'I could see Lady Gaga's lips moving': Casten, Krishnamoorthi share favorite moments from day
Seated with other members of Congress just below where President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris recited their oaths of office Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove had a remarkable view of the inauguration ceremony -- including the artistic performances.
"I could see Lady Gaga's lips moving," Casten said of the famed singer's rendition of the national anthem. "There's not a lot of better tickets."
U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Schaumburg Democrat, was in the audience at the Capitol, too.
Some lawmakers were feeling trepidatious ahead of the event because of the Jan. 6 siege of the building and the fear of additional attacks, Krishnamoorthi noted. But as the event got underway, the mood became festive, he said.
By the end, Krishnamoorthi was left with a sense of optimism about Biden's presidency and the next four years. The new president's inaugural address, with its messages of unity and the importance of showing each other respect, certainly helped.
"I predict parents are going to share it with their children," Krishnamoorthi said of the roughly 21-minute speech.
Most of the Chicago-area congressional delegation attended Wednesday's ceremony.
It was Casten's first, as he joined the U.S. House in 2019 in the middle of former President Donald Trump's term.
Like many spectators watching at the Capitol or via TV or the internet, Casten was especially moved by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman's reading of "The Hill We Climb."
"Her poem was spectacular," Casten said. "I'm a sucker for a good voice."
The inauguration was Krishnamoorthi's second as a House member -- he attended Trump's in 2017, shortly after being sworn in as a congressman for the first time.
Like Casten, Krishnamoorthi was touched by Gorman's rhythmic poem.
"It had a little bit of a hip-hop feel," Krishnamoorthi noted. "It was beautiful."