House Speaker John Boehner, wearing a blue tie, spoke of renewing “the appeal to better angels” in the handing of the flag to President Barack Obama at the Capitol luncheon celebrating his second inauguration.
“In the spirit of harmony,” he said, he offerrf this flag, and addressed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden: “To you, gentlemen, I say, congratulations and Godspeed.
Another Republican, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who also spoke at the inauguration, presented the official photographs of the swearing-in.
And then, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor came bearing the Lenox inaugural gifts. And Cantor, too, was wearing a blue tie. The gifts: images of the Capitol and White House etched in crystal vases.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, for her part, wearing a red dress in a show of reciprocity, was talking about the mementos the guests would take away: framed depictions of the Capitol as it stood in the time of the Civil War — unlike today’s era of harmony.
“I recognize democracy is not always easy, and I recognize thee are profound differences in this room,” Obama told the luncheon audience. “I know all of us serve, because we believe can make America for future generations.”
The presidency, he said, grows more humbling with every passing day.
And, with a toast for first lady Michelle Obama, the president said: “There is controversy about the quality of the president — no controversy about the quality of our first lady.”