Blunt Takes On Lead Role In Planning Inauguration

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – One of Missouri’s U.S. senators has a big responsibility in the coming weeks — planning President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., chairs the U.S. Senate’s rules committee in Washington, which normally has mundane duties. However, every four years, the chairman of this committee plans an event watched by millions all over the world.

“This is a moment that people all over the world watch, and we take it for granted,” Blunt said.

As President Barack Obama plans to turn over the keys to the White House to Trump, Blunt said Americans should sit back and recognize the significance of the United States’ legacy of transitions.

“President Reagan said at one of his inaugurations, he said what we do here is commonplace and miraculous,” Blunt said. “We see it happen every four years, but people all over the world are every four years reminded of what happens when you have the peaceful transition of power.”

As Washington’s head party planner, Blunt has had to oversee everything from security to the music to the menu at the inaugural luncheon. Security has been his biggest stressor, as more than 250,000 people have tickets and about a million people total will look for a spot on the National Mall.

“I think my principle goal would be that people that attend feel like they have the maximum amount of freedom they could have and still have the maximum amount of security that they want to have and want everybody else to have,” Blunt said.

Blunt has tried to infuse the event with some Missouri flavor — giving one of the singing slots to a choral group from Missouri State University.

The painting on display at the inaugural luncheon will be “Verdict of the People,” a famous work by Missourian George Caleb Bingham.

“You’ll notice in that painting, some of the 1850’s citizens in Missouri watching the announcing of the election results were really happy, and some of them weren’t happy at all,” Blunt said. “But that’s what really happens in a Democracy, that you continue to move on and government functions.”

Donald trump will be inaugurated as president on Jan. 20. The tab for the 2013 inauguration was almost $200 million, with security accounting for most of that cost.
 

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