EDITOR’S NOTE: Video of live coverage at the inauguration is included in this story. The full video interview with Former House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is at the bottom of this story as well.
ANNAPOLIS (DC News Now) — Wes Moore’s inaugural speech on Wednesday set the tone for the type of administration he wants to run: move fast and be equitable to all.
Maryland’s newly minted governor and first Black man in history drew a crowd of star power with political and government luminaries from around the country. They left impressed with Moore’s vision, background and appeals to govern for everyone regardless of political affiliation.
“We saw history today. It’s a moment that was way too long in the making but we have the right man at the right time,” said Eric Holder, the attorney general in President Barack Obama’s administration, who attended the ceremony. “This is a great opportunity I think for this state.”
The inauguration of the first Black man to be elected governor was a who’s who of national politics and influence. From Moore’s mentor Oprah Winfrey to Chelsea Clinton to elected officials past and present, Moore drew a serious crowd where history was made.
From Holder to Moore’s mentor Oprah Winfrey to Chelsea Clinton, they all had high praise for the new and ambitious governor amid his historic day.
That history wasn’t lost on Michael Steele, the state’s first Black Lt. Governor and a Republican, who attend Moore’s inauguration.
“The message today to Marylanders — we’re all doing this together. We’re creating that pathway together,” said Steele, who also served as the national GOP chairman. “And I thought it was a very, very sound and solid approach to how he’s going to govern. It’s going to take some work.”
U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the two-time House Majority Leader from Maryland, said it’s impressive to make history with Moore becoming Maryland’s first Black governor. There’s more, though, he said.
“But the real significance is the content of his character, the kind of experiences that he’s had, the kind of passion that he brings to this job,” Hoyer said. “And the kind of vision he has for the state of Maryland. That’s what I really think is important because that’s going to make a difference day to day, week to week, month to month during these four years and perhaps eight years to come.”
The passion Moore showed on the campaign trail, Hoyer said, is what gave the new governor the largest margin of victory in Maryland history.
“They really felt, ‘this is a person that cares about me,'” Hoyer added.
Moore’s vision of equity was impressive to Holder, he said.
“We can have a safe society that is also a just one,” he said. “He’s a person who’s experienced, a person of vision. I think that Maryland has done the right thing.”
Despite their party differences, Steele wants him to be successful.
”As I said to him at one point when we were talking after he got elected, I said as a citizen of Maryland, your success is our success,” Steele said.
U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Maryland, said he sees significant history and a governor in Moore who can build bridges.
”For a race of people who have suffered, ignored in society, two centuries of slavery, oppression, deprivation, degradation… This is a culmination of a long-awaited dream,” Mfume said. “And it’s the culmination of a lot of work.”
Mfume was the first Black man to run for the U.S. Senate seat, albeit unsuccessfully, in Maryland.
“It’s been a very emotional day. It’s been a very reflective day, it’s been a happy day, because we’re very pleased with Wes’ achievement,” he said. “And when I walk the streets here in Annapolis and talked to people, everybody shares in the victory, even Republicans.
“There’s a lot of hope here and a buoyancy that this administration will do great things,” Mfume said.