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CNN NEWSROOM

Presidential Inauguration

Aired January 21, 2013 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And so we here at CNN are asking you because this is about you, this is about the community. We want to you take a picture of yourself watching the inauguration, watching the swearing-in, on Capitol Hill, today. We want you to upload it to Instagram. Because this is about you sharing your view of history with us.

Go to Instagram and here is the key you need to hash tag CNN make sure you include a caption. Why is this important for you to be watching this historic occasion here on this Monday in Washington?

We've already gotten a couple of photos that we shared just a few with you. You might recognize this first guy. Country music legend, Willie Nelson actually watching our coverage last night at the Red, White and Blue Ball honoring our nation's men and women in uniform.

One more very early this morning we have a beautiful, beautiful sunrise picture from a college student from Kentucky who drove all the way in. This is Jim Bothford's (ph) photo bright and early at 4:00 this morning. We asked him why he wanted to be here this early. He said "he wanted to document history".

One more photo. I don't know if you recognize her shoulder -- guess who this is? Beyonce. Beyonce is singing the national anthem. This is her practicing early this morning. Again with the hash tag CNN.

But I have to share my favorite with you. This 5 1/2-year-old little boy from Phoenix, Arizona, his mother snapped this photo. As you see he's holding up his right hand. Because he was watching the President yesterday on CNN during the private ceremony, the swearing in and apparently his mom Elisa said -- "Honey why are you holding up your right hand?" And he said, "Mom, because the President looks like me."

Thanks to all of you who have been sending in pictures. We want so many more. This is a huge historic moment in Washington today. Go to Instagram. Hash tag CNN. We want your history, your view of history shared with us and all around the world.

Anderson, are you Instagraming?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I am actually. Thanks very much.

BALDWIN: There we go.

COOPER: All right, we'll be doing that all throughout the day. Around a million people may be here for today's inauguration. The weather is cold but it is very sunny, it is a beautiful day. We're going to be able to show you what it looks like actually from space, weather permitting. CNN's John King is at the magic wall. How are we going to do that, John?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson we've watched this as we've been sitting here. The crowd is filling in. Perhaps not as big last time 1.8 million people. But the crowd is filling in. It's getting a pretty impressive crowd. And we'll be able to tell by the end of the day thanks to technology up there. Not Instagram but satellite images just what.

Let's take a look at 2009. If you look at the picture here, let's start here. Here is the United States Capitol. And it flows out. Watch me come along the Mall. We are right about here. This is where our booth is this year you see the Washington Monument. You see the World War II Memorial, you see the Lincoln Memorial.

In 2009, I'm going to stretch this out a little bit. You see the Capitol right there. Those are people filling in the seats there. You see these dots down in there these are people in 2009 as the crowd went in. You see it's a massive crowd. Here is the Washington Monument here, you see the people all around.

Here is another way to look at it let me comeback in time and bring the -- bring it over this way. Let me shrink it down and make it come in for me here. And you bring it in here.

Here's 2009. I'm going to pop up the Capitol just to show you. On a normal day, this is an image from 2011. A satellite flying overhead. That's what the Capitol grounds would look like you see the grass, you don't see any people, right?

Well look at this. This is again the inaugural from 2009. This we expect to look just about the same when we get satellite images today. The VIPs, the people in the front section. The big question then is what happens out here in the rest. So you come down here. As far as the Washington Monument, right here, again, look at these crowds. This is 2009. The Obama first inaugural, here is a normal day in 2011. You see the big difference right here.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is arriving at the Capitol I'm told as we continue to go through this. You see this. One more thing I want to show you as you come back in here, we can also look later at the White House where the President lives, of course. And what's the difference?

Here is the President's reviewing stand. You see this little white structure here. This is also the VIP reviewing stand. The media reviewing over here across from the White House, that's not there on a normal day when you take a look at the White House.

So we'll be able to take a look later today. Compare it to the 2009 photos. Compare it to a normal day. And then you can use gridding technology to like to try to get a sense Anderson of how many people -- 1.8 million people they said in 2009. We expect about half of that today. It is getting pretty impressive as we can see here. We've got a feisty group. And we'll see. By the end of the night, this should have a better number.

