America welcomed a new president Wednesday. Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
He was joined on stage by Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman of color to hold the office, as well as former Vice President Mike Pence and other officials.
Several members of the Colorado delegation were also in the sparse, socially-distanced crowd.
“It’s a new day, America,” Sen. John Hickenlooper tweeted. He sat in an area with other newly elected Democratic senators. The former governor congratulated Biden and Harris and said, “Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
Sen. Michael Bennet also took to social media at the start of the inauguration. “It’s a great day to be an American,” he tweeted, as the country witnessed the peaceful transfer of power two weeks after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“Not since FDR has an administration began with such formidable challenges – a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a climate crisis, and the most bitter partisan divisions in living memory. Americans are eager for change,” Bennet said in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with the new administration to pass this agenda, restore a government that works, and burnish our democratic example to the world once again.”
Also in the crowd were Democratic Reps. Jason Crow and Joe Neguse, and Republican Rep. Ken Buck.
“Today’s inauguration sends a clear message to Americans and people across the world that the peaceful transfer of power is the cornerstone of Democracy,” Crow said. “The Jan. 6 attacks on our Capitol and the setbacks our nation has experienced over the last four years will not define us. America is strong and our democracy will prevail.
Most of the rest of the delegation — Reps. Diana DeGette, Doug Lamborn and Ed Perlmutter — did what the rest of the country did: watched the inauguration virtually.
Lamborn’s office said the Colorado Springs Republican had planned on attending in person, “but the complicated COVID-19 and other security restrictions imposed by the incoming administration made attendance nearly impossible.”
Democrat Diana DeGette focused on the positives. “Today is the start of a new chapter in our nation’s history. It’s a time for us to come together and show the world that America’s unity is still its greatest strength,” she said.
Unity was the theme of Biden’s inaugural address.
“We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural vs urban, conservate vs liberal,” President Biden said. “We can do this, if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance ... If we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes”
Acknowledging the political divisions that were on shocking display on Jan. 6, when a violent mob stormed the Capitol, Biden asked those that did not vote for him to “hear me out as we move forward.”
“Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy, that’s America — The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our republic is perhaps our 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.”
The Colorado congress member most aligned with former President Donald Trump, Rep. Lauren Boebert, did not attend and her office did not indicate if she would be watching virtually. Instead, she spent the morning attending Trump’s departure ceremony and tweeting critically from her official account about Biden’s support for the Paris Climate agreement and his proposed immigration plan.
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