Joe Biden Is Finally, Indisputably, President Now

Culture

At least one good cop. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman famously distracted rioters on January 6, leading a group of them away from the Senate Chamber as they chased him around the Capitol building stairs, giving politicians a crucial extra couple minutes to escape. One reward for that: Goodman escorted Kamala Harris to the inauguration.

Bernie memes again. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Biden’s last opponent in the Democratic presidential primary, showed up in some cozy-as-hell mittens given to him by a Vermont school teacher who makes them out of recycled sweaters. Sanders also had on what looked like his much-memed jacket, quickly confirmed to be the genuine article.

Janet Yellen also dressed sensibly. Like Sanders, Janet Yellen—Biden’s nominee for Treasury Secretary—put a premium on comfort for the lengthy and chilly inauguration ceremony, bringing out a blanket along with her puffy jacket.

Treasury Secretary-nominee Janet Yellen during the Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2021. Carolyn Kaster/AP/Shutterstock

Joe Biden set a new fashion tone. Per GQ’s Cam Wolf, “Biden’s choice of suit is already a far cry from his predecessor’s. Trump was known for his predilection for Brioni suits and long dangling ties—an America-first president most interested in wearing a prominent European brand. In that way, Biden’s choice of an American label—let alone one as true-blue as Ralph Lauren—is significant.”

J.Lo got loud. Jennifer Lopez performed “This Land Is Your Land” ahead of the swearing-ins, and she threw in some unexpected but much-needed adlibbing midway through the staid song. Lopez cheered, “Justicia para todos,” (Spanish for “Justice for all”) and threw in a “Let’s get loud!” in reference to her hit song.

Lady Gaga wore uncharacteristically subtle jewelry. The singer boasted a massive golden dove pin for her performance of the national anthem. On Twitter, Gaga wrote that she chose the dove because it represents peace, and evidently she wanted to make sure that message was visible even from the back of the crowd.

Sonia Sotomayor stumbled over “Kamala.” Justice Sotomayor, the first Latina to sit on the Supreme Court, swore in the new vice president but may have missed the memo: It’s pronounced “Comma-la,” not “KA-ma-la.”

Biden’s bible was enormous. While at a glance it looks like the spellbook from Hocus Pocus, the massive Bible that Joe Biden used to take the Oath of Office has been in his family since 1893, and the president has used it for swearing-ins since the 1970s.

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