COOPER: It is. They are pouring in really by the thousands every few minutes. Paul Ryan I'm told just arrived also at the Capitol. As we anticipate the first family arriving soon as well. There you see Paul Ryan among the dignitaries to arrive. We are going to be -- events are going to be starting to occur very quickly from here on in as we get to see more and more of the power players in Washington arriving.

We're standing by for the president's arrival at the Capitol on this historic day, stand by for that, a whole lot more. Former secretary of State Powell, he is a Republican. An Obama supporter and he's very candid about his concerns for his party's future. We're going to talk to him. That and more after a final commercial break. This is the final commercial break. And the President is coming out of the White House.

Actually before we go to commercial break, let's take a look. There you see the -- the President's mother-in-law.

So Gloria, they will be making their way here to -- to the Capitol. As the -- President's aides get ready to get in the various cars. Jessica what part of the White House is this?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think we're looking right now at the north portico it looks to me. And the President has been attending a coffee with congressional leaders, with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Speaker Boehner and Congressman Eric Cantor. I confirmed that with each of their offices. A nice bipartisan tradition and a good way to kick of a new term. Those of you discussing that the President doesn't do enough to outreach, doesn't do enough socializing with leaders.

Well, here he is doing just that. And he's -- he's been with -- the wives, Vice President Biden and his wife has been there as has the First Lady. They will then head in the motorcade and make their way up here to the Capitol where they will go into a hold for about an hour before the President speaks.

COOPER: Senator John Kerry arriving at the Capitol. There you see Senator Kerry.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: He's having confirmation hearings as Secretary of State.

YELLIN: This is the entrance that you see usually in the wide shots of the White House. Not the back side with the rounded edge but a flat-wide front of the White House.

COOPER: There you see Senator Kerry on the right.

KING: One of the big differences when you have a change of power, you know, current President greets the new president and one of the traditions is he leaves a note. So that doesn't happen this time. President Obama doesn't need to leave himself a note about the second term. And an outgoing vice president, great old desk. Vice president's ceremonial office, in the old Executive Office Building, where they sign their names. So there are some traditions when have you the transfer of power on a day like this where it is continuity, I think as Jessica says, the President -- that's a generous stroke to try to start, try to start with a little bit of reset saying maybe we can start and get along at least a little better.

BORGER: And it's interesting that of course Mitch McConnell was there who famously made the statement.

COOPER: Senator John McCain is also there.

BORGER: There he is.

COOPER: Senator Feinstein I believe behind -- behind him.

BORGER: And Mitch McConnell was the one that famously said we need to make this a one-term president. And there he is there at coffee this morning.

YELLIN: He has since said that was a political effort and once that didn't come to pass he's completely reconciled to the fact that he has to work with him and get business done. I could add, Anderson, that the President has said because he is now re-elected he has been telling his aides that this is an opportunity almost to experience his inauguration for the first time.

COOPER: We see Al Franken there on the right.

YELLIN: Because at first -- in the original inauguration, he was so focused on the financial crisis, the economic crisis, there was a national security threat on the day of the inauguration and -- they were consumed by the crises at the moment. They almost couldn't concentrate on what was happening that day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 20 years ago, when Bill Clinton was leaving right at this moment, his speech writers were still with him. (inaudible) got in the limousine with him and -- and was rewriting the speech on the way over to the White House.

COOPER: Really? Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And didn't even have a place to sit and had to kneel in the back behind the President.

COOPER: There is Elizabeth Warren.

KING: How many of these senators as they walk out are taking a look at that podium and saying --

YELLIN: The Vice President there is Jill Biden.

BORGER: Dr. Biden.

YELLIN: There is Dr. Jill Biden.

KING: The Vice President is probably taking a look at that podium and going yes. BORGER: Yes.

YELLIN: Last time President Obama and Mrs. Obama had coffee with President and Mrs. Bush instead of with congressional leaders.

KING: There is our only black senator.

BORGER: Senator Tim Scott. First African-American Republican senator since reconstruction.

