Columbia, S.C., Mayor Watches Inauguration with Proud Daughters

The Wall Street Journal

January 20, 2021

Steve Benjamin, the Democratic mayor of Columbia, S.C., watched the inauguration at home with his teenage daughters.

He said they could look out their living-room window and see a lemon tree that 15-year-old Bethany and 13-year-old Jordan Grace planted last August, on the day President Biden named Kamala Harris as his vice presidential choice.

“It was a historic moment,” Mr. Benjamin said. “It is a fruit-bearing tree.”

Mr. Benjamin, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, a historic Black fraternity, escorted Ms. Harris to a Columbia gala sponsored by her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority two years ago at the beginning of her short-lived presidential run.

He said the inauguration was a balm after the strife of the election and the past few weeks.

“All politics aside, it speaks to the great hope of America,” he said. “We are indeed a place where anyone, regardless of social status, ethnicity, gender, race, can achieve great things. Every once in a while we need to remind ourselves of that.”