Sen. Alexander prepares for big role in inauguration
By Michael Collins, Knoxville News Sentinel
WASHINGTON — The day will belong to President Barack Obama, of course. But for much of the day, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander will be at his side.
The Maryville Republican and a handful of other Congress members will begin inauguration day by sharing morning coffee with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House. Afterward, they'll ride in the presidential motorcade to the U.S. Capitol, where the president and vice president will be sworn in for a second term and Obama will deliver his inaugural address.
Before Obama speaks, however, Alexander will take to the podium, look out on the National Mall and address the million or so spectators himself. His will be just a two-minute speech, but the whole world will be watching, so he wants to make sure he chooses exactly the right words for such a significant and historic event.
"It's an important two minutes to me," Alexander said. "This is a rare moment in American history, and I want to use the time well. This tradition we have of the peaceful transfer or reaffirmation of immense power is extraordinary."
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