COOPER: Former President Bush is not and Laura Bush are not going to be here today. Nor is Bush 41 of course.

BORGER: Just to follow up on what Jessica was saying about the President asking of the White House staff saying kind of enjoy this. Of course, second terms are always full of unintended things that occur just the way first terms were. And so -- they all understand that.

One White House aide was quoted in the "New York Times" the other day as calling them locusts. These things that tend to descend on the White House and you don't -- you don't anticipate it. But of course, now, he doesn't have the economic crisis that he had.

COOPER: Although we have seen that with just about every President --

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Yes.

COOPER: -- who gets a second term something unexpected. Reagan it was Iran-contra. Here we have the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Is she wearing the same coat as before?

BORGER: She looks to me like she has change.

COOPER: Yes. It looks like she has changed. Previously she was wearing a Tom Brown coat and Tom Brown dress with I think belt and shoes by J. Crew but we'll try to find out.

KING: As you watch the procession, we're watching, obviously the principals here. But one of the huge challenges in the second term is trying to avoid burnout. The senior staff that does stay is exhausted. You also have a lot of turnover.

You see the President. And in fact I think the trademark whether it's Chuck Hagel, somebody he likes, controversial to some Republicans. John Kerry at the State Department maybe not his first choice but somebody he likes and respects. His new chief of staff, Dennis McDonough. We expect to be some of the President's -- so it's comfort. You see -- When you bring in a new team, the question is, is it an a-team? His treasury secretary, his former White House chief of staff, is it an A-Team especially when you're trying to get things done early on? Is there a burnout? It's a huge challenge for any second-term president to try to make sure that those especially -- you rattle everyone who did decided to stay and say are you sure you've got the energy?

YELLIN: His new team has a lot of musical chairs. It's not all new. It's -- a lot of the same team, just in new jobs. So if there is burnout, they would be feeling it. The Vice President -- Anderson you were mentioning the First Lady. And we talked about what she's wearing. One thing I would add is that we're reporting that she will take on some new role in the next term and that is a little bit more of a political role that she will be promoting some of the President's political agenda a bit more than we saw in the first term.

COOPER: That's interesting.

YELLIN: That she -- and I would be interested to see how she'll do it. That she I would imagine it would be very delicate, just a bit of a nod in that direction. But -- through this political arm the OFA organization, she will be promoting some of his initiatives in the grassroots movement.

COOPERR: Former Senator Tom Daschle there coming in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And let me tell you she's lot more popular in certain parts of the country than he is. I mean, in polling, I always amazed at how she would run a, nine points more popular than the president in places where he wasn't necessarily so -- so popular. She was a force.

COOPER: And what a critical role she played during the convention. Really giving a speech that really roused the entire audience. The President, of course, Senator Charles Schumer.

YELLIN: And I can tell you, this is -- no surprise but the speech is done, locked and loaded. No more change unlike Bill Clinton.

KING: Until it's not.

YELLIN: Right.

BORGER: The thing about the First Lady is that once she gets more involved in the political agenda, she will probably have to sacrifice a little bit of her popularity here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's true.

BORGER: And -- and I think that's one reason she didn't do that this time around. She was so important to him in this re-election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the image standpoint also one of the things that we pick up on the focus groups is that that image of the two together, that loving family, women voters ate that up. I mean, it was one of the -- you know it's part of their brand. And they really appreciate it and this is a guy who is truly in love with his wife and his wife was a partner.

(CROSSTALK)

BORGER: Is that why he kissed her at that basketball game? I'm sure. YELLIN: That was poll tested and focus group approved. I'm sure of it.

BLITZER: Remember, in 2008 she was a little bit controversial during the campaign. That's why she receded a little bit.

YELLIN: The second term is where it is safer for her to step up. Remember Laura Bush also stepped up in the second for the women of Afghanistan and in Burma, taking a stand about democracy in Burma.

KING: We watch the vice president come out we didn't mention who was with him. I wonder if we get to mention him, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. Former governor, Republican. Ran for president himself once. One of the members of the senate who is incredibly frustrate by the inaction and inability to get things done.

