Congressman Roger Williams

Representing the 25th District of Texas

Inauguration viewers respond to transition of power

Jan 21, 2017
In The News

At the Cleburne Public Library, only a few people watched the live broadcast of President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration.

Some were library staff, who sporadically stepped into the children’s reading room between helping patrons to watch it. Others glanced in, sat or stood for a moment as heads of state and dignitaries filed into the stands outside of the U.S. Capitol.

Library patron James Gardner watched the full broadcast with interest.

Gardner, who comes to the library frequently to read and study, said he hoped the new president would live up not only to what he said but to his conscience and take action as directed by his conscience.

“It’s a question of principles,” Gardner said of the transition of power. “Can he represent his principles?”

He said he hoped Trump would make decisions based on his conscience rather than on outside political pressures.

After taking the oath of office, Trump said his administration would be one of action to make America first in everything.

Commenters on Facebook had mixed feelings about watching the inauguration, whether they watched it from home or at work.

“Had to take a break from work to watch this incredibly awesome event,” commenter Nick Williams said. “Watched on FB.”

Less enthusiastic was Ted W. Franks, who wrote, “Feel very anxious wondering what is to come.”

Most of the commenters on the Times-Review Facebook page, however, were enthusiastic about the new president, welcoming everything from expressions of faith in speeches and prayers to loving every moment by clapping and cheering.

Commenter Lisa Parrish of Lisa’s Learning Center in Keene made the moment an opportunity to teach her young students about the president’s role. She watched with her students in the classroom.

“My kids are aged 1 to 6, 8 are in my Pre-K class and 1 in Kindergarten. I told them this was a very important day in our country’s history and that we were swearing in a new President named Donald Trump. We talked about the Whitehouse where the new president will live in Washington D.C. and how it’s the president’s job to be the leader of the United States of America, the country in which we live. As their teacher, I want my kids to understand why presidents are important to the United States and what it means to be an American citizen.”

One commenter, Dan Milam, seemed pleased about Trump continuing his theme of making sure the government returned to the people by saying, “D.C. has been put on notice ...”

Throughout his speech, Trump noted how under his administration the government will benefit the American people rather than benefiting just the Washington establishment.

This notion seemed especially emphatic when he said, “This moment is your moment. It belongs to you.”

Williams, Birdwell and Rogers react

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, released a statement shortly after the ceremony.

“This afternoon, our nation witnessed the most miraculous part of our system of government — the peaceful transfer of power,” Williams said. “Despite opposition, anger and divisiveness, we have, once again, proven that this institution, our way of life, is more powerful than our petty differences. I look forward to working with President Trump as we work to rebuild our military and infrastructure, rein in an out-of-control federal bureaucracy and restore economic opportunity for all.”

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, released a statement from his Austin office shortly after Trump’s swearing in ceremony.

“Just moments ago, the peaceful transition of power from President Obama to President Trump took place,” Birdwell said. “A practice described by Ronald Reagan in 1981 as ‘in the eyes of many in the world ... nothing less than a miracle.’”

For country singer-songwriter and Cleburne native Randy Rogers the trip to Washington, D.C., proved short and sweet but also memorable.

Rogers performed during Thursday night’s Black Tie & Boots Presidential Inauguration Ball but didn’t have time to attend Trump’s swearing in or any of the other events of Friday.

“No, we’ve gotta work for a living,” Rogers said. “We were up at 5:30 a.m., on the plane and we’re back in Texas on the bus heading to Uvalde to play tonight.”

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, served as this year’s chairman of the Texas State Society, which hosts a presidential inaugural ball every four years, invited Rogers to play the event.

The ball, Rogers joked, was a ball.