President Joe Biden danced with his youngest grandchild in his arms as he watched his inauguration concert from within the White House, in scenes which touched hearts at the end of an emotional day.
Biden, 78, held eight-month-old Beau Biden as the family watched the show.
The baby is the son of Hunter Biden, 50, and his South African wife Melissa Cohen, 32. The pair married in May 2019, two weeks after they first met, and their son was born in March.
On Wednesday night, the president swayed along to the song Lovely Day, delighting the baby. Little Beau – named after Hunter’s brother, who died of brain cancer in 2015, aged 46 – pointed at the screen as Demi Lovato sang.
Earlier on Wednesday the baby was on the stage with his parents to watch his grandfather sworn in.
Biden delivered a speech on Wednesday night before retreating to watch the rest of the show at the White House.
In his remarks he reiterated his calls for unity and insisted he believes the best is yet to come for the nation during his speech at the primetime inauguration special, Celebrating America.
Speaking at the Lincoln Memorial just hours after he was sworn into office as the 46th US President, Biden said: ‘It is humbling to stand here in this place in front of these sacred words. Humbling out of respect to President Lincoln and the office we now share and humbling because of you, the American people.
‘As I said earlier today, we have learned again that democracy is precious and because of you democracy has prevailed.’
Biden continued that he and his wife Jill, in addition to Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, ‘wanted to make sure out inauguration was not about us but about you, the American people.’
‘This is a great nation. We’re a good people and [to] overcome the challenges in front of us requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy — unity. It requires us to come together in common love that defines us as Americans,’ he said.
After listing difficulties faced by the nation including the pandemic, an economic crisis, racial injustice, the climate crisis and internal threats to the country’s democracy, Biden asked rhetorically if Americans were up for the challenge.
‘Will we meet the moment like our forebears have?’ he asked. ‘I believe we must and I believe we will. You, the American people are the reason why I have never been more optimistic about America that I am this very day.’
‘There isn’t anything we can’t do, if we do it together,’ he added. ‘So thank you for this honor, I will give my all to you.’
In her first address as the nation’s Vice President, meanwhile, Kamala Harris talked about the power of ‘American Aspiration’.
With the Washington Monument lit up behind her Wednesday night, Harris called on Americans to remember ‘we are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.’
She also cast her ascension as the first female vice president as a demonstration of the nation´s character.
‘In many this moment embodies our character as a nation. It demonstrates who we are, even in dark times. We, not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted, in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up. This is American aspiration,’ she said.
Harris, the first ever Vice President of color, also gave nod to the accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, who she credited for seeing ‘a better future and built it with land grant colleges, and the transcontinental railroad.’
She also lauded the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. and his tireless efforts to fight for racial and economic justice.
‘A great experiment, takes great determination. The will to do the work and then the wisdom to keep refining, keep tinkering, keep perfecting. The same and determination is being realized in America today,’ she said. ‘
Harris also gave a nod to American scientists, parents and teachers who are persevering through the coronavirus pandemic and encouraged people to ‘see beyond crises.’
‘I see it in the scientists who are transforming the future, I see it in the parents who are nurturing generations to come and in the innovators, the educators, in everyone, everywhere who are nurses and educators, everyone everywhere who is building a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,’ Harris continued.
‘This too is American aspiration. this is what President Joe Biden has called upon us to summon now. The courage to see beyond crisis, to do what is hard, to do what is good, to unite, to believe in ourselves, believe in our country, believe in what we can do together.’
The star-studded Celebrating America began at 8:30pm, and was hosted by Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, in addition to Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington.
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen sang ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ as he stood alone with his guitar in front of the Lincoln Memorial to open the show.
Springsteen said, ‘Good evening, America,’ to open the 90-minute special airing across several networks on Wednesday night in place of the usual official inaugural balls.
Performing the 1999 song of solace, Springsteen sang, ‘I will provide for you, and I´ll stand by your side. You’ll need a good companion, for this part of the ride.’
Other musical contributions throughout the show included live performances from Foo Fighters, Justin Timerlake and Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Katy Perry, and John Legend, who sang a rendition of ‘Feeling Good’.
Host Tom Hanks, also at the Lincoln Memorial, introduced the show by saying, ‘In the last few weeks, in the last few years, we’ve witnessed deep divisions and a troubling rancor in our land. But tonight we ponder the United States of America.’
‘The practice of our democracy, the foundations of our republic, the integrity of our Constitution, the hope and dreams we all share for a more perfect union.
