Back in 2004, Illinois attorney Sean Smoot's organization was the first labor and police group to endorse then-U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama. To close the loop, he said, Smoot came back to Washington this weekend to celebrate the start of Obama's second term as President.
"We're thrilled to have someone as president who's not only from our state, but someone who is a friend to law enforcement," said Smoot, the chief legal counsel for the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association.
Smoot and his wife, Teresa, got almost the exact same seats for the Inauguration ceremony as they did four years ago. But the weather was much milder this time, and so was the crowd control and organization for getting people in and out, he said.
As for the energy? "The scene looks the same," Smoot said. The weekend for him and his wife included a dinner with Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Illinois social ball on Saturday, and a rooftop party at the Willard InterContinental hotel to watch the parade.
Smoot said that the police association has enjoyed strong relationship with Obama's administration. He also serves as treasurer of the National Association of Police Organizations, which works with the U.S. Department of Justice to help secure funding for policing programs.
Sean and Teresa Smoot near their seats at the inauguration. Photo by Todd Ruger