Notes from the lieu­tenant gov­er­nor

Cherokee County Herald - - VIEWPOINTS -

Ear­lier this month, I trav­eled to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., as a pri­vate cit­i­zen to wit­ness the Swear­ing-in of the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica and the tran­si­tion of power be­tween ad­min­is­tra­tions. I have par­tic­i­pated in sev­eral state in­au­gu­ra­tions, po­lit­i­cal con­ven­tions and nu­mer­ous high pro­file pub­lic events, but this was my first time to at­tend a pres­i­den­tial in­au­gu­ra­tion.

I de­parted Mont­gomery on the Wed­nes­day prior to the In­au­gu­ra­tion to be­gin a three-day his­toric trip to our Na­tion’s cap­i­tal. I was very proud to be­gin my jour­ney aboard a Delta flight on a re­cently built Air­bus A321 as­sem­bled in Mo­bile. The “Made in Alabama” motto was very fit­ting for my trip. Upon ar­riv­ing, a short Uber ride de­liv­ered me to my ho­tel, where I joined Will and Lee Sell­ers, their daugh­ter Caro­line, her friend Darry El­iz­a­beth Free­man and Steve Pel­ham.

On Thurs­day, along with many oth­ers, I went to Capi­tol Hill to visit with some of our Con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion. My first stop was the Rus­sell Se­nate Of­fice Build­ing, where the of­fice of both Sen­a­tors Shelby and Ses­sions are lo­cated. I was de­lighted to visit with Se­na­tor Richard Shelby and join him in an in­ter­view with WIAT. Alabama is served well by our se­nior Se­na­tor, who is one of the most re­spected and pow­er­ful Sen­a­tors in the Na­tion.

Fol­low­ing my visit with Se­na­tor Shelby, his Chief of Staff Katie Britt in­vited us into her of­fice, where we had a won­der­ful visit dis­cussing is­sues im­por­tant to Alabama and catch­ing up. She will do an out­stand­ing job serv­ing as Se­na­tor Shelby’s Chief of Staff.

Af­ter leav­ing Se­na­tor Shelby’s of­fice, we walked down the hall to Se­na­tor Ses­sions’ of­fice. Soon af­ter our ar­rival, we were greeted by Mary Ses­sions, who sur­prised us by invit­ing us into Se­na­tor Ses­sions’ per­sonal of­fice. It was an honor to see my friend and fel­low Wil­cox county na­tive Jeff Ses­sions. Even though his time was very lim­ited, as al­ways, he was very gra­cious mak­ing time to visit. I am ex­tremely proud of Se­na­tor Jeff Ses­sions. I am pleased that he will soon be con­firmed by his peers in the Se­nate and be­gin the next chap­ter of his life as United States At­tor­ney Gen­eral.

Af­ter a nice lunch at the Mona­cle with friends, my group made our way to the Can­non House Of­fice Build­ing to visit with my Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Con­gress­woman Martha Roby, where we picked up the inau­gu­ral tick­ets I re­quested that she gra­ciously made avail­able. The line to en­ter the Can­non Build­ing was long, but a nec­es­sary part of the process to con­trol the ac­cess to key build­ings near the Capi­tol lead­ing up to the In­au­gu­ra­tion. Martha and her staff were very hos­pitable and help­ful while host­ing an open house and re­ceiv­ing guests.

Thurs­day evening, I at­tended a re­cep­tion hosted by the Alabama State So­ci­ety and Alabama Power Com­pany at Due South, a restau­rant lo­cated in the south­east sec­tion of D.C. in the shad­ows of the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als’ MLB sta­dium. Most mem­bers of our Con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion and their staff at­tended, along with many Alabama friends.

I be­gan In­au­gu­ra­tion Day by host­ing a prayer break­fast for folks from Alabama who were in Wash­ing­ton to wit­ness the In­au­gu­ra­tion. It just seemed right to start such a mo­men­tous day in prayer, not only to thank God for his bless­ings, but also to ask for pro­tec­tion and the suc­cess of a new ad­min­is­tra­tion. I so ap­pre­ci­ate my friends Con­gress­man Robert Ader­holt, Den­nis Beavers, Chess Bed­sole, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jim Carns, Re­nee Gen­tle Pow­ers and Lee Sell­ers for their part in lead­ing the prayers and scrip­ture read­ing. We were es­pe­cially blessed to have Rev­erend Glenn Hoburg, for­mer cam­pus min­is­ter at Har­vard, to bring a mes­sage en­cour­ag­ing all elected of­fi­cials in their du­ties as lead­ers. I’m glad so many peo­ple joined us to pray for the Na­tion and our elected of­fi­cials; it was a true high­light.

Af­ter­wards I made my way, along with thou­sands of oth­ers, to the Capi­tol to wit­ness the 58th Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ra­tion at the West Front of the Capi­tol, the lo­ca­tion that was first used for the 49th Inau­gu­ral Cer­e­monies when Pres­i­dent Rea­gan was sworn in as our 40th Pres­i­dent on Jan­uary 20, 1981.