‘To some, a presidential inauguration is a tradition, an act that marks the commitment of a new four-year term. Yet, in truth, Inauguration Day is more than the swearing in of the next national leaders. This day is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal.’
In a show of bi-partisan unity, former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama came together to offer their shared best wishes for Biden, in addition to preaching the importance of a peaceful transition of power, and establishing unity across the nation.
‘We have got to not just listen to folks we agree with, but listen to folks we don’t,’ Obama said in conversation with his fellow ex-commander-in-chiefs.
‘One of my fondest memories of the inauguration, was the grace and generosity that President Bush showed me, and Laura Bush showed Michelle,’ he continued, making no mention of Trump.
‘It was a reminder, that we can have a fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other’s common humanity and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us,’ he continued. ‘If in fact…we are looking for what binds us together, the American people are strong, there’re tough, they can get through hardship and there’s no problem they cannot solve, when we are working together.’
Clinton, meanwhile, said he was ‘glad’ Biden had triumphed in the 2020 election, and said ‘we’re ready to march with you’.
‘We are both trying to come back to normalcy, deal with totally abnormal challenges, and do what we do best, which is try to make a more perfect union. It’s an exciting time.’
Bush added: ‘I think the fact that the three of us are standing here talking about a peaceful transfer of power, speaks to the institutional integrity of our country.
‘America’s a generous country, people of great hearts. All three of us were lucky to be the president of this country,’ he continued. ‘Mr. President, I’m pulling for your success. Your success is our country’s success. God bless you.’
A special broadcast came from the International Space Station roughly 200 miles above earth, from NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and American crew members from Expedition 64.
‘We’re up here working with our international partners to find new scientific breakthroughs from improved vaccines to safer drinking water to help people all over the world,’ Rubins said. ‘Just as we’re celebrating two decades of global cooperation and space, it’s truly an honor for us to celebrate America today. As we unite for this historic inaugural tradition that spans more than two centuries.’
Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old who bonded with Biden earlier this year over their shared experience with stuttering, also made an appearance.
‘In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger, I do not shrink from that responsibility. I welcome it,’ Harrington said.
‘I do not believe that any of us will exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world. And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you do for your country,’ Harrington, who also spoke during last year’s Democratic National Convention, continued.
Earlier Wednesday, President Biden appeared in the Oval Office for the first time to sign new executive orders and read the ‘private’ letter Donald Trump left for him.
‘The president wrote a very generous letter,’ Biden said. ‘Because it was private, I won’t talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous.’
Trump left a note on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, one of the rare traditions he followed in the peaceful transfer of power. Trump never invited Biden to the White House after the election nor did he attend Biden’s inauguration.
Biden wore a face mask as he sat behind the Resolute Desk to sign the executive orders. The visual was a stark change to former President Trump, who rarely wore a covering.
‘I thought there’s no time to wait,’ he said. ‘There’s no time to start like today.’
There was a large stack of folders on the desk and pictures of his family decorated the credenza behind him.
Biden signed three executive actions: one ordering a mask mandate on federal property, another providing ‘support for under served communities’ and the third was to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Trump removed the United States from the climate agreement and Biden vowed to restore America to the accord on the first day of his presidency.
‘As we indicated we will sign a number of the executive orders over the next several days to a week and I’m going to start today. The crisis of Covid-19 along with the economic crisis, and the climate crisis, the executive actions that we are signing will help change the course of the crisis,’ he said. Biden is expected to sign many more executive orders in the day to come.
Shortly after signing the orders, Biden swore in nearly 1,000 federal appointees and staff in a virtual ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House. He spoke from behind a lectern, while the appointees appeared at the event via video streams set up on a series of television screens.
The 46th president said if any of his appointees treat a colleague with disrespect, he will fire them ‘on the spot.’ He said that mindset had been missing in President Donald Trump’s White House.
And in another clear reference to Trump’s administration, Biden’s White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in her first briefing that she will strive to bring truth and transparency.
Biden got to work soon after making a grand entrance into the White House, walking hand-in-hand with First Lady Jill Biden to their new home and saying: ‘It feels like I’m going home.’
It wasn’t quite the same as the typical public stretches of the historic Avenue past presidents have walked for photo-ops. Coronavirus and security kept away usual onlookers. But there were children interspersed along the brief stretch outside the Treasury and White House, along with press and aides.
He also greeted D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser along the way – in a city that lacks representation in Congress that was the subject of street clashes and protests over the summer, and was put on lockdown by his inauguration and the Capitol riots.
