Nearly four hours earlier Sunday, Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in at his official residence, the U.S. Naval Observatory, by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and fourth female judge to do so. The proceedings were moved up so Sotomayor could travel to New York for a book signing.
I want to explain to you what a wonderful honor it was, and how much out of her way the justice had to go. She is due in New York. She has to leave right now, Biden told about invited guests after the swearing-in. So I apologize: Were gonna walk out. Her cars waiting so she can catch a train I hope I havent caused her to miss.
Bidens wife, Jill, children and grandchildren gathered on a blue stage for the minutes-long ceremony where he recited the oath at 8:21 a.m. About 120 family members and friends were seated in a trio of rooms facing the stage.
The crowd included a smattering of elected officials from states that would be important if Biden decides to run for president in 2016, including Maggie Hassan, the governor of New Hampshire, which hosts the nations first presidential primary. Other guests include Reps. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
Ive known Joe Biden for over 25 years and to witness his private swearing in with his friends, close friends and family, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, I dont think it gets any better, longtime Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said.
Obama and Biden began their day at Arlington National Cemetery, where they placed a large wreath adorned with red, white and blue ribbon in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns. They will end the day at a formal candlelight reception designed to thank high-dollars donors at the tony National Building Museum. Its one of several star-studded events at the 57th inauguration celebration that serve as a thank you for contributors helping to pick up the multi-million dollars tab of days of festivities.