By Andah John with agency report
Donald Trump is hours away from taken the oath of office to become the most powerful man on earth, after a surprise victory in the November 8 fiercely contested US presidential election.
It has been estimated that 800,000 people will converge on the National Mall in the centre of Washington DC to celebrate a man who is only 19-month-old in politics.
Not many saw Trump as a serious candidate for the exhorted office the moment he declared interest in running for the White House. He was dismissed. Some even mocked him.
But later this Friday, the real estate tycoon will place his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s bible, recite the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol and become the 45th president of the world’s most powerful nation.
In the primaries, he dominated a crowded Republican presidential field with bareknuckle rhetoric and star power, the AFP reports.
He used same strategy to outwit Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election.
And at age 70, Trump is the oldest man ever to be elected the country’s commander-in-chief.
But the real estate mogul and one-time television reality star is also a political neophyte — he will be the first president never to have held elected office, served in the government or the armed forces.
For his supporters, like Jake, a Californian who travelled to Washington for the inauguration, that is a central part of Trump’s appeal.
“It honestly feels like we won the American Revolution again,” he said. “I really feel like we’ve taken back our culture, we’ve taken back our country.
“We’ve really been under attack from a lot of the establishment on both sides of the aisle — we’ve been under attack from the media, from the celebrities,” he told AFP.
– Addressing the nation –
After promising to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States” and “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Trump will deliver the most important speech of his life.
Inaugural addresses — from Lincoln to John F. Kennedy — echo across American history. Phrases like “malice towards none” and “ask not what your country can do for you” have been seared into the vernacular.
The most noted inaugural addresses had sought to lift Americans’ gaze up from the rancor and troubles of the day toward the horizon and a better tomorrow.
Trump aides are promising an address that is at once short — at around 20 minutes — and philosophical.
“It’s going to be a very personal and sincere statement about his vision for the country,” said incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
“He will discuss what it means to be an American, the challenges that we face, as members of the middle class, that they face,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be less of an agenda and more of a philosophical document, a vision of where he sees the country, the proper role of government, the role of citizens.”
In brief remarks on the eve of becoming president, Trump vowed to bring unity, but there was also a rallying cry for his base.
“We’re going to unify our country,” he said, before telling supporters: “You’re not forgotten anymore.”
“We’re going to get our jobs back. We’re not going to let other countries take our jobs any longer. We’re going to build up our great military.”
After his speech, Trump will attend a luncheon inside the Capitol, before heading back to the White House to begin the business of governing.