On Monday at 11:30 a.m., Gov.-elect Bill Walker and Lt. Gov.-elect Byron Mallott will be sworn in and by noon, it’ll be official. After the swearing in, both Walker and Mallott will be giving 10-15 minute addresses, which is unusual. Normally, the lt. gov. is on stage, but doesn’t speak. (Fun factoid: it’s also the first time in history that both the governor and lt. governor will have been Alaska-born.)
As of Sunday night, both of their speeches were still being worked on. However, the term “speech” might be overstating things. Don’t expect a lot of formality from either of them. Both tend to be extemporaneous, off-the-cuff speakers, which has served them well on the trail. But such casual speeches seldom lend themselves to further study or go down in the history books. Mallott, much more than Walker, can get poetic when he speaks, but neither will likely start off like this, as Wally Hickel did in his 1967 inaugural address:
This is a time when Alaska’s flag is high up the mast, the wind bellies out the sales, and the tide is with us. We sit at the top of a continent—at the headwaters of the Pacific—and our mooring lines are strained with the urge to break loose and sail into the future on another voyage of discovery.
What we do know is that Walker will spend some time introducing himself to the electorate, something the he wasn’t able to do much during the truncated campaign season. And we can also guess that “unity” will be the buzz word.
There’s a cake reception after the event, and a private party at the governor’s mansion for about 100, followed by a community reception from 4:30 to 6:00. Walker’s and Mallott’s family will be having dinner together after the receptions.
For the inaugural junkie in you, here’s some videos of speeches from year’s past. (Apologies for the different formats.) Say what you will about her, Sarah Palin knew how to give a speech:
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