Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who at one time was considered a possible running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, will be a major player in Biden’s plans for assuming the reins of power.
Whitmer will be a co-chairwoman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which will also feature Democratic Reps. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Cedric Richmond of Louisiana and Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, according to WPBN-TV.
“I am humbled to become a part of the inauguration for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect [Kamala] Harris as a Co-Chair,” Whitmer said in a statement Monday.
“This inauguration will exemplify the strength and resilience our country has demonstrated throughout this entire year and set the stage for how the Biden-Harris Administration will beat the pandemic, create jobs that fuel economic recovery, and unite all Americans,” she said. “While we are going to focus on keeping people safe this year, we will make sure Americans have the opportunity to celebrate this pivotal moment for our country,”
Some objected to the choice of Whitmer, who as governor has been in hot water with many Michigan residents over her strict lockdown edicts.
Clyburn, a longtime Biden ally who played a key role in the Democratic primaries by helping him win South Carolina at a time when the former vice president’s campaign was sputtering, will chair the committee.
“This will be one of the most important inaugurations in America’s history as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn-in as our next President and Vice President of the United States and prepare to tackle the great crises and challenges facing our country,” the congressman said in a statement, according to WOOD-TV. “I am proud to be a part of this history as Chair of their Presidential Inaugural Committee.
“The peaceful transfer of power surrounding the inauguration is a bedrock of American democracy that represents our nation’s highest ideals. This inauguration will show the country and the world something I have always known: we know Joe, and Joe knows us.”
Biden has said the ceremony will reflect the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic but will have multiple virtual events.
“People want to be able to say, we’ve passed the baton. We’re moving on. Democracy has functioned,” he said, according to MLive.
Whitmer has faced an impeachment push in her state from Republican legislators.
State Rep. Matt Maddock said last month that the governor violated Michigan residents’ constitutional rights, ignored “due process and the legislature,” weaponized “contract tracing databases to aid democrat campaigns,” used children as “political pawns” and did not provide in-person classes for special needs students.
He also blamed her for “the unnecessary death of thousands of our vulnerable elderly who died alone and scared in nursing homes.”
The Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners voted in support of the impeachment effort, with Commissioner Dave Comai calling Whitmer “a dictator” and saying she had “stomped on our constitution.”
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