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KIRO Radio hosts reflect on important lessons of last four years

Joe Biden delivering his inaugural address. (AP)

Wednesday’s inauguration brought with it a feeling of unity, as President Biden urged the nation to come together as part of his inaugural address.

That feeling of unity was echoed by Seattle’s Morning News host Dave Ross, as he watched America’s living presidents gather to witness the day’s festivities.

Photos from Inauguration Day

“I looked at the pictures of the former presidents coming, George and Laura Bush walking down the stairs now, Bill and Hillary Clinton, even Dan Quayle was there, Barack and Michelle Obama, and seeing all these people coming together like this, these are the pictures I want the world to see when they think about America,” Dave said.

For Seattle’s Morning News anchor Colleen O’Brien, the mood was reflective, and similarly hopeful.

“I’m a little bit reflective on the last four years too, thinking professionally the growth that’s come from these hard moments, personally, the growth that’s come from these hard moments over the last four years,” she detailed. “I’m talking about growth in personal relationships, how to listen to people you disagree with, growth in the strength of family that we’ve all learned through this pandemic and, you know, growth in understanding our democracy, too.”

For Ursula Reutin, Wednesday marked an emotional day, especially compared to how she felt after Donald Trump was elected in 2016.

“I remember the day after the election four years ago, I could not stop crying,” she described. “I could not stop tearing up, but yet I still had to do newscasts. I could barely read because my eyes were swollen. And it wasn’t just because the candidate that I had voted for had lost, but it was also because I felt this fear of what the next four years were gonna hold.”

Today, she finds those emotions to be instructive for how we should be reaching across the aisle.

Gee Scott’s own feelings Wednesday ran the gamut, especially in the wake of a tough four years for many Americans.

“As I started to watch the folks starting to show up for the inauguration, and I’m seeing the military and I’m seeing those standing at attention, and I’m seeing the pride on their faces, and I’m seeing the Capitol building, where just two weeks ago there was an insurrection, and here today there’s an inauguration, and it’s just kind of proof that our democracy is still in place — it’s been tested, but it’s still there in place.”

Read more from Ursula and Gee

Dori Monson noted that President Biden has had a busy first day in the role.

“He has signed 17 executive actions, 15 executive orders,” he said. “I’m not going to agree with a whole lot that’s coming down the next four years, I think.”

Additionally, Biden is starting a 100-day masking challenge, calling for a nationwide face mask and social distancing mandate in federal buildings.

“Eh, that’s fine,” Dori responded. “I think most people respect that in workplaces and indoors other than your home, so I’m OK with that one. We’re rejoining the World Health Organization, I do not like that. … We’re rejoining the Paris Climate agreement, which is a disaster. … On and on it goes.”

President Trump did not attend the inauguration, but did give a short speech of his own before leaving for Florida.

“A lot of people did go to see off Donald Trump,” Dori said. “There were more people, cheering throngs, to welcome Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago than there were at the inauguration in D.C.”

John Curley couldn’t contain his enthusiasm for this historic day.

“I feel better, I feel unified … It’s a new day. It’s a great new day. Here we go. The federal government, bigger and better than ever, yeah!” Curley joked. “It’s gonna be so much more peaceful.”

For KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney, the speech highlighted an attempt to bring a sense of unity to the seemingly ongoing contentiousness, with Biden mentioning the need to end the “uncivil war.”

“I think it was clever, the uncivil war. We’ve been talking a lot about the Civil War of late and Abraham Lincoln. Both parties like to cite him. The fact that he sort of referenced that by calling it an uncivil war is a nice play on words. I thought that was strong,” Tangney said.

Read more from Tom and Curley

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