California on Inauguration Day


Good morning.

Former President Donald J. Trump had already left the White House by the point many Californians awoke on Wednesday.

And by 9 a.m. on the West Coast, the nation had a new president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., and a new vice president, Kamala Harris — the primary girl, first daughter of immigrants, and the primary Democrat from California to carry the function.

In his first address to the world in his new job, the one he’s been working toward for decades, President Biden made an pressing name for unity, a plea to maneuver ahead.

“The desire of the individuals has been heard and the desire of the individuals has been heeded,” he mentioned. “We now have discovered once more that democracy is valuable. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my mates, democracy has prevailed.”

[Find all the coverage of every aspect of the inauguration here.]

It was, to say the least, an enormous change.

For a lot of Individuals, the day marked an ending — a return to a sort of normalcy. Hundreds of thousands of Californians have been little question amongst those breathing sighs of relief.

However Wednesday was additionally the start of a brand new period, for the US as an entire, and particularly for California, which for the previous 4 years has largely been outlined by its opposition to Washington.

Listed below are some themes to look at going ahead:

How the Biden administration’s huge coverage shifts will play in California

After the ceremonies and the scaled-back parade, Mr. Biden started working. He signed 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations aimed squarely at undoing what aides described because the Trump administration’s most damaging insurance policies.

That included orders revoking efforts to exclude residents who aren’t residents from the census and bolstering the Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals program.

[Read more about President Biden’s immigration plans.]

On the climate change front, Mr. Biden signed a letter to re-enter the U.S. within the Paris local weather accords, and reversed the rollbacks of auto emission rules, which had been a serious level of competition between California and the Trump administration.

The president has mentioned these measures are solely the beginning of extra sweeping adjustments. And in California, progressives who might view these first strikes as inadequate will now not be preventing a Republican White Home, however negotiating with members of a Democratic administration — one which Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged California’s full support.

[Read about all the orders in more detail.]

How a management dominated by Californians will have an effect on Washington

Within the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, because the leaders of Congress bestowed gifts on the new president and vice president, the numerous California contingent was fairly powerful to overlook.

There was Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat from San Francisco, presenting the pair with the 2 American flags that flew above the inauguration ceremony.

“If we’d had the lunch, we might’ve had California wine, proper, Madam Vice President?” Ms. Pelosi joked.

[Read more about the presentation of the gifts.]

And the Home minority chief, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield, gave them portraits of themselves being inaugurated not lengthy earlier than.

“As a really proud son of California, it’s my honor to current to a really proud daughter of California,” Mr. McCarthy mentioned.

Though Mr. McCarthy and Ms. Pelosi have been congressional leaders for years, Ms. Harris’s ascension will little question change the dynamics, bringing a Californian’s perspective to the chief department for the primary time in a long time.

Plus, she’ll be a tiebreaking vote in an evenly divided Senate.

[Read the full story about the new vice president’s role.]

How California Republicans will adapt to the post-Trump period

Whereas Mr. McCarthy was a pleasant participant within the inaugural traditions on Wednesday, he’s consultant of the fraught place of California’s Republican Occasion.

In a speech final week earlier than Mr. Trump was impeached, Mr. McCarthy said that “the president bears accountability for Wednesday’s assault on Congress by mob rioters.” However these feedback got here after Mr. McCarthy voted to object to election outcomes, together with nearly all of his Republican colleagues. And Mr. McCarthy didn’t vote to impeach.

[Read about the reaction from Mr. McCarthy’s home district.]

Now Mr. McCarthy — lengthy referred to as “the man everybody appreciated,” as Miriam Pawel recently put it in an opinion piece — is going through calls to resign, even from members of his personal occasion. The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board went so far as to name him a “a soulless anti-democracy conspirator.”

On the identical time, he has confronted backlash in his personal district for not being supportive sufficient of Mr. Trump.

It’s powerful to say how these forces will shake out on the poll field down the road, however there are indicators the occasion is shifting.

As The Sacramento Bee reported on Wednesday, a pro-Trump Republican chief — Shannon Grove, a state senator from Bakersfield — was ousted from her caucus management function after repeating false claims in regards to the Capitol mob.

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Learn extra:

  • “That was very bizarre.” Hours after being sworn in herself, Ms. Harris administered the oath of workplace to Senator Alex Padilla, who changed her, in addition to Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, newly elected Democrats from Georgia. [The New York Times]

  • Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, additionally made his share of historical past: He’s the primary male and first Jewish partner of a vp. [The New York Times]

  • Wait, so the place will Ms. Harris and Mr. Emhoff stay? There’s an official residence. Right here’s what to find out about Quantity One Observatory Circle. [The New York Times]

  • Though there was heavy safety on the California State Capitol in Sacramento, not a lot occurred. [The New York Times]


When you do nothing else to compensate for Wednesday’s proceedings, you must watch Amanda Gorman’s recitation of her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” here. When you noticed it the primary time, watch it once more. (And read her words here.)

On a day when a lot historical past was made with so much symbolism-laden spectacle — Woman Gaga sang the nationwide anthem in a serious gown, Jennifer Lopez carried out a Woody Guthrie song, and the primary girl of coloration to change into vp was sworn in by the primary Latina Supreme Courtroom justice — Ms. Gorman’s voice was essentially the most memorable.

Ms. Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in American history, grew up in Los Angeles, and described herself as “a thin Black woman, descended from slaves and raised by a single mom,” who can dream of being president at some point, “solely to seek out herself reciting for one.”

And as my colleague Nick Corasaniti pointed out on Twitter, Ms. Gorman really told The Times in 2017 (at age 19) that she had presidential aspirations.

“This can be a lengthy, lengthy, faraway purpose, however 2036 I’m operating for workplace to be president of the US,” she mentioned. “So you’ll be able to put that in your iCloud calendar.”

On Wednesday, she described the US as she sees it: “a nation that isn’t damaged, however merely unfinished.”


California Right now goes stay at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Inform us what you wish to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have been you forwarded this e mail? Sign up for California Today here and read every edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported everywhere in the state, together with the Bay Space, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — however she at all times needs to see extra. Observe alongside right here or on Twitter.

California Right now is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.





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