Mark Warner is a Democrat, a former governor. There are a number of senators in both parties especially the former governors who were chief executives who liked to get things done and who have been talking privately among themselves how can we get more things done? How can we find consensus and drop the word comprehensive and make incremental progress on things.

That to me is fascinating. Joe Biden is a big part of the conversations to see if they can find -- I don't know whether you can call I had the middle or the center but just some functional group that trusts each other and can find ways to get things done.

BORGER: Notice the taxation without representation license plate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We watched and totally it's like a big deal. Look we have no representation.

COOPER: There is nothing quite like watching this motorcade, though, as it passes you by. In -- all those on the stand. It is an awesome sight. Just the -- number of vehicles, the size of the vehicle they call "The Beast" there. Carrying both the Vice President and another one carrying the President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are heavy machines. Heavily fortified. They're going to go very slowly today. When we see them, if necessary, I've been out at the Secret Service training headquarters and watched them do the emergency training drills with these things and that's a treat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't go down (inaudible)

COOPER: There are already people lining up. Of course, the parade route trying to get a good spot as they have been all morning long.

And here on the National Mall, it is getting very, very crowded indeed. There's more and more people arriving. People realizing the President, the Vice President, are on their way here. And certainly the excitement is building as we approach the hour. The hour in which the -- oath of office will be taken.

Let's bring in Wolf Blitzer who is over closer to the Capitol -- Wolf.

BLITZER: This is sort of the reverse, Anderson, of the parade that will be going from Capitol Hill over towards the north lawn of the White House. And then -- this presidential motorcade carrying the president, the first lady, vice president, second lady.

Chuck Schumer is the chairman of the inaugural committee. They are coming in the opposite direction of what will be taking place after the luncheon here, after the swearing-in ceremony up on Capitol Hill. It is nice to see these live pictures coming in from the motorcade as it heads towards Pennsylvania Avenue and makes the turn up -- Pennsylvania Avenue towards Capitol Hill. It is really a short drive. They're not driving too quickly.

Kate Bolduan is here. David Gergen is here. All of us have made this drive. The folks -- the folks will be watching along the sides but they're going to be gathering to watch a little bit later.

David, as you watch this, what's going on, what goes through your mind?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's sense of ritual, Wolf, that we -- every four years, we go through this and it has a pageantry about it. And people, again, come here, Republicans and Democrats in the celebration of democracy. It is one of the -- I think it is a grand part of our American heritage that we have been able to see, to realize that people used to take carriages up and down this same path. And now we have these cars.

And -- here on the -- what's been really interesting watching out here, all of the senators are waiting but they're mostly out there with cameras taking pictures.

BOLDUAN: That's what I said. That was a rare moment of bipartisanship that I saw when the Number Three Republican in the House Kevin McCarthy was teaching the Number Two Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, how to use his iPhone to take a picture of the whole crowd.

BLITZER: The presidential historian, H.W. Brands is joining us as well. Give us a little historic perspective right now as we see Eva Longoria walking into the Capitol.

H.W. BRANDS, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: It is a big day. The president has been re-elected. That puts him in a very small minority of presidents. Only 17 presidents have won a second term. He has -- he faces real challenges, of course. And he's had to deal with problems in the first term; he's made progress on those. He's certainly is going to say something about the progress that has been achieved so far.

Since he has been re-elected he's able to take a longer view of politics than he has until now. So he will be looking for the line that will make it into the history books 30 years from now. We will cover this. We'll hear what he has to say and it will be reported tomorrow. But then people will forget the words the day after tomorrow. He will get back to business. Maybe the lines, maybe the words from the inaugural address today, will be recorded in the history books, 20, 30 years from now. But second inaugural addresses are pretty hard.

BLITZER: And the tradition of driving in this motorcade from the White House up to Capitol Hill, it is a long tradition. But before there were cars there were horses. What was the -- give us a little historic perspective on what we are seeing right now, Professor?

