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WASHINGTON – If Barack Obama loses the election to Mitt Romney, his official White House move-out day won’t be Jan. 20, as most have assumed.
If a new president is elected Nov. 6, he won’t be officially and publicly sworn in until Jan. 21, 2013 – which happens to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday.
It’s not exactly a state secret that the 57th Inauguration in the nation’s history will take place on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Day – but it will surely come as news to most Americans. Obama, the first black president, was sworn in on the traditional Inaugural date of Jan. 20 – the day before the holiday.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is chaired by Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer and includes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. This is the body that plans and executes all Inaugural activities at the U.S. Capitol, including the swearing-in ceremony of the president and vice president and the traditional luncheon that follows.
In fact, visitors to the Capitol may have noticed that the building of the platform for the swearing in officially began last month.
On Sept. 20, the committee members picked up hammers and symbolically began the construction.
“Since 1797, when President Washington stood behind President Adams at the third Inaugural, this ceremony has represented the greatness of our Republic.” said Cantor. “The civility that defines our electoral process is a shining example to the world that in America, we are truly governed by the people. I will be honored to participate in January.”
But will civility rule on Jan. 21?
Protests are already being planned. No matter who the victor is Nov. 6, local District of Columbia officials have already announced they will be out along the parade route demonstrating over Washington’s lack of budgetary and representative autonomy. Even Mayor Vince Gray will be among the protestors.
“While we don’t have concrete plans at this stage, we all very cognizant of the opportunity we have in front of us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the social media have been abuzz with threats by Obama supporters to riot if Romney wins.
For what it’s worth, here are some recent Twitter posts:
- Jae Taylor @JaeRawww: If Obama don’t win lets start a riot so Romney know what he’s getting himself into
- SCORE @SCOREdkoi: Ima start a riot I’ma start riot RT @CuzinSkeetOnHer: If Romney wins im goin on a rampage
- Pat 47% Entitled @patticar: if every action IS met with an equal and opposite reaction ..what should workers do to employers if Romney’s elected? #Riot in the streets!!
- Libby @__Anait__: If Romney becomes president let’s all start a riot
- king loyalty @coreylb1986: I Heard Mitt Romney , Tryna Take Away Food Stamps , If He Do .”IMA START A RIOT , IMA START A RIOT”
Not content with threats to riot if Romney wins in November, some Obama supporters have announced on Twitter they intend to vandalize and burn down the White House if the GOP candidate is victorious, Twitchy reports.
“If Romney wins I’m blowing up the White House (sic),” tweeted “Davis.” The tweet was later deleted, but not before being captured by Twitchy.
“Romney gets on my nerves. If he wins I’m throwing black paint on the white house (sic),” added “Octoburr 30th.”
Twitter user “Panther Biddness” threatened to assault the White House with a contingent of Black Panthers, while another threatened to defecate on the White House lawn.
Several threatened to burn the White House down and one individual said he would shoot the presidential residence.
“[I]f romney wins, i will set the white house on fire and make it look like an accident (sic),” another grammatically-challenged individual wrote.
So who is going to be providing security for the Inauguration Jan. 21, 2013?
The U.S. Army will be involved in a joint task force with the Capitol Police and members of police departments from around the country. But it will be the Department of Defense that is paramount to the security of the 57th presidential Inauguration.