Today, at 1:30 PM, the portrait of President Bush will be replaced with a portrait of incoming President Barack Obama. Details from the Waterloo Courier:
Majority Iowa Democrats are making plans for a Jan. 20 photo swap in the House and Senate chambers.
That’s the day that former Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.
House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, said House Democrats, who will hold a 56-44 majority, plan to adjourn to private caucus on Jan. 20 to watch televised coverage of Obama’s inauguration, have lunch and then ceremonially place his presidential portrait in the House chambers where President Bush’s photo has hung for eight years.
Murphy said he expected a couple of yet-to-be-named House Democrats will walk an Obama portrait — the official White House version will arrive later — down the center aisle of the House chambers to be placed on the wall behind the speaker’s chair between pictures of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. The departing Bush portrait will be given to minority Republicans, he said.
Across the Iowa Capitol rotunda, Senate Democrats who boast a 32-18 plurality also plan to mark the transition of presidential power from Bush to Obama with a portrait exchange.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, said details of how the occasion will be marked are still being formulated but added “we intend to appropriately adorn the chamber” with a new Obama portrait in the Senate well.
“We all recognize this historic election for what it is, but the brief moment of celebration of partisan victory is just that, it’s a brief moment and then we focus on governing and governing well,” said Gronstal.
“Yes, there will be some people that have big smiles on their faces but then it’s about the people’s business of governing the state of Iowa,” he added.