With one day to go before he takes the oath of office as the 45th US president, Donald Trump has arrived in Washington on Thursday, determined to transform US politics over the next four years.
The Republican billionaire launched the day with a short burst of his trademark tweets:
“The journey begins and I will be working and fighting very hard to make it a great journey for the American people. I have no doubt that we will, together, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
He departs Trump Tower, his Manhattan home and campaign headquarters, for New York’s La Guardia airport where he will board an aircraft from the presidential fleet, leaving behind his private Boeing jet.
With President Barack Obama’s departure on Friday, Trump becomes Air Force One’s most exclusive passenger.
The Republican will place a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery at 3:30 pm (2030 GMT) and then will cross the Potomac to speak at the Lincoln Memorial, the epicenter of the inaugural festivities complete with country music concerts and fireworks.
Trump’s swearing-in, on the steps of the Capitol at noon Friday — a date and hour set by the US Constitution — will be carried live on screens throughout the planet. Rain is forecast.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens, Trump supporters and protesters, have begun converging on the capital for the democratic ritual. Numerous dignitaries, including his unsuccessful Democratic rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, and three former presidents will be in attendance.
Trump is “very anxious to get to the White House and get to work for the American people,” said his vice president, Mike Pence, a 57-year-old Christian conservative from Indiana.
For new American leaders, the tone, style and agenda of their presidencies are often set from their arrival in Washington through their first few days in office.
Trump, 70, a real estate magnate with no previous political or military experience, was elected in part for his abrasiveness: his working class supporters have sent him to this bastion of federal power to turn the page on the Obama era and dynamite the political status quo. Trump has vowed to act, and swiftly.