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Democratic Party chief hopes Biden lays out plan to represent all Americans

Alicia Andrews, Oklahoma Democratic Party chair, is shown in this file photo from August near the Black Wall Street mural on Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa.  [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]
Alicia Andrews, Oklahoma Democratic Party chair, is shown in this file photo from August near the Black Wall Street mural on Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma Democratic Party chair Alicia Andrews said Tuesday that she’s hoping President-elect Joe Biden lays out a plan in his inaugural address to represent the entire country and that all Americans are receptive to the message.

“After the most recent four years of us having a president who had no intent of representing the entire country, I am hoping that (Biden) is very clear in his intent and specific in his intent to represent all of America, not just those who support him … because we can’t do it with just those of us on one side,” said Andrews, of Tulsa.

“I’m hoping that he leans heavily into that and then talks about economic recovery — COVID and economic recovery.”

Andrews had to cancel her plans to attend Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony.

“COVID plus insurrection equals stay at home,” she said. None of the other Oklahoma members of the Democratic National Committee will attend, she said.

At least four members of Oklahoma’s seven-person congressional delegation will be there, including Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, both Republicans. Reps. Tom Cole, R-Moore, and Kevin Hern, R-Tulsa, also plan to attend. Rep. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, will not attend. Spokespersons for Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, did not respond to queries about attendance.

As Trump served his final full day in office, a new poll in Oklahoma showed a majority of registered voters still view him favorably, while slightly more than one-third view Biden favorably.

According to the poll, 53% of registered Republicans want Trump to run again in four years, and 84% oppose his impeachment.

The Sooner Survey, by Cole, Hargrave, Snodgrass and Associates, was conducted Jan. 12-17 of 500 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3%. Respondents participated in live phone calls and through a text-to-web system.

Though the survey was conducted after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 80% of Republicans still had a favorable view of Trump, while only 30% of Democrats did.

Pat McFerron, president of the firm, said approval for Trump and disapproval of Biden reflect the partisan divide present in the state throughout the 21st century.

“While many want to paint Oklahoma’s current dynamics as being Trump driven, that is simply not the case: It is partisan and ideological,” McFerron said. “Oklahomans remain conservative and as they see national political figures, they continue to identify with Republicans.”

After the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, politicians have talked about healing and unity “out of expediency,” Andrews said.

“But even that spurs the conversation about the need for unity,” she said. “Additionally, the Republican Party had been completely taken over and the common-sense Republicans, the law-abiding Republicans, have just been kind of compartmentalizing the radicalized folks.

“This (insurrection) had to have shaken them out of the complacency … I do believe that January 6th was a wake-up call.”

The riot and subsequent focus on inauguration security may have meant less media attention to the historic moment of the first woman vice president being sworn in, though Andrews said she is still focused on it.

“Maybe because I’m an African American woman, and maybe because I’m a registered Democrat who’s very active, it’s not lost in my circles,” she said,

Andrews pointed to Harris’ speech, after the election, in which she said she would not be the last woman in the office “because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities."

Said Andrews, “And before — maybe it was just all little white girls who thought they had an opportunity. But now, she represents women, she represents women of a certain age, she represents African American women, she represents women of Indian descent, she represents a lot.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›

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