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How a US presidential inauguration works

January 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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The invitations have been scaled back by the pandemic and the security has been heightened by the insurrection, but Joe Biden's inauguration as the 46th president of the United States will still have plenty of pomp.

(CNN)The invitations have been scaled back by the pandemic and the security has been heightened by the insurrection, but Joe Biden's inauguration as the 46th president of the United States will still have plenty of pomp.

All you need to swear in a new president, now that the electoral votes have been counted, is for Biden to say these words, which are written in the Constitution, at noon on January 20:

The only woman to deliver the oath of office to a president was Sarah Hughes, a federal district judge in Texas, who was called onto Air Force One after JFK's assassination to make LBJ president.

Is Biden required to give an inaugural address?

There's not technically any need for an inaugural address, although every elected president has given one.

It's a valuable custom for a new president to use the address to lay out his (or, in the future, her) agenda and move on from what may have been a bruising campaign.

Trump used his inaugural address to talk about how he'd end "American carnage," but since Capitol Police recently had to retake the Hill from a riotous mob of Trump-supporting election deniers, you've got to assume he failed.

The inaugural balls -- usually there are multiple and the new president makes a short appearance at several -- will be replaced by a produced TV show featuring stars like Hanks along with Justin Timberlake.

There's precedent for pared-back inauguration ceremonies, even for an elected president.

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