A Drizzly Start
Politicians never learn. An American president died as a result of vanity: William Henry Harrison caught his death of pneumonia after insisting on standing outside in frigid Washington weather for his inauguration.
It wasn't particularly cold at noon today as Tim Kaine took the oath of office as Virginia's new governor. But the rain kept coming, and of course neither Kaine nor outgoing Gov. Mark Warner, nor many of the other elected officials bothered to join the rest of the crowd in donning plastic bags over their finery.
There was a glance of sunshine as Kaine took his place on the podium in Williamsburg, but the rain prevailed, forcing a couple of well-received ad libs in the new governor's address: "This is a glorious day," the prepared text said, and Kaine delivered it verbatim, but added, "The weather is to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously." The crowd ate that up, as they did when Kaine took this line, "As a people, we have come through storm after storm," and added, with extra emphasis, "and storm."
Kaine raced through his speech, which like all inaugural addresses was short on specifics and long on general themes. But his message was clear, from the diversity of people he chose to deliver the invocation ("in Jesus' name"), the pledge and the national anthem (perhaps the longest rendition sung since the British were bombing Fort McHenry.) Kaine spoke repeatedly of appealing to all Virginians. He even delivered a paragraph of his speech in untranslated Spanish. (It turned out to be a promise to be fair and inclusive to all communities.
Kaine came closest to talking policy when he promised to move "immediately" and "urgently" to fix the state's traffic congestion problem. But this was not the day for specifics.
Right now, one of the fastest-moving parades you'll ever see is marching by the filing room where I'm writing, a veritable blur of brightly colored rain ponchos.
Wierd moment of the proceedings: Virginia's odd tradition of having the outgoing governor leave the stage the moment the new governor is sworn in. Within seconds after Kaine completed the oath of office, Mark Warner gave his wife Lisa Collis a little pat on the back and they slipped out the back. Term over. Campaign begins.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Former W&M student | January 14, 2006 2:40 PM
Posted by: tjallen | January 14, 2006 5:01 PM
Posted by: Fisher | January 14, 2006 5:24 PM
Posted by: tjallen | January 14, 2006 7:25 PM
Posted by: Mark McGregor | January 15, 2006 9:58 AM
Posted by: Deborah Reyher | January 15, 2006 2:40 PM
Posted by: TBG | January 16, 2006 12:31 PM
Posted by: typo, Mark | January 17, 2006 9:38 AM
Posted by: Bumper 2 Bumper | January 17, 2006 2:17 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.