The crowd was enthusiastic as they sat in the rain and listened to Donald J. Trump give his first address as president of the United States Friday on the mall in Washington D.C.
“Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way,” Trump told supporters. “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together we will make America great again.”
He invoked God’s blessings on the United States of America, and with that invocation, a new administration began.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was at the event and in an exclusive interview with the Daily Times said he felt the new president spoke directly to Americans who feel left out of the nation’s economic progress.
“To the people who feel left behind, he continues to speak to them,” Husted said. “He talked about how we’re going to have an America-first policy and how he’s going to focus on extending prosperity to everyone. That was the special point of his remarks.”
Husted said he was in a spot to see reactions from people in attendance and the further back you looked the more people seemed to react
“The further you got away from the stage the more the people out there liked what he had to say,” Husted said “A lot of the folks who worked hard for him, that believe that Washington needs to change, that we need somebody who hasn’t been around the process forever, to come in and change things out. I think his message was consistent with what they think needs to happen in Washington.”
Del Duduit, a longtime member of the Republican Central Committee and his wife Angie Duduit said they enjoyed meeting people from all across the country as they passed the time waiting for the actual swearing-in ceremony.
“Angie and I were just completely amazed and thrilled. It went off fantastic. There were no hitches as far as we were concerned,” Del Duduit said. “Security was wonderful. The police were wonderful. The National Guard was wonderful. The speech was great. It was just a great overall experience. There was no downside to it.”
Del said he was interviewed by a media outlet about how he felt the speech went.
“I felt the speech was a little different, but it was Trump. It was so upbeat,” Del Duduit said. “He basically put the Congress on notification that they had better get things done. We thought that was so refreshing.”
Angie said she was surprised that some news outlets had described the speech as “divisive.” She said she interpreted the speech as unifying.
Following the speech, Portsmouth attorney Shawn Stratton made the decision to go back to his hotel room and prepare for the Liberty Ball Friday night.
“It has been crazy,” Stratton said. “We had blue tickets, which were up close to the Capitol Building.”
People from southern Ohio were excited about being in the nation’s capitol at a pivotal point in history.
“It has been great,” Former Scioto County pastor Tim Throckmorton, now pastor of Crossroads Church in Circleville, said from the site of the inauguration. “There’s a lot of excitement.”
On Thursday, Throckmorton started the early morning hours on Capitol Hill.
“I talked with some of the police officers. I talked with some of the Representatives,” Throckmorton said. “There is an excitement like there’s a new day, a new day for America.”
“I want to hearken back to that old (Ronald) Reagan line from years ago – ‘there’s a new day in America,’” Throckmorton said. “I hear great comments about, we can get some things done.”
Throckmorton said the atmosphere was spiritual in addition to political.
“We have more believers in the cabinet than in many people’s lifetimes,” Throckmorton said. “Solid people.”
Throckmorton said he was in Washington for the second inauguration of George W. Bush and said he saw more traffic this week than that week.
“Security is at an all time high,” Throckmorton said. “The legislators offices I’ve been in, the staffers have been upbeat and they’re excited about what’s to come.”
Stratton commented on the security as well.
“We were over at the Union Station last (Thursday) night and they had buses lined up as barricades and lots of people,” Stratton said. “I has actually been hard to get around.”
Stratton was excited about going to one of the inaugural balls Friday night.
“We’re getting dressed to go back over there. We’ll get over there about 5 (p.m.) o’clock when the doors open. The ball is from 7-11 (p.m.),” Stratton said. ‘There’s three balls he’s (Trump) going to. One is the military ball. The other two are the freedom and the liberty ball. Those two are at the Convention Center, so we’re going to the freedom ball.”
Stratton said he was impressed with Trump’s sppech following the swearing-in ceremony.
“Finally someone is saying what we need to hear – putting American’s first and our contry first, instead of everything else,” Stratton said. “I really liked that part of it.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.