Today:

  • NewsOK/AP: Henry takes over as 26th governor

    Oklahoma has a new governor today. Since the state capitol is only a mile or so from OCU I decided to attend today’s inaugural ceremonies.

    The ceremonies were quite thrilling. At the beginning they had a processional with the Chiefs of 39 of Oklahoma’s Indian nations, followed by all of the members of the state legislature, then followed by the members of Oklahoma’s judicial branch (I mean the appelate level… btw, one thing which was funny was the emcee kept saying the Court of Civic Appeals (instead of “Civil Appeals”). Also on stage were four of Oklahoma’s former governor (Boren who is now President of OU, George Nigh, David Walter, and Henry Bellmon), and also some of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation (I saw Lucas and Istook but there may have been more of them there as well)

    As for the program it was pretty good. The Famous 45th Infantry Division band performed, along with an excellent gospel choir, and some famous opera singer that I’ve never heard of but who is from Oklahoma. The colors were presented by the Kiowa Black leggings society (a Kiowa veterans honorguard group) who were dressed in full regalia. There were also numerous prayers throughout the program (2 Christian, and 1 Jewish) and a very religious tone throughout.

    Of course the highlight of the program was hearing our new Governor, Brad Henry (D) speak. He was very gracious towards outgoing Governor Frank Keating (R) and was very positive about the future of the state. (It’s unfortunate that he thinks the lottery is the answer though… thankfully he didn’t use his speak to promote that dreadful idea today at least.)

    I have to say in retrospect that no matter what I think of the politics involved, it is a victory for the people when ever a new slate of officials are sworn in. Today we had a political change of power (Governorship going from Republican to Democrat) but no blood was shed, and violence was used. Instead the people’s wishes were respected and power is transferred peacefully and seamlessly. I guess this sounds sapily patriotic but I can’t help but feel good about that.