Who was at Biden’s inauguration

After a few tumultuous weeks in Washington, the U.S. Capitol played host to a peaceful transfer of power when Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris were sworn in as the 46th president and 49th vice president of the United States.

The events of this inauguration looked much different from previous ceremonies. Thousands of National Guard troops shut down large swaths of the nation’s capital to protect the inauguration following the attempted Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Security concerns and a pandemic kept the attendee list short. Following social distancing protocol, all invitees were wearing masks and chairs were set apart to keep distances between groups. The National Mall, closed to the public, was decorated with thousands of flags to fill the space that normally would be filled with crowds.

The picture filled with the new presidential families and government members of both parties marks a new era in America’s democracy. Here’s who came to the ceremony.

New administration and family

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden

President Biden’s children, Ashley Biden and Hunter Biden, sat in the front row of the swearing-in ceremony. Biden’s grandchildren were seated immediately behind them.

Vice President Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff

Harris’s stepchildren, Cole and Ella Emhoff, were next to her during the ceremony. She was also joined by her sister, Maya, and niece, Meena, who were sitting on the rows behind Biden’s family. Cole and Ella’s mother was also in attendance and seated in the stands behind them.

Former administrations

Mike and Karen Pence

Outgoing vice president and second lady

Barack and Michelle Obama

Former president and first lady

George W. and Laura Bush

Former president and first lady

Bill and Hillary Clinton

Former president and former first lady and secretary of state

Dan Quayle

Former vice president under George H.W. Bush

Supreme Court

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden. Traditionally, the chief justice administers the inaugural oath, but it is not required by the Constitution. Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President George W. Bush.

Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett

These three justices were nominated to the Supreme Court during the Trump administration.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan

Sotomayor administered the oath of office to Harris. This was not her first inaugural oath — Sotomayor also administered the oath to Biden after he was reelected vice president in 2012. Both Kagan and Sotomayor were nominated to the Supreme Court by Obama.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer and Samuel A. Alito Jr. did not attend the inauguration, citing coronavirus concerns.

Congressional leadership

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Elaine Chao

McConnell was in his final hours as Senate majority leader before the chamber changed hands. Elaine Chao, his wife, was a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet as transportation secretary. She resigned after the Capitol attack.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

House Speaker Pelosi leads the only branch of elected government whose leadership did not change Wednesday.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Schumer on Wednesday assumed the role of Senate majority leader. The new Democratic senators from Georgia were also sworn into office on Inauguration Day, giving Democrats control of the chamber.

Other members of Congress

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

They served as ranking Democrat and chair of the Senate Rules Committee in charge of inaugural events and had speaking roles in the ceremony.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

Sanders and Warren were two of Biden’s competitors in the Democratic presidential primaries.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

When questioned, Collins said that Trump “bears responsibility for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol” and called his actions “absolutely appalling.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)

Romney voted to convict Trump in the first impeachment trial. He’s been vocal about the Senate being able to both hold the second impeachment trial and confirm Biden’s Cabinet “as quickly as possible.”

Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Clyburn endorsed Biden just before the South Carolina Democratic primary. Biden’s win in the state revived his candidacy and propelled him to the nomination.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

The Republican leader in the House was one of 139 representatives to object to certifying Biden’s electoral college votes in at least one state after a mob stormed the Capitol during the congressional certification.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)

Cruz was one of eight senators to object to certifying Biden’s electoral college votes in at least one state after a mob stormed the Capitol during the congressional certification.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)

Sasse has been a vocal critic of Trump and has decried the former president for spreading election disinformation and inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Murkowski became the first Republican senator to call on Trump to resign after the Capitol attack on Jan. 6. She has also voiced her discontent with the Republican Party and its support of Trump since then.

Daniela Santamariña is a graphics reporter for newsletters covering politics at The Washington Post. Before joining The Post in 2019, she was an editor for National Geographic.
Ashlyn Still is a graphics reporter on the elections team.
Junne Alcantara is a designer, art director and animator working throughout the newsroom to design print and digital projects.