Following suit was Vice President Kamala Harris, who left her own limo and got greeted by family members outside.
She and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff walked along a similar stretch, joined by his children and other family members. The first female vice president held hands with grand niece Amala as she approached the building.
‘Madam Vice President!’ shouted reporters trying to secure a comment. She was asked how it feels. ‘Walking to work,’ she said at one point.
The efforts to court the press were an attempt to reset relations with the media – the medium through which most Americans would see the inauguration with visitors all but shut down.
Donald Trump regularly railed against what he called the ‘fake news,’ whom he called the ‘enemy of the people’ – even as he provided frequent access to reporters during the period before the elections.
Harris then held hands with Emhoff, saluted a military honor guard, and walked up the steps to the Old Executive Office building, where the vice president’s office is located. The long steps to the building were lined with their own honor guard.
Earlier in the afternoon, Biden and Harris had their first show of unity as they participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier besides past presidents and first ladies from both parties – with the obvious exception of Donald Trump.
Standing behind Biden and Harris at Arlington National Cemetery were former presidents Barack Obama and first ladies Michelle; George W. Bush and Laura; and Bill Clinton and Hillary.
The message of cross-party unity could not have been clearer: three former presidents and first ladies coming together to salute the fallen.
After past inaugurations, the new president and vice-president have traditionally traveled to Arlington, but on Wednesday afternoon the unofficial club of former presidents joined to echo the theme of Joe Biden’s inaugural address.
The 96-year-old Jimmy Carter did not come to the inauguration over COVID-19 concerns but congratulated Biden in a message.
The scene of three former and one current commanders-in-chief mourning the fallen together underlined how Trump had made himself an outcast from America’s smallest – and most exclusive – club.
He had railed against all three former presidents, especially Obama, but had also dismissed Bush, privately calling him a ‘dummy,’ while his one-time friendship with Bill Clinton was shattered by the bitterness of the 2016 election campaign.
The hostility was reciprocated: Members of the Bush family were critical of Trump throughout his administration. Four years ago at inauguration, George W. Bush commented ‘That was some weird s**t.’
In contrast, while Obama was extremely critical of Bush when running for president in 2008, those two families have developed a friendly relationship, especially between Bush and Michelle Obama. Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush became close friends after the 41st president’s defeat.
In his inaugural address, Biden issued a call for unity and promised to govern for ‘all Americans’ Wednesday, seeking to move the nation beyond the presidency of Donald Trump and what he described as an attack on democracy itself in his first remarks to the nation as president.
In a 22-minute address after he was sworn in 11 minutes early by Chief Justice John Roberts, Biden drew a sharp contrast between his presidency and the preceding four years, saying: ‘My whole soul is in this. I’ll keep everything I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal injuries but the public good.’
Biden did not mention Trump by name but wove a thread of contrast through his speech. He denounced ‘lies told for power and for profit,’ said ‘there are truth and there are lies,’ acknowledged the bitter divisions in the country as an ‘uncivil war,’ and referred to the MAGA mob which rioted in the place he spoke just two weeks ago, saying: ‘Democracy prevailed.’
He spoke in unique circumstances: no crowds because of COVID and a security clampdown in the wake of the MAGA riot, and for the first time since 1869, his predecessor absent.
Trump had left Washington D.C. with a tub-thumping speech saying ‘we will be back – in some form’ and taken Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago, issuing a final pardon with less than an hour of his presidency left, and telling his friends he will start his own ‘Patriot Party.’
On the dais on the Capitol steps, Biden put his hand on his family’s Bible, held by his wife Jill, and took the oath, then addressed the nation for the first time as the 46th president.
He made unity the theme of his address and also highlighted the coronavirus hobbling the nation, taking a pause and asking for silent prayer for the more than 400,000 COVID dead.
‘To all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you’ve placed in us. To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart,’ said Biden.
‘If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy,’ he told opponents. ‘That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably. Within the guardrails of our republic, it’s perhaps this nation’s greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans – all Americans,’ he said.
He spoke with urgency about the ‘painful lesson’ of recent weeks, referencing the riot in the Capitol that followed Trump’s effort to overturn the results in states that voted for Biden as a historic time of testing for the nation – but also pronounced that ‘democracy has prevailed.’
‘We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,’ he said, echoing some of the themes of Barack Obama, who brought him to the White House only to watch his own agenda come under assault during the Trump presidency.
