Oprah Winfrey leads celebrity reactions as Biden-Harris take office: An 'extraordinary moment for women'

Suzy Byrne
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·4-min read
TOPSHOT - US Vice President Kamala Harris bumps fists ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Kamala Harris and Joe Biden fist bump ahead of being sworn in on Jan. 20. (Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s out with the old (Trump/Pence), in with the new (Biden/Harris) — and celebrities are emotional about the change in leadership.

There have been many reactions on this Inauguration Day — on the heels of the Capitol riot and during a pandemic, ending four years of Donald Trump’s tumultuous leadership — and not just to Biden stepping into the role, but to Kamala Harris being the first woman, and first person of Black and South Asian descent, to be vice president. Also, the ceremony featured a diverse array of inspiring speakers, including, notably, Amanda Gorman, the youngest poet in recent history to read a poem at an inauguration, and whose words were poignant on the historic day.

Oprah Winfrey, who supported Biden and Harris during their campaign, said she was “in tears” watching the Madam Vice President being sworn in, saying it’s an “extraordinary moment for women in the U.S. and the world.”

Padma Lakshmi, who moved from India to the U.S. at age 4, shared the special moment of watching Harris being sworn in with her 10-year-old daughter, Krishna. The look of elation on the Top Chef judge’s face as her daughter leaned against her said so much as they celebrated the “momentous” day.

Watch: Obamas arrive to Biden inauguration

Mindy Kaling, who is Indian-American, like Harris, shared a photo of her 3-year-old daughter, Katherine Swati, watching Harris being sworn in. “I was at work, but apparently she said: ‘Is that mommy? It looks like mommy.’ Best compliment I ever got! It matters,” she said of the representation.

Amanda Kloots, whose husband Nick Cordero was among the more than 400,000 who died in the U.S. from COVID-19 in the last year, said it was “the first time I cried tears of JOY in 6 months.”

Reese Witherspoon said it “made me emotional to see so many former Presidents and First Ladies showing up to welcome our new leaders,” she wrote. “While the division in our country is still painfully real, I am optimistic that this is a moment of recommitment to each other. A commitment to becoming a UNITED states again. Today, I feel hopeful for the future of our great nation.”

Michelle Obama, who was there with former president Barack Obama, was among those applauding Gorman’s impactful poem, and celebrated her “Black girl magic.”

America Ferrera shared a photo of herself holding her daughter as she cried tears of happiness.

Busy Philipps said she had “sobs of joy” as Harris took her oath.

Maria Shriver said that Harris taking the oath with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the “first Latino” member of the Supreme Court, was “deeply emotional.”

Bette Midler, a frequent Trump critic, called it Biden’s “finest hour” and said the inauguration was “so moving” and “hopeful.” She added it felt good to “breathe again.”

Christie Brinkley, who has been vacationing at her Turks & Caicos home, did a happy dance from on the beach to “celebrate the sun setting on [Trump’s] swamp.” The model, who had said Trump hit on her while he was already married to Melania, also was cheering “our first female WOC Vice President @kamalaharris! I’m excited again.”

There were many other positive and emotional reactions — including from Andy Cohen, who will be hosting the Democratic National Convention virtual “after party,” and who watched the inauguration while holding hands with his 1-year-old son, Ben — and others:

Though as Biden noted in his speech work must be done to unify the country — and Trump’s famous supporters expressed their loyalty to him despite his election loss, including actress Kristy Swanson.

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