BRANDS: One of the key aspects of this now motorcade -- what used to be a procession was done on foot, on horseback and carriage -- is that it reminds us that at this critical moment for democracy, when we inaugurate a president, that the two branches of Congress, the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, really do have to come together.

Tomorrow they might split apart but for today we celebrate the fact that democracy works. We hold elections and we install our leaders peacefully.

BLITZER: And Professor, the fact that the President invited members of the cabinet. We can see arriving now as well. You saw Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. There is Leon Panetta, the Defense Secretary, walking in right now. So -- I -- I -- there's -- more members of the cabinet coming in.

But this is the motorcade that is carrying the President, first lady, the Vice President, and second lady, and others up Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol.

H.W. Brands is the presidential historian, the author, who is helping us better appreciate the enormity of this historical moment that we are watching. They are getting closer and closer. That's quite a long motorcade that they got. I guess the Republican and Democratic leadership Kate there in that motorcade as well.

Professor, how significant is it that -- and there you see Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security walking in with other members of the cabinet -- how significant is it that the President invited the Congressional leadership for coffee after coming back from church before heading up to Capitol Hill?

BRANDS: It seems a clear indication that he realizes that if anything is going to be done in the second term, it's going to have to be done on a bipartisan basis.

Presidents in their inaugural addresses always speak in bipartisan fashion. Thomas Jefferson famously said "We are all Republicans. We are all featherless." Presidents in their inaugural addresses almost always repeat that and we can count on President Obama saying something like that today. The real question, of course, whether the actions follow through tomorrow.

BLITZER: There is the outgoing Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, walking in. We saw Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior. We also are watching all these but I'm curious, all members of the cabinet, the Congressional leadership, the House leadership, the President, the Vice President -- they are all there. But there will be one designated member of the cabinet who won't be here, god forbid if there were a horrendous situation.

BOLDUAN: I think we just saw Craig Robinson walking in as well. First lady's brother, as we were just watching this all happening before us.

BLITZER: We don't know who that person is yet but we will know.

BOLDUAN: I'm sorry.

GERGEN: We will know. It's like the joint sessions of Congress, Wolf --

BLITZER: Right.

GERGEN: -- as you well know. One person has to stay back. Which is important for sense of continuity of government; continuity of control. Again, these rituals have such a rich tradition and they go back so many, you know, inauguration after inauguration and I do think that it gives Americans a sense of continuity in our national life.

BOLDUAN: As we look ahead to the President's speech, as we watch it, his motorcade, making its way towards the Capitol, I was looking back. I saw that George Washington's second inaugural speech was all of some 140 words. Almost like the equivalent of a tweet in terms of inaugural speeches.

How do you think -- in terms of length, I think as I believe Jessica Yellin said earlier, shorter may be better but it is also, of course, the contents of what he says. If there is a memorable line it will go down in history.

GERGEN: Second inaugural addresses as Professor Brands said have not been well-remembered.

BOLDUAN: Right.

GERGEN: But the general theory is shorter is better. Lincoln the most famous inaugural address second inaugural, 700 words plus.

BRANDS: That's it.

GERGEN: That's it.

BLITZER: And everybody is talking about that especially because of the film "Lincoln". It's obviously had an enormous impact apparently on the President of the United States. He keeps talking about how when he saw that film it really resonated with him as the current President of the United States.

BOLDUAN: A few of the other folks that we have seen streaming in, Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff, to President Obama, now the mayor of Chicago. I think we were just seeing Kelly Clarkson coming in. She will be the -- she will be performing soon. As well as James Taylor who -- Wolf, we had the chance to speak to at the Democratic convention. He was there performing, a long-time supporter of the President. Even went to perform at some -- and Beyonce has just walked in. I think you saw that shot right there and the crowd really went wild when they saw it as well.

BLITZER: Beyonce will sing the national anthem.

BOLDUAN: With her husband Jay-Z; that's quite a couple to be at the inauguration today.

BLITZER: And there's Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter walking in, the former President of the United States. So they will be -- Bill Clinton will be there. Obviously the Secretary of State, the outgoing Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Jimmy Carter is attending as well with Rosalynn Carter.

