Good morning, it's Jan. 4, 2021, the first Monday in a year most of us hope will be better and safer than the one we just left behind.
On this date in American political history, Nancy Pelosi became the first female speaker of the House (2007), former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as governor of Minnesota (1999), Congress convened under GOP control for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower's first term (1995), and Lyndon Johnson outlined the "Great Society" in a speech to Congress (1965).
Pelosi was given the speaker's gavel again yesterday, this time to lead the 117th Congress, although the 2020 elections left her with a smaller Democratic Party majority. "As we are sworn in today, we accept a responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leadership have faced," Pelosi noted in a sentiment no one would contest. "We begin the new Congress during a time of extraordinary difficulty."
As for control of the even more closely divided U.S. Senate, that is still up in the air. Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to 32 newly elected senators, but the identity of two final candidates is what the country is waiting to learn, perhaps as early as tomorrow night. I don't know how long it will take to count the votes in Georgia's two Senate races, or if the losing candidates will even accept the results, but today all eyes are on the Peach State.
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.