–Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th US President on January 20
–Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the Presidential Oath of Office
–The world awaits as Trump deals with his first formal duties as President
Barring some downright bizarre turn of events Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20. The inauguration and surrounding pageantry is imbued with a great deal of pomp, formality and tradition but that has more to do with precedent and not Constitutional mandate. The Constitution itself specifies very little of what we now expect to see when a new President gets inaugurated.
Originally, the Constitution specified that the President not be inaugurated until March 4. That created obvious problems–the country would have a ‘lame duck’ President for four months. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1933 and moved the start of a new President’s term to January 20. That gives the exiting President enough time to wrap up national business and work with the incoming President to (hopefully) facilitate an orderly transition of power.
The only other component of the inauguration that is set by the 20th Amendment is the oath of office:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
PRESIDENTS CREATE TRADITION BY ‘GOING OFF THE SCRIPT’
The past few incoming Presidents have added “So help me God” at the end of the oath. The President doesn’t *have* to say it but it’s become expected by the media and public so it’s now a de facto part of the oath. The thinking behind this–and much of the ceremonial process of assuming the office of President–is that it’s easier to just do what you’re expected to do rather than make an issue of it. The use of the term “So help me God” dates back to the 1881 inauguration of Chester Arthur following the death of his predecessor, William McKinley.
The rest of the Presidential inauguration ‘show’ is a product of tradition or precedent. Sometimes an incoming President will do something and get a good response so his successors will do it as well. For example, a new President walking at least part of Pennsylvania Avenue has played well since Jimmy Carter made the trip from the Capitol to the White House on foot. It has become de rigeur for the exiting President to accompany the new President to the Capitol for his swearing in ceremony. Only three Presidents have refused to do so (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson) so it would be a serious breach of tradition should Obama not escort Trump.
The fact that much of the swearing in process isn’t Constitutionally mandated means that there’s at least some entertainment value watching the inauguration. And why just watch to see if Trump does something to break with decorum when you can bet on it? Here are some Donald Trump Presidential Inauguration prop bet odds covering some of the events of his big day:
DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION SPECIALS
Donald Trump Tweets from 8 AM to 8 PM EST on Inauguration Day (1/20/17)?
Over 7.5: -150
Under 7.5: +130
Time of Trump’s first Tweet on Inauguration Day?
Before 12 Noon EST: -130
After 12 Noon EST: +110
Time of Trump’s Inaugural Address?:
Over 18.5 minutes: -130
Under 18.5 minutes: +110
Number of Words in Trump’s Inaugural Address?:
Over 2150 Words: -150
Under 2150 Words: +130
Number of TV Viewers for Trump’s Inauguration?
Over 25.5 Million: -130
Under 25.5 Million: +110
Bible Used During Trump’s Oath of Office?
George Washington Bible: -130
Other Book/Bible/No Book: +110
Will Obama escort Trump to the Capitol prior to the inauguration ceremony?
Number of former US Presidents in attendance at inauguration ceremony
(not counting Obama)?
Over 2.5: -450
Under 2.5 +325
Will Melania Trump spend Inauguration night with her husband in Washington, DC?:
Will Melania and Barron Trump relocate to Washington, DC by 8/1/17?:
Will Trump mention Hillary Clinton in his inaugural address?
Will Trump mention China in his inaugural address?
Will Trump mention Vladimir Putin in his inaugural address?
Will Trump mention ‘hacking’ in his inaugural address: