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The peaceful transition of American power will be witnessed by the world once again Friday. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. That has brought jubilation in conservative America. For them, Trump's win is a sigh of relief, a repudiation of Barack Obama's America and a pause on the liberalization of the world's remaining superpower.
But this day isn't without controversy. There are hard feelings — and fear — in the other America. That America sees Trump's win as unfair and unjust — given Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, given Russian meddling in the election intended to boost Trump, and given the unprecedented way Trump presented himself during the campaign. He went after all comers. No one was beyond reproach or the basest insult.
A polarized country, which in many ways can be separated by how one views Trump, sets the backdrop for the incoming president's inaugural speech. And Trump has a powerful bully pulpit to work from. While he is coming into office with the lowest favorability ratings of any president since polling began, he also has the biggest Republican majority in the House in a century and a majority in the Senate. Trump has pledged to keep his inaugural speech short, but what he says could have far-reaching consequences. Those words may signal a critical course for how he intends to reach out across the American divide — and how he intends to govern.
The speech, while central, is one part of a full day of events. You can follow along with the inaugural events here.
Here's what to expect throughout the day:
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