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President Joe Biden Calls For Unity At Inauguration; Analysis

Joe Biden takes the oath of office with Dr. Jill Biden
Joe Biden sworn in as President [shutterstock]

President Joe Biden took the oath of office yesterday, in front of the Capitol building that was the site of a violent insurrection just weeks before.

In his inaugural address, President Biden stayed away from the elephant not in the room, that President Donald Trump chose not to attend the ceremony, breaking decades of tradition.

Instead, he chose to address the need to unite as a nation. It is indeed a turbulent time to step into the presidency, with political division at a high point, a struggling economy, massive unemployment and of course, a global pandemic that has killed 400,000 Americans as of this week. 

Yesterday was also a historic day for Kamala Harris, who became the first Black, South Asian and female Vice President of the United states.

This hour, we'll start by talking about Biden's inauguration address and his busy first day in office with a slew of executive orders, which could help paint a picture of his policy agenda to come.

We talk with Katie Lavelle, a professor at Case Western Reserve University, Hannah Halbert, the Executive Director of Policy Matters Ohio, and Brian Siggers, President of the Northeast Ohio Young Black Democrats.

Later this hour, we'll hear from local poet David Lucas who will comment on the prose we heard from the first ever National Youth Poet Laureaute, Amanda Gorman, who was the youngest poet to speak at an inauguration.

And, we'll feature the first Applause performance of 2021, with two northeast ohio folk muicians; Kevin Richards and Charlie Mosbrook.

They'll share some 'pandemic blues', and also touch on how the music of Woody Guthrie has influenced them.

- Katie Lavelle, PhD, Professor of World Affairs, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University
- Brian Siggers, President, Northeast Ohio Young Black Democrats
- Hannah Halbert, Executive Director, Policy Matters Ohio
- Dave Lucas, Lecturer, Case Western Reserve University and Former Poet Laureate of Ohio
- Kevin Richards, Folk Musician
- Charlie Mosbrook, Folk Musician

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.