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Iowa State Representative Reflects On Historic Inauguration

Alex Brandon/AP
Pool AP
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, followed by their family members turn to walk into the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

It’s been a historic week for the nation. Joe Biden was sworn in as president on Wednesday after beating single-term incumbent Donald Trump, and Kamala Harris became the first woman, Black American and Asian American to hold the vice presidency.

Iowa State Representative Ras Smith served as Iowa Director of Coalition Building for the Biden campaign during the Iowa caucuses, then as a senior strategic advisor to the campaign in the general election. On this episode of River to River, Rep. Smith joins host Ben Kieffer to reflect on the inauguration. Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University also joins the program to remark on the many glass ceilings shattered by new Vice President Kamala Harris.


  • Katarina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio state government reporter
  • Natalie Krebs, Iowa Public Radio health reporter
  • Rep. Ras Smith, Iowa State Representative from Black Hawk County
  • Marty Lenss, Eastern Iowa Airport director
  • Karen Kedrowski, director, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics
  • William Morris, Des Moines Register courts reporter
  • Mark Simmet, Iowa Public Radio Studio One host


Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa