53ºF

‘Our democracy has survived’ -- Sen. Debbie Stabenow reflects on unique, historic inauguration

Stabenow brought her grandson to Capitol on Wednesday

WASHINGTONSen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) had a front-row seat to Wednesday’s inauguration festivities on the Capitol steps.

It was a much different scene from two weeks ago when rioters stormed the same steps. Stabenow said on Wednesday, there was a tremendous sense of hope and optimism from her and her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. They acknowledged they have much work to do.

READ: Biden takes the helm as president: ‘Democracy has prevailed’

“There’s a part of me that feels like when we say we have a peaceful transfer of power, even though it was rocky a couple of weeks ago, the reality is that is what we had today,” Stabenow said. “And we have, for all the world to see, that despite all the challenges America has been through -- our democracy has survived, and it will thrive. And that is the sense that all of us had today. The determination in being there. You know that we’re not going to let folks take away our democracy or make us fearful.”

One of the highlights for Stabenow was her ONLY guest this year, her 11-year-old grandson Walter. Usually she receives one hundred tickets to invite people to the inauguration, but this year due to COVID and safety concerns she could only have one guest.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow and her grandson Walter on the Capitol steps on Jan. 20, 2021. (Debbie Stabenow)

Stabenow and Walter took a picture on the Capitol steps with their Aviator sunglasses -- a nod to the newly sworn-in President Joe Biden.

“He joined me in something that some of us had senators decided that we were going to do, which is all wear Aviator sunglasses because that’s what Joe Biden wears. And so a number of the senators, we all showed up with Aviators on is a salute to Joe,” Stabenow said.

The senator also had a chance to talk with Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman.

READ: Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics