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By Miriam Raftery

Photo credit: Photos for Class, Creative Commons image

January 19, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- On Friday, January 20th, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.  Trump enters office with the lowest approval rating of any President –Elect in history, according to polls done Tuesday by CNN and the Washington Post, which found only 40% approve of the job Trump has done during his transition time.

Whether the billionaire businessman and reality TV star can bind together diverse groups alienated during his campaign to fulfill his promise to “make America great again” or not will be a key challenge of his presidency.

 Trump won the electoral college vote by the narrowest margin in history and lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, gaining election largely by appealing to disillusioned rust belt workers hard hit by factory closures, Midwest farm states and conservative white Southerners.

But his support from African-Americans was in single digits, due to Trump’s record of surrounding himself with racially polarizing figures. The vast majority of Latinos also opposed Trump due to his threats to deport millions of immigrants.  He has also alienated many women with his flip-flop on abortion issues and his boasts caught on tape of grabbing women by the “pussy.”

Fulfilling some campaign promises may prove challenging.   Trump said he would build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it, but Mexico’s president has refused to do so.  Trump pledged to repeal Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, which the Senate has voted to commence, yet recent polls show most Americans would rather see problems with the ACA fixed than repealed.  Trump has already indicated he may rethink another campaign promise to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate change accord.   Undoing trade pacts, another Trump promise, has drawn opposition from some states that benefit from trade deals and threats from Mexico over tariffs.

Where Trump may be more apt to succeed could be in restoring prosperity to hard-hit areas by wielding his influence in corporate deal-making to convince some companies to bring jobs back to America.  

Trump’s polarizing rhetoric and actions will draw some half million protesters over the inauguration weekend.  At least 60 Democratic members of Congress to refuse to attend the inauguration, siding with civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, whom Trump insulted in Tweets over Martin Luther King Day weekend.

 President Barack Obama will attend with First Lady Michelle Obama; Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will also attend, as will former President Jimmy Carter.  

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, are both hospitalized with pneumonia and breathing issues, but had previously said they would not attend due to health concerns.  

Trump will address the nation Thursday in front of the Lincoln Memorial, prior to Friday’s inauguration. 

The swearing in ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time (8:30 Pacific Standard Time), in front of the Capitol. Trump will take his oath of office with his hand on two Bibles, the Lincoln Bible and his own childhood Bible.

Afterwards, Trump will lead the inaugural parade featuring thousands of military personnel and for the first time, a tractor brigade that aims to connect with rural America.

The new President has said he will attend only three of the numerous inaugural balls, two limited to his supporters and a third for military personnel.

While thousands of Trump supporters are expected to attend inaugural activities, hundreds of thousands of protesters will likely outnumber supporters, based on the number of bus parking spaces they’ve reserved.  The largest group is a Woman’s March on Washington set for Saturday, in which women wearing pink knitted hats (symbolic of a body part Trump boasted of grabbing) will take a stand for women’s rights.

Many of Trump’s cabinet appointees have sparked controversy over extremist views (such as a nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency who doesn’t believe in climate change, an Education Secretary who has voiced support for dismantling public education, and an Attorney General who has opposed civil and voting rights in the past.)  His choice of Goldman Sachs executives for other key posts have also seemed at odds with some of his campaign appeals to represent Main Street, not Wall Street.

But other nominees have been more moderate, such as his pick for Interior Department Secretary, a Republican Senator who has opposed his party’s stance on disposing of public lands and believes climate change is real and influence by man’s activities.  Trump has temporarily kept on 60 Obama administration officials to assure stability and security, until more of the several hundred positions requiring Senate confirmation can be filled.

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Jimmy Carter

I've always admired President Carter's accomplishments. He led our nation during difficult times and
pardoned draft evaders, and created the Department of Energy and the Department of Education.


"The swearing in ceremony will take place at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time (2:30 Pacific Standard Time)" Woops!


I posted the story and didn't catch that.  I Googled when it was (not knowing anything about politics...hashtag sportswriter privilege) and changed it to 8:30 :)