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Schieffer Reflects On Historic Inauguration

Bob Schieffer, CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation, has been covering inaugurations since L.B.J. In 1965, but he's never seen anything like this.

"It's impossible to overstate the atmosphere," Schieffer says. "There's this feeling of good will that seems to have settled over the capitol. I've never really seen anything like it. I did an interview with Bill Safire who wrote speeches for Richard Nixon and he said to me in the interview 'I really want him to succeed.'

"You know, that's really something when you stop and think about it. And I think there's that feeling all over Washington, which is much different than some of the inaugurations that we've seen in the past.

"Remember when George Bush came here in 2000? There was so much anger still swelling up after what had happened in Florida, a lot of people didn't think he was the legitimate president. The Clinton people, the Bush people said, trashed the offices.

"And they denied it and said the Bush people were trashing them. It was just a lot of friction. This time, everything has gone really smoothly. I'm told that at 12:01 the new President's chief legal counsel Greg Craig will be in the White House and 20 aides will be there to start work immediately. Now, they're not going to do a lot of work, but it's just symbolism of it going so smoothly starting at once. I think it's something."

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