The big gray platform has been built on the south front steps of the Capitol. Television stands are filling up part of the driveway. The exhibits in the state museum have been pushed to the sides to make more room for dancing. It must almost time to inaugurate a governor.
Governor Nixon and most other state officers will be sworn in on the 14th, probably outdoors, as they have been for almost half a century. Bad weather forced Mel Carnahan to move his second inauguration indoors….and many think should have forced Joe Teasdale to move his ceremony indoors in 1977 when the wind chill was 45-degrees below zero. But he didn’t.
The National Guard handles the organization of the events. Spokesman Tammy Spicer says the events are generally the same although each governor adds personal touches. Governor Nixon will start the day, as he did four years ago, with a worship service open to the public. However the service will be held at a Baptist Church in Jefferson City across the street from the Methodist Church where he’s a member because the sanctuary at the Methodist Church is being remodeled.
The traditional 19-gun salute by Harry Truman’s National Guard battery is on the schedule. The ceremonies usually include a military flyover but that’s, well, up in the air this time. If it’s done it will feature National Guard helicopters.
Before Nixon is sworn in for his second term at noon, Lieutenant Governor Kinder will be sworn in for his third term, Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Attorney General Koster will be sworn in for the second time, and Jason Kander will take office for his first term as Secretary of State.
Spicer says the long-term outlook is for a temperature of about 40, one of the milder inauguration days since Warren Hearnes started outdoor inaugurations in the mid-60s.