COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - President Joe Biden discussed the importance of unifying the country during his inaugural address, and it’s something Congressman and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-SC, believes the new president will reach across party lines to do.
Clyburn played a big role in Wednesday’s ceremony, as the co-chair of Biden’s inaugural committee.
As Joe Biden was sworn in, Clyburn says he thought of his late wife, Emily, who died in September 2019. He says she was the one who encouraged him to endorse Biden because she thought he was the only candidate who could defeat Former President Donald Trump.
Clyburn says even former president George W. Bush voiced that sentiment to him Wednesday.
“Several people said to me, including George Bush, he said to me today, he said you are the savior because if you had not nominated Joe Biden, we would not be having this transfer of power today,” Clyburn explained. “He said to me Joe Biden was the only one who could defeat the incumbent president.”
Clyburn believes Wednesday was historic, not just because Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first African American and woman vice president, but he says the ceremony allows our country to renew itself just two weeks after insurrection took place at the Capitol.
“If Joe Biden is talking about building back better, we can’t do that unless people come together, and unless democracy is restored,” said Clyburn. “This citadel of democracy withstood two weeks ago, and we’ve got to make sure it withstands the next one because there could very well be another one if we don’t get to the root of this problem.”
Clyburn also noted that he hopes the Senate will move forward with impeachment hearings and convict Donald Trump. He says while some may feel that would divide our nation even further, Clyburn takes the opposite stance saying not doing anything would be worse.
The House Majority Whip sported a South Carolina State University hat at Biden’s Inauguration, and says his daughter suggested he wear it, but that it was the best decision he made all day. He says he’s received comments about the hat from people all over the country and is proud to show off the HBCU he says helped shape him into the man he is today.