On Saturday the 7th of November, screens lit up all over the US and the world with news that the election had finally been called. And just as many had been hoping, Joe Biden had won.
So when does Biden get to take over as 46th President of the United States?
Biden’s inauguration is set to take place on the 20th of January 2021.
Inauguration Day has taken place on the same day for over 70 years and marks the swearing-in of the newly elected President. Even if nobody new is elected and the same person wins a second term, they still get to go through a second Inauguration.
Sine 1937, each inauguration starts at noon EST on the first day of the new term, January 20th. Even on the few instances that the 20th fell on a Sunday, the new president was sworn in privately before a public celebration was held the following Monday.
What happens on Inauguration Day?
Everyone will be looking forward to the 20th of January and no doubt all over the world people will be watching in on the event. But what exactly happens during the inauguration?
When the new President-Elect takes office he will be required to take an Oath of Office which he will have to recite to the Chief Justice:
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.
The well known line ‘so help me God’ is not actually apart of the official oath, however it is believed that after the line was used by Abraham Lincoln many other presidents merely followed suit.
The inauguration will take place at the west front of the United States Capitol facing the National Mall, the Washington Monument and the nearby Lincoln Memorial. Since Regan’s 1981 election, all inauguration’s have occurred in the same spot.
AfterBiden is sworn in, he will then be required to make his first official address of his term, known as the inaugural address.
Depending on the president other forms of ritual and entertainment may also take place such as the reading of poems, prayers or even - as in Obama’s case - celebrity performances.
We can only hope that with Biden’s popularity there might be another Beyonce performance in the cards!
After his inauguration, Biden will be given the full power of his new role as the 46th President.
But what happens if Trump refuses to leave the White House?
Trumphas kicked up a fuss and many suspect that the current President will refuse to concede and leave the White House, so what happens in this case?
So far, both advisors and family members have been urging the Trump to go peacefully but it seems as if he is unwilling to accept the new reality. A republican recently told the Daily Mail:
He has no concession speech ready and no intention of recognising Joe Biden's presidency.
Trump has insisted that the ‘election is far from over’ but his wife Melania has signalled to the POTUS privately that it’s time to accept defeat.
However, if Trump does refuse to concede, Quartz states that it won’t really change anything:
Trump refusing to make that call is sort of like an athlete refusing to shake hands at the end of a game: poor form, but otherwise inconsequential.
While some may believe that Trump will attempt to barricade himself in the White House or chain himself to the presidential desk, the event is pretty unlikely.
If Trumpcontinues to throw tantrums then the chances of him being able to run for 2024 is slim… after all, nobody likes a sore loser.
But, if it does come to it, Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman told the Boston Globe that Trump would probably just be escorted off the property:
I think we would have that Nixonian moment where a leadership team would travel to the White House to declare, 'Mr President, it is over’. If you've got a president who's chained himself to the Resolute Desk, the new president would say, 'Would you go inside and get him out please?'
A former official involved in the handoff between Obama and Trump also stated that the Secret Service would most likely just kick him out:
They would treat him like any old man who'd wandered on the property. The United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.