America’s handoff of power is complete.
Donald Trump, the brash billionaire and political novice, is now officially the 45th president of the United States of America.
Trump took the oath of office from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. with his wife, Melania, by his side. A Bible from President Lincoln’s inauguration was used for the ceremony along with one that Trump’s mother had given him.
Friday’s event officially drew the curtains on Act 1 of Trump’s unorthodox political rise, which angered or excited most of America. In his inaugural speech, Trump promised not to forget the average workaday Americans who’d fueled his victory.
“Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people,” Trump told the nation.
Friday’s inauguration was much less crowded and far more subdued than either of President Barack Obama’s. Still, the throng of Trump supporters included several from the Macon, Georgia, area.
Four members of the Macon Teenage Republicans from Mount DeSales High School – Nick Bailey, 16, Reilly Brown, 15, Jakey Edmonson, 16, and Faith Fabian, 16 – made the trip with two chaperones.
Before the young politicos made their way to the National Mall, Edmonson, sporting a flag-themed bow tie, said Trump was the clear favorite among his fellow students at DeSales.
“We had a bunch of rallies and a bunch of support for him, but there was also a heavy dose of opposition,” Edmonson said. “We had a lot of people who hated Trump and feared the name. But the overwhelming majority was definitely for Trump. The saying around the school was ‘Make America great again.’ ”
Nick Bailey said he supported Trump because he’s a “great businessman.”
“The U.S. is essentially a giant business,” Bailey said. “And if he can run a billion-dollar business, he can run America. Our biggest thing is going to be our economy. And if we don’t have a good economy, we don’t have nothing. I believe he’s going to build that up.”
Byron, Georgia, resident Jade Morey and her husband, Air Force Maj. Jason McKeller, were also on hand for the event.
Morey, a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, was a reluctant Trump supporter at first.
“He’s a very different kind of candidate than we’re accustomed to,” Morey said. “In some ways that can be a little scary, because he does say what’s on his mind. But for a lot of people, that’s also very comforting. They find it to be honest and refreshing.”
Morey wants Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, boost infrastructure spending, take care of veterans and prevent cuts in military pay. But she admits she isn’t sure what the new president has planned.
“But that’s the case with everyone,” Morey said while waiting for Trump’s speech with her husband near the National Mall reflecting pool. “A lot of politicians say a lot of things that they never end up doing, because they needed to say it to get the votes. So we’ll see what happens. I’m positive. I’m keeping the faith.”
Georgia will play an important role in the Trump presidency.
U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, is preparing for his confirmation hearing next week to become the new health and human services secretary. Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has been tabbed to be Trump’s agriculture secretary.
Georgia Sen. David Perdue already is a prominent Trump administration surrogate in Congress.
During an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday, Sen. Perdue said Trump would first work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, then push for business tax cuts and then focus on strengthening the economy.
“Success is getting people back to work,” Perdue said. “I want to see 3 percent or 4 percent GDP growth, but it’s not going to happen in year one. . . . This is a heavy lift. We have to undo a lot of regulatory things that are killing this economy.”
Whether Trump’s style will fly in Washington’s button-down political environment is anybody’s guess. Perdue said it would be fun to watch.
“This guy’s an outsider, he’s a business guy, and he wants results,” Perdue said of Trump. “When you break eggs in a place like this it’s not going to be pretty.”