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Today’s presidential inauguration was mostly remarkable for how unremarkable it was. My colleague Annie Lowrey described today’s scene at the Capitol as “patriotic normcore.”
After four years of assaults on democracy and endless uncertainty, President Biden steered the national mood, however incrementally, back toward normalcy.
The president’s address “was well wrought, but it offered nothing unusual, nothing surprising, nothing especially memorable,” our Ideas staff writer David A. Graham notes. “Paradoxically, that was the source of its power.”
“Her vice presidency is worth celebrating because—however painful the process—she made it to the other side of the barrier,” the contributing writer Jemele Hill wrote back in November.
On the eve of Biden’s swearing in, the U.S. pandemic death toll reached 400,000. And it could hit 500,000 by the end of February, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, warns.