He warned of a ‘dark winter’ and listed the challenges he faces, including COVID, an economy in crisis, and the explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd saying: ‘A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country. It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost, hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.’
But he said: ‘To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity.’
And he spoke of his own faith as the second-ever Catholic president, quoting St. Augustine, after a day which began with mass with Congressional leaders, and also spoke of his faith in America, saying: ‘This is a great nation. We are good people.’
The 78-year-old thanked his predecessors of both parties for being at his swearing-in. Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attended – making Trump’s absence even more notable.
Trump skipped the event, flying to Mar-a-Lago after organizing his own pep rally sendoff, telling supporters and family members: ‘Have a good life, we will see you soon.’
‘I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart,’ Biden said, adding he had spoken to former President Jimmy Carter on the phone the night before. Carter did not attend out of safety reasons because of the COVID pandemic.
Biden also acknowledged the attack that took place on the Capitol two weeks ago, when a pro-Trump mob interrupted the certification of his victory.
‘Now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the capital’s very foundation. We come together under one nation, under god, indivisible, to transfer the peaceful power as we have for two centuries,’ he said.
Biden gave his inaugural remarks after history-making Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in, with the oldest person to become president taking an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution – starting his tenure amid a pandemic and putting an end to a tumultuous four-year term by President Trump.
In his inaugural remarks, Biden declared: ‘Unity is the path forward.
He asked for all Americans to come together and join him. He also asked those 75 million Trump voters to ‘hear him out’ during his time in office.
‘My whole soul is in it today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause,’ he said.
Biden didn’t mention President Trump by name but his speech was full of denunciation of Trump’s tactics and methods.
‘We can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature,’ he said.
Biden specifically called for an end to manipulating facts and raging at one another – two characteristics of Trump’s time in office.
‘Let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured,’ he noted.
‘There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. Each of us has the duty and responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies,’ Biden said.
He acknowledged the deep divides and wounds in the country.
‘This is a great nation. We are good people. Over the centuries, through storm and strife, and peace and at war, we’ve come so far. We still have far to go. We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain,’ he said.
Biden also acknowledged the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and devastated the American economy.
‘We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation. One nation. I promise you this. As the bible says, we may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. We will get through this together. Together!,’ he said.
In his first act as president, he asked Americans to join him in a moment of silence to remember those who died from the deadly disease.
‘My first act as president, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those who we lost this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans, moms, dads, husband, wives, daughters, sons, coworkers. We will honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be. Let’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives and for those left behind and for our country. Amen,’ he said.
He acknowledged the challenges that face him as he takes office as the nation’s 46th president, including the pandemic, racism, the climate and America’s role in the world.
‘Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on democracy and untruth, a raging virus, growing inequity, sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways, but the fact is, we face them all at once presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we’ve had. Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up, all of us? It’s time for boldness, for there’s so much to do,’ he said.
He closed with another call for unity.
‘My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath, before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you,’ he said.
‘Together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear, of unity, not division, of light, not darkness, a story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answer the call of history. We met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch, but thrived,’ he added.
Biden concluded his 20 minutes of remarks with: ‘So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May god bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America.’
Joe and Jill Biden greeted their predecessors in the White House with hugs and handshakes as they exited the inauguration platform. The couple shared a particularly long hug with Barack and Michelle Obama, who they were close to in the eight years Biden served as Obama’s vice president.
They also greeted George W. Bush and Laura Bush and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The former first couples will join the Bidens at Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a show of bipartisan unity.
Trump’s contempt for Obama and birther claims helped fuel the president’s rise. Also there was former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush. Bush had been astonished by some of Trump’s rhetoric at Trump’s inaugural address four years ago, and his own dynasty fell victim to Trump’s political attacks on his brother, Jeb.
During the day’s events, a series of speakers pointed to the Capitol riot, praising the peaceful transition in a capitol locked down by 25,000 National Guard forces brought in to maintain security.
‘This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust, and does what it always does,’ said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), one of a bevy of Democrats Biden defeated in his road to the White House.
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri noted that there was ‘one political party more pleased today’ just as ‘on every inaugural day’ – than the other.
Biden had lined up other gestures to demonstrate unity of purpose – and his own firm control of the government after Trump spent months calling the election ‘rigged’ and claiming he had won.
After attending mass with Republican and Democratic leaders, Biden planned to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. He was to be accompanied by predecessors Obama, Bush, and Clinton.
