Tennessee Has Strong Ties To Presidential Inauguration - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Has Strong Ties To Presidential Inauguration

Posted: Updated:

by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee played a prominent role in Monday's inauguration ceremonies for President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.

Tennessee's senior senator Lamar Alexander was seen several times during the swearing in ceremony at the United State's Capitol Monday afternoon.

Senator Alexander also spoke during a luncheon for the President and presented the first couple and the Vice President with framed photos from the earlier ceremony.

Vanderbilt University Presidential historian Thomas Schwartz said there was good reason Alexander was so visible during the inauguration.

"If they're going to deal with Republican senators one of the first ones they should be dealing with is the senior senator from Tennessee who is in many respects is symbolic of the bipartisan approach, and has always advocated that in his career," Schwartz said.

The history professor said even though Tennessee is currently a very Republican state, the Democratic White House recognizes the state's political clout.

"I do think the President does want to establish a connection with this part of the country and in some ways courting Tennessee is part of that," Schwartz said.

Nashville resident Kelly Clarkson performed during the swearing in ceremony. The pop star, who dabbles in country music, sang her rendition of America.

During the inaugural parade the marching band from Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport walked Pennsylvania Avenue.

Later in the night Brad Paisley kicked off the Commander in Chief's Ball at the Washington D.C. Convention Center.

"Good bless you sir and good luck in the next four years. He's a song celebrating our progress," Paisley told the President from the stage.

Schwartz said including country music as part of the entertainment shows the mass appeal of that genre of music, and yet another Tennessee tie.

"Reaching out to a part of the country, the country music fans and to the rest who know this, it's part of a general outreach beyond a sort of blue state, red state type of divide and in that sense augers well for the future," according to Schwartz.

Some 250 members of the Tennessee National Guard were also in the nation's capitol for the inauguration. They provided security for the event.

email: ccannon@newschannel5.com

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.