Schatz staff setting up temporary office
Akaka, senior senators provide guidance
"I'm doing great. We had a very successful day," said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz by phone.
Coming off Air Force One, three hours of sleep, and a day that launched him into the national arena, by 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Hawaii residents watched Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, a Democrat, flanked by senators Harry Reid and Daniel Akaka, sworn in as U.S. senator.
"I have a feeling when I get back to our hotel room that I will start to recount some of the those moments because certainly one of the real honors was to be escorted by Sen. Dan Akaka and Sen. Harry Reid to Vice President Joe Biden.
"Do you solemnly swear to support the Constitution of the United States," began Biden.
"...so help you God," he ended.
"I do," said Schatz.
"While no one can fill the shoes of our dear friend, Senator Inouye, Brian Schatz is a young man with a future full of promise and opportunity," said Reid from the Senate floor.
"Mahalo and thank you Brian for accepting this challenge. I'm here to help you any way I can," said Akaka, speaking for several minutes to the young senator, never once mentioning himself, or his retirement less than a week from Thursday.
Minutes later, there was an intimate re-enactment in the old Senate Chamber, first with Schatz's wife Linda, then joined by his two young children, brother, and parents, Biden welcoming them all.
"You know, you guys were the same age as my boys were when I got sworn in," he said.
"One moment, I was just watching my parents chat with Joe Biden and he was sort of playing with my boy and my girl and making jokes and I was sort of off to the side a little bit watching that, and I think I'll remember that for a very, very long time," said Schatz.
His staff said it was busy setting up his temporary office as Schatz cast his first vote on the Senate floor over a foreign intelligence issue.
He will have his first full day on Friday, reporting back to work at 10 a.m. Eastern time.
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