His return to the White House would also reestablish norms. After Trump has been out of sight for days, releasing canned video farewell remarks, Biden was to allow reporters into the Oval Office when he signed orders.
His new White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, was to hold an on-camera briefing Wednesday night.
Earlier that morning, Biden orchestrated a demonstration of faith and political power before he took the oath of office – attending mass with congressional leaders from both parties.
Biden and the powerbrokers who will help steer or stall his agenda joined for the service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, where funeral services were held for President John F. Kenned in 1963.
They met in a city under heavy military guard amid security threats following the MAGA riots January 6.
He was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Tuesday that President Trump ‘provoked’ the crowd that ransacked the Capitol and has not said how he will vote on impeachment. Also joining was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who reportedly infuriated Trump with his remarks on the floor of the House where he blasted Trump’s conduct but still voted not to impeach him.
McCarthy was one of the more than 100 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. ‘The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters,’ Mr. McCarthy said on the House floor Wednesday. ‘What we saw last week was not the American way. Neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president.’
He was also joined by Harris, her husband Doug Emhoff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Trump may have been an accessory to murder through his actions connected to the MAGA riot at the Capitol, and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, who will oversee Trump’s impeachment after he leaves.
His visit came just minutes after President Donald Trump departed the White House and stepped aboard Marine One for the last time – without engaging in any of the brash ‘chopper talk’ with the press that had become his trademark. Instead, the president flew to a staged rally on a military base where Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner other family members and other remaining supporters gathered. Laura Branigan’s ‘Gloria’ was playing when Trump landed.
Biden will be the nation’s second Catholic president. The cathedral is just blocks away from the White House – although getting there would require circumventing a massive security presence with fencing and members of the 25,000 strong National Guard force protecting the city.
The demonstration of unity – a prelude to what was set to occur at the West Front of the Capitol – separated the powerful lawmakers who remain from President Trump, who set up his own separate departure while skipping many of the traditional gestures of continuity. Trump didn’t host Biden at the the White House; the first lady didn’t host Dr. Jill Biden; Trump skipped the inauguration altogether and left Washington before Biden was to take office.
Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, departed Blair House across the street from the White House just after Trump wrapped up remarks to his family and supporters at Joint Base Andrews, telling them: ‘Have a good life, we will see you soon.’
The Bidens traveled by motorcade to St. Matthews. He has regularly attended mass during the campaign and during the transition.
Biden wore a mask – as he seeks to mobilize Americans to mask-up for 100 days to try to stem the spread of infection.
Biden’s act of ritual and supplication came after the Bidens and President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff on Tuesday attended a memorial to the 400,000 victims of the coronavirus at the Lincoln Memorial.
In the split-screen coverage of the transition brought on by Trump’s failure to linger, while the Bidens were gathered inside the cathedral for mass, Air Force One took off with Trump’s rally soundtrack playing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way.’
Donald Trump vowed ‘we will be back – in some form’ as he left Washington D.C. for the last time Wednesday, flying off on Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago to snub Joe Biden – then claiming credit in advance for the new administration’s success.
‘Have a good life,’ he told a crowd of a few hundred supporters at Joint Base Andrews, after listing his ‘achievements’ in a speech which began after a 21-gun salute.
In the front row, Ivanka Trump cried, while behind the maskless crowd chanted ‘thank you Trump,’ before the first family climbed the stairs to Air Force One for the final time.
The military ceremony had the atmosphere of a Trump rally: Gloria was played as Air Force One taxied, and then the YMCA as Trump hugged and kissed his children.
‘We love you. We will be back in some form,’ he told the crowd of cheering supporters before signing off: ‘Have a good life, we will see you soon.’
The farewell resembled one of Trump’s infamous campaign rallies, ending with ‘YMCA’ – the song Trump would depart to – as supporters cheered ‘USA, USA, USA.’
The president paused at times in his remarks. While he did not show tears, he appeared to feel the weight of the occasion while taking time to enjoy the final moments of his time in office. He notably did not mention the name of incoming President Joe Biden.
‘Hail to Chief’ played as Trump and Melania – who was wearing a Chanel jacket, sunglasses and carrying a $60,000 black crocodile Hermes Birkin bag – walked from Marine One to the platform where the president addressed the crowd.
‘We love you,’ the supporters yelled as Trump took the stage after arriving while his children watched on proudly.
‘We accomplished a lot,’ Trump said. ‘We worked hard. We left it all – as the athletes would say – we left it in the field.’