, on the West Front of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump, very much still in campaign mode, vowed in his inaugural address to use his new powers to turn the country inward and “rebuild” America, telling his countrymen and the world he will govern with a simple principle: “It’s going to be only America first.” 

In a striking scene, the bombastic businessman and former reality television star, spoke from the very spot where American political giants like Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama delivered their first remarks as commander in chief.

Protesters Greet Inauguration Guests, Clash With Police in Streets
People swarm Metro stations, event entrances and damage property in protest against Trump

Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire near 13th and Massachusetts Ave. Friday morning before Donald Trump was sworn in. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

Pockets of protests erupted throughout Washington, DC, Friday, at times threatening to overshadow the pomp of Donald Trump's inauguration and presenting a reminder of the stark divisions facing the 45th president.

Demonstrators arrived early, touting concern for issues including immigration, border control, labor and racism. Some attempted -- unsuccessfully -- to block the crowds that filed into the Capitol grounds before Trump was sworn in. In what appeared to be isolated outbursts of violence, other groups set small fires throughout the city, broke windows and clashed with police in the Franklin Square area.

Highlights of Donald Trump’s Inauguration
Bushes arrive for 45th president’s swearing in

President Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on the West Front of the Capitol on Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The inauguration of President Donald Trump was full of both Trump bombast and the ceremonial pomp and circumstance that comes with the swearing in of a new commander in chief.

On one end, many worked to uphold the democratic traditions while Trump sought to drive home the points of his inauguration.

Trump’s Inauguration Day Arrives, With Many Questions
Top spokesman, amid concerns, vows ’we're ready to go’

Members of Marine Barracks Washington gather on the West Front of the Capitol on Inauguration Day before President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing in. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated at 9:51 a.m. | Washington is undergoing a major transformation, but Donald Trump’s inauguration brings more questions than answers.

To be sure, very little is known about what to expect from his much-anticipated inaugural address from the West Front of the Capitol. His top spokesman has promised a “personal” speech that is “unique” while laying out a vision for his presidency.

Good Trump, Bad Trump — Who Will Appear at the Inaugural?
No guarantee what president-elect will say Friday

Listening to President-elect Donald Trump’s past speeches gives one the sense of a political leader torn between a good angel on his right shoulder and a malevolent demon on his left, Walter Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No matter how many drafts speechwriter Stephen Miller prepares, no matter how often the president-elect practices with a teleprompter, there is no guarantee what Donald Trump will say on Friday after he takes the oath of office. The man who is about to become the 45th president is too impulsive, too much of a creature of his own id, to be slavishly faithful to the final draft of the inaugural address. 

The majesty of the moment, the hand-on-the-Bible jolt of emotion for this child of Outer-Borough America, could send Trump in unexpected directions. Even an orator who revels in huge rallies, as Trump does, may be surprised — as Bill Clinton was in 1993 — at the way his oratory echoes off the monuments and how indistinct the faces of his audience appear as he gazes down from the heights of the West Front of the Capitol.

Ryan Still Doesn't Want to Run for President
Speaker says ‘the left’ is trying to delegitimize Trump’s presidency before it starts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan insists he still does not want to run for president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been asked hundreds, if not thousands, of times if he wants to run for president one day. The answer has not changed. 

“No,” Ryan said in an interview with Charlie Rose scheduled to air on PBS late Thursday. “It’s just not an ambition that I’ve long harbored, or I’ve harbored.” 

Trump Administration’s First (Unofficial) Day in Washington
Spokesman clashes with Schumer; press credentials get you to nowhere

Several temporary toilets placed on Capitol grounds for the Inauguration have been labeled “Trump’s Tower” with a marker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Inauguration Day is Friday but the Trump administration’s first official day in Washington was Thursday, as the incoming team clashed with Senate Democrats over its Cabinet nominations.

“There is no excuse,” White House Press Secretary-designee Sean Spicer said, for what he dubbed “delay tactics” by Senate Democrats on some of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet selections. Spicer was in mid-administration form as he added that the Democrats’ tactics “call into question” whether they want a “government of continuity.”

Global Events Drive Inauguration Security
Capitol’s top law enforcement officials consider new threats

Larkin, left, and Irving, right, must weigh security versus access when it comes to the inauguration. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Threats, both domestic and foreign, are driving some of the logistics of the 58th presidential inauguration as the Capitol’s top law enforcement officers prepare to secure the public and members of all three branches of government at the same time in the same place.

Recent events in France and Germany, where terrorists drove trucks into crowds of people, pose a new type of threat to consider when handling planning for the day, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin said.