BOLDUAN: Not often have we said Beyonce and Jay-Z and then the Carters in the same sentence. That's for sure. That definitely shows the range we are seeing at this inauguration.

GERGEN: The Carters would like that.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Hold on. Jim Acosta is joining us right now. Jim -- tell our viewers where you are.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf we are at the East Front of the Capitol right now. And it looks like the President's limo has just pulled in to the carriage house entrance on the Senate side of the Capitol. It is sort of difficult to figure this out Wolf because, as you might imagine the President's motorcade has a number limousines, a number of armored vehicles all around it. So -- part of that for security reasons, of course. But we were told by our senate producer Ted Barrett earlier this morning, that the vice president is being accompanied by Lamar Alexander, the Senator from Tennessee -- the Republican senator from Tennessee. Chuck Schumer is with the president. They will be heading in shortly in just a few moments.

They called the carriage house entrance, of course, because actual horse and carriages used to come through that entrance.

BLITZER: Hold on a second Jim -- the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, was just introduced. He is there. There's the first lady of the United States. She has just arrived as well. She's now inside the Capitol.

Dana Bash, yes, you are inside the Capitol. Where's the first lady walking in right now?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, where she's supposed to go. Actually I can see exactly where she is going. Ironically the holding area, the staging area, is in the senate dining room. That's the place that's exclusive just for senators. They can invite guests and have the honor of being in there a few times. That is where she and the President are going to wait and, in fact, I'm guessing right about now they are going up to the fourth floor of the building, of the Capitol, into a special vault where the bibles that she will be responsible for taking out to hold for her husband and to put his hand on it and take the oath. Probably be making their way down to her right now.

BLITZER: And Dana, the Vice President is walking in right now with Senator Lamar Alexander, one of the co-chairs of this inaugural committee. Vice president is there. He's obviously a happy guy. Smiling proudly coming into the U.S. Capitol. And we will be seeing more of these VIPS coming in as well.

Sorry I interrupted you Dana but the President -- we can see the president getting out of the limousine as well. He's going to be walking in and there will be a lot of excitement as he walks in. There's no doubt about that.

Dana, when he comes in, goes into a little holding area is that right?

BASH: That's right. I was saying that their hold is the Senate dining room. But then what they are going to do is go down the -- the walk is going to be on the first floor of the Capitol through what's known as the Crypt, down really a long flight of stairs, out to the west front and everybody will see that -- coming out for the ceremony to begin. Every -- you see the President. He is coming in.

But Jim was talking about, carriage entrance of the Capitol. That is the entrance that is probably most used to get into the Senate side. He's greeting members of the leadership there.

BLITZER: The President kissing Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the House of Representatives. He is accompanied by Chuck Schumer, the chair of this inaugural committee. They are coming in. Harry Reid, John Boehner, all of the leaders. Take a look at the flags being waved on the National Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol. I'm looking out at this picture. It is a huge, huge crowd.

Anderson Cooper on is on the other side. Not far away from the Washington Monument. Anderson, from your vantage point what does it look like?

COOPER: It's an amazing sight here, Wolf. You can see flags as far as the eye can see. There you have former President Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Haven't seen much of her since she got out of the hospital. It's nice to see that she's here today with the former president.

They make their way towards the podium where they will sit behind President Obama and Vice President Biden as they are sworn in. We are going hear them announced when they walk in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynn Carter.

COOPER: There, President Carter and Rosalynn Carter stepping down. Taking their seats. Of course, they'll be followed by all the former presidents who will be here.

It is -- John King -- something special about this. Just the tradition of it all. It is all something which has been done every four years. It is something which has been done throughout our history.

KING: And hopefully Americans watching around the country even in the polarized partisan (inaudible) can take a moment to take a breath to celebrate the country. Celebrate their democracy and let me be the corny idealistic American for a minute.

There are people watching around the world as well. And every four years we do this. Sometimes a different party takes over power. In this case you have a president winning a second term. He's our second African-American president, this re-election was in some way a validation for him and repudiation of the critics who say he only won the first time because George W. Bush and the Republicans were so unpopular.

There are a lot of people around the world who don't get this.