A “cross section of America” will participate in the inauguration of Joe Biden as the country’s 46th President, a co-chair of the inaugural committee told NBC 10.
“Democrats, Republicans, independents, Black, brown, white, indigenous - I think you’re going to see a real cross section of America participate,” Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware) said. “And that’s the goal, to show that we are the United States of America.”
The Delaware congresswoman, who was also among a small group who vetted potential running mates for Biden during the campaign, is one of five co-chairs named to the Presidential Inaugural Committee. The other co-chairs are Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina), who heads up the committee.
Clyburn has said about 80 percent of the inauguration will be virtual and that the January 20 event will be hybrid like the Democratic National Convention, which included both taped pieces and live speeches from Wilmington.
“We think it went over very well, people were very receptive to it,” Clyburn told NBC News. “The states enjoyed it very much, watching their home states get such national recognition. We’re looking at doing something like that for this inauguration.”
Asked if Delaware - Biden’s home state - would have a special role in the inauguration, Blunt Rochester said the state she represents in Congress is “already on the map.”
“I think we already have a special role right now having the president be from Delaware,” she said.
Blunt Rochester said planners will look at doing some “creative” things for the event, which will happen as the country is still expected to be dealing with the effects of the coronavirus.
“This inauguration will still have some of the traditions that inaugurations have but it will also be with the touch of recognition that we are in a COVID environment, that people have to be safe and they have to be well,” she said.
During the general election campaign, Biden did not hold traditional campaign rallies with large crowds, opting instead for smaller events or speeches. His campaign did hold multiple drive-in rallies with former President Obama - including in Philadelphia - and drive-in events in Wilmington at the DNC and on election night.
Asked if it was important that Biden’s swearing in happen outside in the open where people can see the president-elect become President Biden, Blunt Rochester said the location is not the most important aspect.
I don’t think where this takes place is the thing that will unite people,” she said. “I think, again, it’s going to be the message that he sends - the message might include where and how - but I think it’s going to be the message he sends and the work that he does and the people who participate in it.”