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Biden inauguration: Katy’s anthem, Bernie’s mittens and other offbeat moments


image copyrightReuters

image captionJoe and Jill Biden catch the fireworks from the White House balcony

Joe Biden is officially president, Kamala Harris is the country’s first Madam Vice-President and Donald Trump flew off to play golf – all of that we expected.

But here’s a look at inauguration day’s more offbeat moments, both serious and less so, that you might have missed.

Katy Perry’s Firework

It was hard to find any downbeat comments after the white-clad Katy fired off her epic anthem to close out a historic day in front of the Washington Monument – and the Bidens.

Although Firework as a song has drawn many interpretations, from sex to firework safety to LGBT rights, it seemed a pretty good fit here.

The exploding background didn’t do any harm, but the lyrics weren’t too off track either.

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag/Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?”

Well-known Twitch streamer hasanabi tweeted “katy perry is right, trump DID make me feel like plastic bag!”

Oh, and the song swept back into the US iTunes chart of course.

That’s how it all ended but let’s go back to the start…

His way

Before Joe took over, Donald first had to leave.

Perhaps not all of the Trump administration could be called carefully choreographed, but the strains of Frank Sinatra’s My Way ringing out as Air Force One swept Mr Trump out of the presidency and off to Florida is hard to fault.

We can’t say for sure he planned it himself and the other tunes banging out at Andrews base – Billie Jean, YMCA, Fortunate Son and Elton John’s Funeral for a Friend – saw some head-scratching.

Mr Trump’s a big fan of Sinatra apparently. Though it’s not reciprocated – Sinatra’s daughter, Nancy, said her father loathed the then real estate mogul.

The other Trumpism drawing attention was Melania’s outfit change.

Social media were quick to point out that Mrs Trump had used her flight from Andrews to Florida to quickly update her wardrobe to suit her new, post-first lady life.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionMelania looked somewhat funereal as she left the White House…

image copyrightReuters

image caption… but landed in Florida with a colourful, chic and pricey Gucci dress

Some noted her bright smile after touching down in Florida – an apparent contrast to how she looked at her husband’s inauguration four years ago.

Bernie’s mittens

And on to the inauguration ceremony…

Pictures of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders bundled up in Washington’s near-freezing weather quickly made the rounds on social media.

image copyrightTasos Katopodis

image captionJoe Biden may be president but Bernie Sanders’ mittens stole the show

Many pointed out, and initially made fun of, his patterned brown wool mittens. But it turns out there’s a sweet story behind his distinctive (and sustainable) winter wear. The mittens were reportedly made by schoolteacher Jen Ellis from his home state, using repurposed wool sweaters and recycled plastic bottles.

As a former challenger of Mr Biden, many were quick to joke Mr Sanders must be in a foul mood sitting at his rival’s inauguration. It didn’t take long for the senator to become a viral internet meme.

Mr Sanders wasn’t the only one dressed for the cold. Janet Yellen, President Biden’s choice for treasury secretary, was pictured wearing a Covid-defying black parka, a face mask and black gloves. And a BYOB (bring your own blanket).

Speaking of the temperature, a nod to Senator Cory Booker for one of the coldest barbs of the day.

The New Jersey Democrat got a tonne of reaction for his Facebook post welcoming the inauguration no-show of the 45th president, Donald Trump, by saying the temperature was -45.

Shades of purple

The colour purple – well hues of it at least – hit the small screen in a big way as top name after top name appeared accoutred in it.

Kamala Harris in purple, Hillary Clinton in amethyst, Michelle Obama in a plum-coloured turtleneck and trouser design.

image copyrightReuters

image captionLaura Bush (C) breaks the purple trend at the inauguration

Why purple? Well it has a long history with the suffragette movement, and has been promoted by some as an intertwining of Republican red and Democrat blue. It’s a unity thing.

Lady Gaga appeared with a gold Schiaparelli gilded dove of peace brooch so large it threatened to fly her off the stage as she sang the national anthem. Suffice it to say she was on less controversial ground with an ancient symbol of love and peace than a dress made of meat (like the one she wore back in 2010).

One – in fact two – of the sweetest outfits were worn by Amara and Leela Ajagu, the four- and two-year-old great nieces of Kamala Harris. They wore their faux leopard fur coats because they wanted to be like her.

Ms Harris had worn a similar outfit in a 1970s photo with the children’s grandmother (and her sister), Maya Harris.

Which brings us on the kids’ father, Nikolas. He’s the partner of Kamala’s niece, Meena, and was also the subject of Wednesday’s massive social media trawl – who is that guy wearing Dior Air Jordan 1 sneakers to the inauguration?

It started trending after the shoes appeared in Senator Amy Klobuchar’s speech. He did get some stick, with tongue-in-cheek praise for “making black history” and “daring to drip” at a presidential inauguration. The shoes are limited edition and could get $10,000 on resale.

Meena later cleared up the incident in a tweet.

When Nik was packing for DC he actually asked me whether he should bring Jordans or stick to dress shoes. I didn’t know which Js he was considering, and apparently I was in a jolly mood so I said “Do what makes you happy.” He never followed up either way. Anyway what a great day.

— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) January 21, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

A historic fist bump

Barack Obama – the country’s first black president – exchanged an inauguration day fist bump with Kamala Harris.

The moment was celebrated as a historic passing of the torch between the two political trailblazers, the only black Americans in history elected to serve in the White House.

Eugene Goodman escorts the vice-president

What a wild two weeks for our country but especially for people like Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman.

On Jan 6, he put his life on the line when he lured insurrectionists away from Senators and staff.

Two weeks later, he’s escorting VPE Kamala Harris into the US Capitol

— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 20, 2021

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Kamala Harris had a special security escort today: Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman.

Mr Goodman has been hailed as a hero after his actions during the storming of Capitol Hill earlier this month. Footage from inside the deadly insurrection shows the officer singlehandedly steering a mob away from the Senate chamber, while the lawmakers hid inside.

Mr Goodman accompanied Ms Harris in his new role as deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms.

Amanda Gorman for president?

And finally – Wwe knew to expect poet Amanda Gorman in the inauguration line-up, but we did not know how much she would resonate with people around the world.

“When day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” began Gorman, the country’s youngest ever inaugural poet.

media captionThe Hill We Climb: Watch 22-year-old Amanda Gorman’s poem reading at the inauguration

At today’s celebration, the 22-year-old performed her poem titled “The Hill We Climb” – penned after the Capitol riots. The writer and performer became the country’s first national youth poet laureate in 2017.

Today, the self-described “skinny black girl, descended from slaves… [who] can dream of becoming president” has found “herself reciting for one”. But her ambitions don’t end there – according to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ms Gorman has promised a future presidential run of her own.

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