Good morning from the nation's capital, where at 12 pm we will witness the peaceful transfer of power from President Obama to President-elect Donald Trump. In the midst of all the partisan acrimony, it's sometimes hard to remember just how remarkable this four- or eight-year ritual is. The day begins at Blair House, where the President-elect overnighted. He and his family will then attend a service at St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House before arriving at the Executive Mansion for tea with the outgoing President and First Lady. The four will then jointly depart for the Capitol, with the President and President-elect sharing a limousine. The Vice President-elect will take the oath of office first, followed at 11:47 by the President-elect, followed by Ruffles and Flourishes and the playing of Hail to the Chief. At noon, he will become THE PRESIDENT, in the parlance of the White House. Then there's President Obama's departure from the East Front of the Capitol, a congressional luncheon, and the Inaugural Parade back to the White House.
Trump's Inaugural Address is set to be short. The Capitol program schedules 21 minutes for the speech, though Trump aides suggest it could be even shorter. The speech is not intended to be a policy document or a laundry list of agenda items, his aide say, rather intended to be an outline of his vision for the country. The address is a key test for the President-elect is whether he can reassure the fears of many Americans, and many around the world, over his incoming Administration. Trump has struggled thus far with bridging the divides among the people he will now lead. He no longer has the luxury of failing at that task.
Trump has traded in his old Android phone for a new secure one provided by the Secret Service that prevents it from being tracked. Like President Obama in 2009, who was forced to turn in his beloved Blackberry, the change is in-part designed to limit who can reach him. His new phone number is very closely-held—at least for now.
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