I just returned from the inauguration last week. In 2009, I sent my daughter as part of a senior group trip to the important landmark Inauguration of our first African-American president. In that Inaugural trip, she enjoyed hearing Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson speak. This year, I got a chance to see some important exhibits, due in part to my work with the National Numismatic Collection housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Through those connections, I was able to tour the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian museum. While there, I toured every floor and every exhibit. This was a very moving experience, and one I highly recommend. It is a hard ticket to acquire – tickets are currently unavailable through May – so I advise going online to make a reservation for the summer or later, timed to whenever you can visit our nation’s capital.
On Wednesday, I went to a Candlelight Congressional Dinner at the Hays-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. I got to visit with Senators John Cornyn, Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch. On Thursday, I attended the Texas-hosted Trump Inaugural Ball (called “Black Tie & Boots”) featuring popular musical acts such as Clay Walker, Kevin Fowler, The Beach Boys, Tanya Tucker and the Gatlin Brothers. So much for the mantra many of the media kept repeating that no name entertainers were participating. There I talked with our Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Later that night, I looked for any news coverage of our sold-out event, but there was none. Instead, I saw Rachel Maddow on MSNBC talk about a cancelled Arkansas Ball, without providing proper context by mentioning our packed Texas Ball. (The Dallas Morning News reported that nearly 10,000 tickets were purchased for the 2017 ball, vs. only 5,000 tickets in 2013. The record is 12,000 tickets in 2001, when George W. Bush was sworn in).
I had tickets to the inaugural but I chose not to stand for the necessary four to five hours in overcast weather, especially since umbrellas were forbidden. (Maybe that’s one reason for the gaps in the crowd.) Later, I went to a dinner Friday night at the Trump Hotel, where I saw the President’s son, Eric Trump, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, comedian Tim Allen, Quarterback Tony Romo and many others, including our representative from the 14th District, Randy Weber and Representative Kevin McCarthy from California.
There was some violence, which I didn’t see, and a lot of temporary disruptions due to demonstrators. At one point our bus was blocked by protestors holding up signs like “Eat the Rich” (whatever that means). However, I did confirm what I have heard during several other visits to Washington – taxi drivers, hotel workers and wait staff all tell me that the Republicans are more polite and tip bigger than the Democrats.
Next week, I’ll bring you some more encounters, along with some pictures from last week’s big events.
Gold remained over $1,200 all during Inaugural week as controversies over the new President simmered and then boiled over during the Inaugural weekend. Gold has risen gradually from a mid-December low of $1,129 to $1,210, mostly due to the growing tensions in America and the world. The protests and press outrages over the weekend tell us there will be no “honeymoon” for the new President, so we may see gold rise on the first outbreak of global tensions or domestic terror in President Trump’s few months.
First Years of New Presidents are Usually Good for Gold – and Bad for Stocks
Back in 1980, gold peaked the year Reagan was elected and it fell during 1981, but other than that the first years of new Presidents have been positive or flat. Here is the record of new Presidents in their first years since gold was legalized for Americans to own during the Ford administration in 1974:
We have no idea if gold will rise 15% this year – or whether stocks will be flat – but each new President represents an unknown. Trump and his policies are clearly far more mysterious (to most pundits) than any other President on this list. Originally, we expected gold to rise after a Trump victory, due to this new level of uncertainty, but it turns out that the real “honeymoon” was the transition period from November 8 to January 20. Now the honeymoon has turned to arguments between Trump’s fans and those who aren’t.