Chris Coons’ swearing in as U.S. Senator continues a chain of senators representing Delaware that goes back to 1789 when Richard Bassett was elected to the first Congress.
The Monday ceremony took place just after 4pm in the Senate chamber. Following that ceremony, there was a more relaxed ceremony in the old Senate chambers. Vice President Joe Biden administered the oath. In our raw video clip Biden acted as cruise director as he lined everyone up for pictures. He even gave a history lesson on the old chamber telling Coons’ three children and wife that the room where Chris Coons took the oath was used for senate business until 1859. When the ceremony was finished Coons told Biden he was heading to one of the House buildings and Biden could be heard saying, “let me take you there.”
Delaware’s former U.S. Senator, Ted Kaufman and Delaware’s Senior Senator Tom Carper posed for pictures after the ceremony along with Coons, his wife Anne, his sons MIke and Jack, and daughter Maggie. Biden praised the man who once interned for Biden when the Vice President was a member of Senate Judiciary Committee. Outgoing Congressman Mike Castle stopped by the second ceremony to wish the new senator well.
Coons said earlier in the day there was a meeting with all of the incoming freshman senators. Only Coons and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin were sworn-in on Monday. He and his wife celebrated their wedding anniversary by going out to dinner with his new colleagues.
In talking to Bill Cook after the ceremony, he said he hoped that the incoming Congressional class of 2011 heard the same message he said he heard while on the campaign trail. He said helping aid the economy was his number one priority.
Coons used a Bible from West Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. He had served there as guest lecturer last year. He also listened to some final words of wisdom from Vice President Biden saying that he should get a cot or an uncomfortable room in Washington for the times that he would need to stay over. But Biden said Coons should always think about taking the train back to Wilmington. Coons said he would get a cot once he was assigned his official office. However, he did say that he was going to celebrate his anniversary in a nice hotel.
Senator Coons now has a phone and is part of the Congressional directory as listed on the Senate website.