WASHINGTON—Vice President Joe Biden, in his role as president of the Senate, has now sworn in 50 senators, 16 of them entering their freshmen term, at the official ceremony that started shortly after noon on Wednesday.
But just down the hall in the Old Senate Chamber, mock swearing-ins commenced at 1 p.m., with new and old senators alike bringing along their spouses and families for a chance to meet the vice president and snap a photo.
Unlike the official ceremony, which took place in groups of four, mingling both the new and old senators together in alphabetical order, the mock-swear ins took place one senator at a time. The mood was light, as Biden joked with the grandchildren and babies, taking his time to congratulate each member. Individual senators entered the crème and crimson room and took their places in front of the pulpit, while their spouses or significant others held the Holy Bible out before them.
Biden was at his best, as he greeted his former and present colleagues, often times back-slapping the men and planting kisses on the cheeks of women. With each child that entered the room to take their place alongside their senatorial family figure, Biden cheered them on as well, asking the younger children how old they were, and if they liked the Capitol.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., arrived later than his appointed time, but in smiles with wife, Landra Reid.
Not all senators stuck to taking the oath with just their spouse at their side. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., pulled in over 10 family members to take the oath alongside her, while two of her younger relatives examined the Bible, epitomizing the family spirit in the room.