After a historically long wait, Loretta Lynch officially became the 83rd Attorney General of the U.S. on Monday.
“It’s about time this woman is being sworn in,” Vice President Joe Biden said Monday at Lynch’s ceremony. With her husband and father — who recently celebrated his 83rd birthday — by her side, Lynch took the oath of office to become the first African-American woman to hold the position.
And despite the lengthy wait that defined her nomination process and led to harsh words from President Obama for congressional Republicans, Lynch came across as humbled and gracious during her remarks as the nation’s newly minted top prosecutor.
“It would be an understatement to say my heart is full, but it is,” Lynch said Monday.
She thanked Obama and Biden for “believing in me.” She thanked Senators Patrick Leahy and Chuck Schumer for “making the floor of the United States Senate a welcoming place.” She thanked her father, who had become a bit of a mainstay throughout the nomination process, appearing at every hearing to support his daughter. She also thanked the throngs of people who demanded a swift confirmation of her post, even though the process was all-but swift.
In the end, she said the one thing that her swearing in made clear is that anything is possible for the Department of Justice.
“If a little girl from North Carolina who used to tell her grandfather in the fields to lift her up on the back of his mule … ‘way up high, granddaddy’ can grow up to become the attorney general of the United States of America,” she said, “we can do anything.”