Good morning from Augusta on what will be the first half-day of America under President Donald Trump — three words that I never thought I’d type as a young and only very casual watcher of “The Apprentice.” Here’s your Prince-penned soundtrack.
The Bangor Daily News’ coverage will kick off at 9 a.m. with a live blog in which we’ll stream the Republican’s inaugural address from Washington, D.C., where many Mainers have already streamed in.
Here are some of the Maine connections that we’ve noticed so far:
- Trump name-dropped Maine at an inaugural dinner on Thursday. That’s according to WGME’s eagle-eyed Gregg Lagerquist, who quoted Trump as saying, “I went to Maine four times for one (electoral) vote. And I got it. But I didn’t need it.” He came four times during the general election and once ahead of the Republican caucuses. He won one of Maine’s four electoral votes by topping Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2nd Congressional District.
- At least 1,000 Mainers may be ticketed for the inauguration. U.S. Sen. Angus King and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin have reported giving out a combined total of 550 tickets. Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Chellie Pingree haven’t said, but they probably have given just as many. The Morning Sentinel and Keep Me Current have local takes on some of the people going.
- In a pre-inaugural tradition, many top Maine and New England political figures attended a reception at the New Zealand Embassy. That included Gov. Paul LePage, members of Maine’s congressional delegation and Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett. Bennett and King, an independent, mingled, while LePage and Poliquin, a Republican from the 2nd District, were pictured around a podium with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.
- Collins, King and Poliquin are expected to go to Friday’s inauguration. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from the 1st District, isn’t going and will be in Portland to serve breakfast at Preble Street, hold a roundtable discussion with Planned Parenthood and will watch the inauguration with immigrants at Portland Adult Education.
- Maine lobster and gulf shrimp are on the menu at Trump’s first lunch as president, according to USA Today. It’s hosted by a special congressional inaugural committee that Maine has only been represented on five times since 1901 by a Wikipedia list. Sen. Frederick Hale helped oversee ceremonies for Calvin Coolidge in 1925, Herbert Hoover in 1929 and Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 and 1937.
- Bennett and Assistant House Minority Leader Ellie Espling, R-New Gloucester, were pictured lighting up at the Republican National Committee’s “Cigar Caucus” on Thursday night.
- Trump-backing radio host Ray Richardson of WLOB will be broadcasting live from Washington from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
But there’s another side to the inauguration story: Many Mainers are headed to Washington for Saturday’s Women’s March, which will protest Trump with sister marches also slated for Portland and Augusta. We’ll also bring you their stories over the next day and a half. — Michael Shepherd
- A longtime Maine Democratic Party county chair was ousted in a tight race on Thursday night. After more than a decade at the helm of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee, Rita Moran of Winthrop lost a challenge to Alicia Barnes of Waterville. It was initially a 43-43 vote, but six provisional ballot counted afterward were all cast for Barnes, according to Democratic documenter Andi Parkinson. We’re working on getting full lists of new county chairs from both parties.
- King got Rick Perry, Trump’s nominee for energy secretary, to vow to visit to Maine. In a confirmation hearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Maine senator said he’d like Perry to come to the University of Maine to tour energy research facilities in the spring. Perry, a former Texas governor, said, “I’ll be there, senator.” — Michael Shepherd
- Digital clues point toward Mary Mayhew running for governor in 2018 — Michael Shepherd and Darren Fishell, Bangor Daily News
- Maine lawmakers speed effort to put hold on marijuana sales — Christopher Cousins, BDN
- Angus King says he will vote against Trump’s EPA nominee — Cousins
- A Trump administration, with Obama staff members filling In the gaps — The New York Times
- As inaugural balls get underway, lots of pomp regardless of circumstance — The Washington Post
- Handicapping Trump’s first 100 days — POLITICO
- LePage’s threat to ax state welfare funding has city leaders worried — Jake Bleiberg, BDN
- $7 million rescue package sought for Maine Military Authority — Anthony Brino, BDN
- Maine lawmakers take another stab at changing state’s time zone — Steve Collins, Sun Journal
- Real ID compliance issues cause headaches for Maine firefighters — WGME
- Bridge-in-a-Backpack company secures deal with international firm to sell more bridges — Nick McCrea, BDN
Best of Maine’s Craigslist: Inauguration edition
- A secret Trump report?: This person claims to have an “original” version of an “inel” report on Trump “and I will e-mail the pdf to anyone who asks.” We haven’t asked for it, so we may miss the scoop of the century.
- Do you need a Trump table? “Just in time for the inauguration,” someone in Falmouth has a coffee table topped with The New York Post’s “President Trump” headline from the 2016 election, surrounded by painted red, white and blue “fireworks” on a gold top. The price? $135. Here’s a bonus soundtrack. — Michael Shepherd