Ev­ery four years for the past 200 years, Amer­ica’s ci­ti­zens have gath­ered to wit­ness the his­toric cer­e­monies of the Pres­i­dent and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the United States be­ing sworn into of­fice. Since 1933, the time-hon­ored tra­di­tion takes place on Jan­uary 20 as re­quired by the 20th Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion. The pres­i­den­tial swear­ing-in is a solemn cer­e­mony, metic­u­lously chore­ographed, that takes place at noon with the flag-draped Capi­tol in the back­ground. The Pres­i­dent’s In­au­gu­ra­tion sig­ni­fies a na­tional re­newal of our democ­racy re­flect­ing a suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able con­ti­nu­ity of lead­er­ship of the world’s old­est democ­racy. The cul­mi­na­tion of the Pres­i­dent’s swear­ing-in is the Inau­gu­ral Address, where the Pres­i­dent de­liv­ers a new vi­sion for Amer­ica’s fu­ture.

The true mea­sure of a suc­cess­ful in­au­gu­ra­tion is the ef­fi­cient pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion be­tween ad­min­is­tra­tions. Pres­i­dent Obama mod­eled his tran­si­tion ef­forts af­ter his pre­de­ces­sor, Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush, and the tran­si­tion his ad­min­is­tra­tion ex­e­cuted.

The tran­si­tion of Amer­i­can Pres­i­dents and their ad­min­is­tra­tions is the sin­gle great­est trans­fer of power, au­thor­ity and re­sources known to mankind. The sheer mag­ni­tude of the fed­eral govern­ment rep­re­sents tril­lions in spend­ing, man­ag­ing mil­lions of civil ser­vants, and in­her­it­ing the largest bu­reau­cracy in the world.

A new Pres­i­dent is re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing more than 4,000 po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments, in­clud­ing cabi­net, sub-cabi­net and White House staff with more than 1,000 re­quir­ing Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion. When com­pared to other democ­ra­cies, Amer­ica has the high­est thresh­old for the ap­proval of po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees in govern­ment.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony, I joined the throngs of peo­ple to exit the Capi­tol com­plex and make my way to view the Inau­gu­ral Pa­rade. I was de­lighted to be in­vited to view the pa­rade at a re­cep­tion hosted by South­ern Com­pany and Balch & Bing­ham at their of­fices over­look­ing Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue. Even though it was over­cast with in­ter­mit­tent rain, I en­joyed see­ing the Pres­i­den­tial mo­tor­cade make its way from the Capi­tol to the White House.

A few hours ear­lier, a new Pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion was com­pleted and now Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and a new First Fam­ily were about to oc­cupy the White House as he be­gins his term as the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica.

One of the high­lights of the Inau­gu­ral Pa­rade was the per­for­mance of Tal­ladega Col­lege’s march­ing band. My heart filled with pride as they marched down Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue proudly rep­re­sent­ing our State and per­form­ing in the Inau­gu­ral Pa­rade. They made a no­tice­able im­pact and re­ceived huge ac­co­lades. From all ap­pear­ances, Pres­i­dent Trump, the First Fam­ily and Amer­ica en­joyed the Tal­ladega March­ing Tor­na­does. I was very proud of the stu­dents and Tal­ladega Col­lege Pres­i­dent John Hawkins for their se­lec­tion and per­for­mance.

That evening, I joined friends for a quiet dinner near our ho­tel and re­flected on the mo­men­tous his­tor­i­cal event we had the honor to wit­ness first­hand. Although I did not at­tend an inau­gu­ral ball, I was glad that Caro­line and Darry El­iz­a­beth had an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence their first inau­gu­ral ball by at­tend­ing the Free­dom Ball, where they had an up-close view of Pres­i­dent Trump’s dance with the First Lady.

The fol­low­ing day, as I re­flected on the his­toric sig­nif­i­cance of all I had wit­nessed, my trip has come full cir­cle as I boarded my Delta flight from D.C. and I was com­forted to know that I would be re­turn­ing to “Sweet Home Alabama” aboard an­other Air­bus A321 as­sem­bled in Mo­bile. “Just Plain Neat In­for­ma­tion” supplied by lo­cal reader.

WASH­ING­TON, D.C. — On Jan­uary 20th, along with mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, I was hon­ored to watch Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump take his oath of of­fice.

Even be­fore that, start­ing on Novem­ber 8th, a wave of hope and prom­ise swept over the na­tion.

With the new Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, Congress now has the unique op­por­tu­nity to pass into law mean­ing­ful leg­is­la­tion that will pos­i­tively im­pact Amer­i­can lives.

There is much to do to roll back the oner­ous big govern­ment poli­cies of the last eight years.

Our pri­or­i­ties will be re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing Oba­macare, restor­ing Con­sti­tu­tional bal­ance, se­cur­ing our bor­ders, cre­at­ing jobs, and re­build­ing our mil­i­tary.

The un­af­ford­able and un­work­able leg­is­la­tion known as Oba­macare must be re­pealed and re­placed. Folks across East Alabama have told me time and time again how hurt­ful this law has been to them.

Re­place­ment leg­is­la­tion will pro­vide much-needed re­lief for the work­ing fam­i­lies and small busi­nesses.

Un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, our Sec­ond Amend­ment rights

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