tv Representative Christopher Smith Inaugural Recollections CSPAN January 15, 2017 8:33pm-8:39pm EST
>> tell us about the inaugurations you have attended. >> they are uplifting. there is hope and optimism is a new president takes the old office. nothing compared to ronald reagan's 1981 and four years later, which was actually the second one was so cold outside, we were a few feet away from where we are speaking now. he gave it in the rotunda, to the group assembled. he spoke then in 1991 and again -- and again in 1984. 1981 in 1981 about the soviet union, the fact it was absolutely unacceptable that are operating procedures with the
soviet union was mutual assured destruction, mad. nuclear weapons needed be brought down a number. he longed for the day or they would be totally eliminated. one thing to take away with the american opportunity society. he talked about how all americans need to get access to jobs. the idea that kennedy once espoused, a rising tide raises all boats. reagan talked about how we were all brothers and sisters. it was a beautiful speech. i remember feeling so inspired and looking out among all the people who are so optimistic. then we learned the hostages were released from iran. it added an additional sense of relief, that the new president was going to be peace through strength, economic growth and vitality, and inclusive for everyone. >> what was your advantage best vantage point for the inauguration and what do you
remember? rep. smith: i was sitting with many colleagues. i remember we all just felt a sense of almost awe, that this was a new beginning for united states. and frankly every new president brings some of that. it's almost like a new session of congress or new day of school. every two years you start fresh and optimistic. with the inaugural, the words and sentiments were profound, uplifting, and they do resonate across the country and certainly on that platform to the people assembled. >> have you attended every inauguration since you are in the house? rep. smith: i missed one because i was sick but that is it. >> which one did you miss? rep. smith: the second one for barack obama. >> the other inaugurations you have attended, president george h.w. bush, president clinton, president george w. bush, what was your vantage point and what do you remember from those events?
rep. smith: it was always a call for the better angels. all the presidents regardless of party, george w. bush gave a very -- it was an excellent speaker and projected a sense of optimism for the united states. we all know bill clinton was a great orator. we really had an opportunity to say we are all americans, let's rally and move forward and be an inspiration to the world. i think having a very high visibility inauguration is testimony to the world that the transfer of power used to be peaceful, amicable. -- needs to be peaceful, amicable. even when it hurts to lose. i lost that election in 1978. it hurts to lose. democracy is more important than any of us. we really are all americans. at the end of the day we need to rally for the good of the people. >> is that what you think it's a fork for us to have a public ceremony and the pageantry? rep. smith: yes. it is so important for everyone
to see. americans first and then the rest of the world. in the united states the rule of law, and no one person is above the law. when that baton is past, he or she will take up responsibilities. when you are in opposition it is as an opponent, not an enemy. that is what is conveyed when an inaugural is held. everyone i've had a part of had that since to it. >> thank you very much. >> ronald reagan, a republican and former california governor was sworn in as the 40th president of the united states on january 20, 1981. next we see him take the oath of office administered by supreme court chief justice warren burger. you will hear president reagan's inaugural address. 1981 was the first time the inauguration took place on the west front of the capital which faces the national mall. this is just under 25 minutes.