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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Senator Scott Brown Sworn into Office Today

We all had a part of making history supporting the election of Scott Brown last month. Today I had the opportunity to witness history, from the US Senate gallery.

I had never been inside the US Capitol before. You need to call your Representative or Senator to get a visitor's pass, and then pick it up at one of their offices. Today was a last minute change of plans for me after it was announced yesterday that they were moving the event up by a week, so I wasn't sure how it would work out. It went remarkably smooth. Called, drove down, got the tickets and walked down to the Capitol. I even was able to find free parking right in front of the Hart Senate building! Never had that kind of luck in Manhattan.

Here's a picture from inside the new US Capitol visitor's center. This part of the Capitol just opened a little over a year ago.

For security reasons, you have to leave all your electronics at the gallery check in, so I don't have any of my own pictures to share from the swearing in.


When I got to the gallery the Senate was in a quorum call, and the floor of the senate was mostly empty aside from the clerks, parliamentarian staff and the president pro tem. Then a few Senators started to make their way to the floor. Vice President Biden, who is responsible for swearing in Senators, came to the floor and more Senators came to take their seats. Biden, who is constitutional office is also the President of the Senate, took his seat, and Majority Leader Reid called the quorum call to an end. They acknowledged that they had received then Senator-elect Scott Brown's necessary paperwork from the Massachusetts Secretary of State and proceeded to the swearing in.

Massachusetts Senator Kerry and former Senator Paul Kirk, who was the previous person in the seat, escorted Brown up to the dias. I was told is the tradition. Vice President Biden came down, asked Brown to raise his right hand, and administered the Oath:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Senator Brown held a book of scripture in his other hand, actually there were two books. I could only see the top one, which was a red Holy Bible. (Found out later they were the Bibles of his two daughters.) He affirmed the oath, and the chamber erupted in applause. The public in the gallery was applauding enthusiastically as well, and the ushers half-seriously told everyone "no applause, no applause" but there was a lot of winking and nodding happening as the applause continued unabated.

When he signed the paperwork that completed the official event. Afterwards there was a ceremonial swearing in that isn't open to the public, there are some pictures of that in this slideshow.

Congratulations again Senator Brown, we look forward to your success in helping govern our great nation!


crystalf said...

Wow! I can't believe you were able to BE THERE!! How wonderful and historic. Thanks for sharing with us!!

Anonymous said...

Excellent new u-tube video of Mitt for 2012 -