I got to go out at lunchtime today to see Jack Markell take the (ceremonial) oath of office as Governor of Delaware. Jack, and his Lt. Governor Matt Denn, actually took their oaths just after midnight on Tuesday so as not to conflict with Barack Obama's inauguration. On a cold Wednesday, then, they took ceremonial oaths and gave their inaugural addresses.
There were two bands; one from Dover Air Force Base and the other from Newark High School. A color guard brought out the flags. There were television cameras, newspaper folk, and radio reporters. I even got to say hello to WDEL's Al Mascitti.
A Rabbi gave the first prayer. I liked hearing a different religious voice in Dover. A cantor sang the national anthem. He had a great bass voice; I recommend having basses sing the anthem from now on.
Matt Denn went first. He gave a fine speech that was warm and humorous, but also sharply focused on the challenges ahead. I think he was developing the theme that Barack Obama introduced: "quit complaining, get up off your butt and get to work."
Jack Markell's speech was also bracing and honest about the challenges we face, but he gave us examples from Delaware history of how the people of this state have led the nation in difficult times in the past. His message was one of hope that, if we face up to the hard work, we can get it done.
After another prayer, and a bit more ceremony, the Governor and Lt. Governor were available in a reception line in the Governor's office in Legislative Hall. It was a great pleasure to shake their hands, share a word, and then head back to work.