Five takeaways from Trump's inauguration

Five takeaways from Trump's inauguration
© Greg Nash

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday in Washington. 

The day’s events contained all the pomp and circumstance meant to signify the peaceful transition of power. But Trump’s combative first speech as president also showcased his intent to shake things up in the nation’s capital. 

Here are five takeaways from the inauguration.

Trump is sticking to his campaign style

Anyone expecting Trump to pivot upon taking the oath of office was sorely mistaken. 

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In a blistering, 16-minute inaugural address, Trump doubled down on his populist vision for the country while promising voters he would stand up to the Washington establishment he railed against during the campaign. 

“The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country,” said Trump, who has never held public office. “While they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

“That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment, it belongs to you.”

Trump made several pleas for unity, including later at the congressional luncheon when he said he had a “lot of respect” for his former opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: GOP women have a more difficult time winning primary races than Dems Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections MORE

But what stuck out more were the parallels to his campaign rhetoric.

He painted a picture of a country wracked by crisis — “American carnage,” he called it — and cast himself as the one who could fix it. 

Trump as schmoozer-in-chief 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE’s predecessor, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump has the right foreign policy strategy — he just needs to stop talking The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump faces bipartisan criticism over Putin presser, blames media for coverage Wall Street Journal editorial board rips Trump on Helsinki: It was a 'national embarrassment' MORE, was famously averse to glad-handing with members of Congress. 

Obama long faced criticism that his aloof style hurt his ability to persuade lawmakers to advance his agenda, an accusation he long disputed. 

If Friday was any indication, Trump won’t be accused of the same thing. 

He turned on the charm when he appeared with lawmakers at the Capitol to sign his first orders as president. 

He joked with congressional leaders in both parties and offered them pens after signing the papers, which included formal nominations. 

The president teased House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRoby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Overnight Health Care: Trump officials score a win against Planned Parenthood | Idaho residents to vote on Medicaid expansion | PhRMA, insurers weigh in on Trump drug pricing plan MORE (D-Calif.), a staunch environmentalist, joking he should give her the pen he used to nominate Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Fewer than half of school districts test for lead | Dems slam proposed changes to Endangered Species Act | FEMA avoids climate change when discussing plan for future storms Greens sue EPA over ‘super-polluting’ truck rule Don’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court MORE to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Here's one that I think Nancy would like ... Scott Pruitt,” he said. 

Of course, it remains to be seen how far Trump’s charm will get him. 

Republicans such as Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Kelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Lobbying world MORE (Wis.) took a liking to his style, but it’s not clear if the same could be said for Democrats. 

Dark day for Democrats

For liberals, Jan. 20 ushered in an unimaginable new reality. 

Today was supposed to be the day Hillary Clinton was sworn in as the first female president. 

Instead, Obama, the popular two-term president and first black man to serve in the nation's highest office, sat by as a man deplored by liberals took the oath of office. 

Trump has plans to take the country in an entirely different direction, starting with the dismantling of Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats will be hard pressed to stop him. Republicans have full control over the executive and legislative branches of government for the first time since 2007. 

There was no more telling symbol of the end of the Obama Era then when television cameras cut away from the former president’s farewell speech at Andrews Air Force Base to focus their full attention on Trump’s activities at the Capitol.  

Obama is leaving the White House with his party in disarray at both the state and federal level. 

The party is seeking a new leader for the Democratic National Committee amid infighting among centrists and progressive, all while trying to build up their bench again for 2020.  

Democrats are trying to wrap their minds about how it all went wrong, and Trump's inauguration only served as a harsh reminder of their failure in November. 

No moment of unity 

Republican hopes the inauguration would serve as a unifying moment after a divisive election did not become a reality.  

Many attendees loudly booed Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (N.Y.) during his speech and a large number could be seen waving a sarcastic goodbye as Obama flew on the presidential helicopter away from the Capitol complex. 

Protestors also came out in force. A handful of demonstrators were dragged away by security in the well of the Capitol. One woman got as close as the Marine Corps Band, playing directly below Trump's lecture, before police took her away. 

Images of protestors wreaking havoc downtown — throwing bricks and clashing with police — blanketed cable news in the hours after the inaugural address. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.), a former presidential candidate and leading progressive, called the inauguration a “tough day” and dozens of Democratic lawmakers boycotted the day’s events. 

Trump enters office with a historically low favorability rating, another possible challenge going forward.

Trump is moving quickly to put his stamp on the executive branch.

“The time for empty talk is over,” Trump said in his inaugural address. “Now arrives the hour of action.”

Less than an hour after taking the oath of office, the White House’s webpage on climate change disappeared.
 
Trump’s first two Cabinet nominees, James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Mattis open to meeting with Russian defense chief: report Overnight Defense: Fears rise over Trump-Putin summit | McCain presses Trump to hold Putin 'accountable' for hacking | Pentagon does damage control after NATO meet MORE and John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, were confirmed by the Senate. 

 Mattis is a huge change for Washington. The retired general will be the first member of the military to lead the Pentagon in decades, and his appointment required passage of a waiver by Congress. Kelly will lead the Department of Homeland Security. 
 
Government agencies are bracing for massive budget cuts, as reported by The Hill. Those battles loom large over Trump’s first 100 days. 

The press is unsure whether it will be granted a workspace at the White House or access to senior officials. Trump’s chief strategist Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP spars with FBI agent at tense hearing Bookstore owner calls police after customer confronted Steve Bannon Trump’s plan to drown government must be stopped MORE – who relishes fights with the media – took a stroll through the White House press corps workspace on Friday.

The daily press briefing could also see an overhaul.

“It will be a daily something,” incoming press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump faces bipartisan criticism over Putin presser, blames media for coverage Senate should not move forward with the ill-considered nomination of Brett Kavanaugh Dem lawmaker: Trump finally got his 'largest audience ever' in London protests MORE told The Hill this month.

“When I say 'something,' maybe it's a gaggle, maybe it's an on-camera briefing. Maybe we solicit talk radio and regional newspapers to submit questions — because they can't afford to be in Washington — but they still have a question. Maybe we just let the American people submit questions that we read off as well.”