On January 20, 2017, the world witnessed the peaceful transition of power from Barack Obama to Donald Trump. Since March 4, 1787 when George Washington handed the presidential baton to John Adams, the world has watched as Americans peacefully and orderly welcome their new Commander-in-Chief.
It has not always been easy for the two men at the center of the inaugural festivities. Some were bitter political foes while others sighed with relief to witness the inauguration of their vice-president or political ally as their successor. In 2017, the differences between the outgoing and incoming presidents could not be starker.
President Obama was the junior Illinois Senator that rose to prominence with his soaring rhetoric of hope and governed as a big government Progressive. President Trump is the bombastic billionaire real-estate developer with no political experience that defied expectations and promises to restore American greatness.
Looking at these two men side by side, marvel at how voters who voted for Obama in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2012 would defy convention and realign themselves politically with President Trump in 2016. These are two very different men. With that said, the two can both say they have outmaneuvered and outsmarted Hillary Clinton.
I want to take a moment and acknowledge Secretary Clinton and President Obama’s behavior at the inauguration. I have many policy differences with Mrs. Clinton, but I commend her for attending the swearing-in ceremony. It must have been difficult for her to sit on stage and watch her political rival take the oath of office after a long and arduous campaign.
By the same token, it was probably equally as difficult for President Obama to sit and watch the man who has promised to undo his legacy of the last eight years become the leader of the free world.
I will say this about both Secretary Clinton and President Obama; they behaved like patriots by attending the inauguration. They ignored the loud calls from the left for Democrat leaders to skip the inauguration and showed a level of respect for the democratic process that should be emulated by people on the right and left of the political spectrum.