10:58 a.m. by
The band's playing and we're getting ready to get underway here. Everyone appears to be in their places. Staged like a serious, dare I say, presidential-level event, photographers are on risers 10 feet above the ground.
11:04 a.m. by
Everyone on stage now getting introduced, including Pastor Ed Young from Houston, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Wallace Jefferson, Speaker Joe Straus, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
11:06 a.m. by
National Anthem courtesy of the UT Longhorn Band.
11:09 a.m. by
A look here at the stage now...
11:11 a.m. by
Oath of Office is now being administered to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. They're using the same Bible used by Sam Houston. Dewhurst's wife Tricia and step-daughter Carolyn are at his side.
11:13 a.m. by
Former San Antonio Spur David Robinson is up there on stage, same row as Anita Perry.
11:16 a.m. by
Dewhurst opens his speech by thanking his late mother. "Have you lost your mind?", he quotes his mom as saying when he said he was running for office.
11:18 a.m. by
Applause when Dewhurst gives a shout out to "the people of Texas." "Our challenges are not bigger than the sheer will and determination of the people of Texas," he says.
The wind's really kicking up now, and creating a pretty muffled sound every time the breeze blows into the microphone.
11:20 a.m. by
Dewhurst repeats the oft-touted claim, "We balanced our budget in 2003 without raising taxes." They did, however, raise various fees, which some argue is a tax, and lawmakers deregulated tuition, which led to big increases in the cost of higher education in the state.
11:22 a.m. by
The tea party gets a mention and a smattering of applause from the back of the crowd. "Washington should listen to the people, and look to the states," Dewhurst says. "They are the laboratory of innovation and good government."
11:24 a.m. by
Photog Justin notes that we're hearing a lot of "vote with your feet" references...
11:25 a.m. by
Sneers and jeers at Dewhurst's mention of "Obamacare," which congressional leaders in the House are beginning to try and repeal this week.
11:27 a.m. by
"I think he's reading the wrong speech," quips a reporter sitting next to me, a reference to how similar Dewhurst's themes are to the Governor's common targets - federal government's failure to secure the border, the strength of the Tea Party, Obamacare's overreach...
11:29 a.m. by
Ross has posted the full text of Dewhurst's speech, which I've put in the "Related Content" column to the right.
11:32 a.m. by
"I want everybody, I mean everybody, to be all they can be." -David Dewhurst, January 18, 2011
11:36 a.m. by
Dewhurst mentions his WWII pilot father and his visit to Normandy. Trivia: Dewhurst and his brother were featured in a 2009 NBC News story by Tom Brokaw about their trip to Normandy to retrace their father's steps. A look at the ROTC cadets and the cannon behind me...
11:38 a.m. by
I'm told Dewhurst was given ten minutes for this speech, but we've clearly passed that time marker.
11:41 a.m. by
Perry now getting sworn-in.
11:42 a.m. by
Birds are starting to flee as Perry gets a 19-gun salute.
11:45 a.m. by
"I just think the Capitol looks awesome in maroon," Perry says, to cheers from the Aggies in the crowd. Then Anita Perry gets some love: "Here's the fact. Even if I never served a day in this office, I'd still be the most blessed man on earth, because of my wife."
11:52 a.m. by
That plane is still circling overhead, creating quite a distraction as Perry talks about how Texas pioneered space and discovered oil. "Matter of fact, the first word spoken in space was HOUSTON," Perry says.
11:54 a.m. by
Perry gets applause for "balance the budget without raising taxes" and "must cut spending". "We need to prioritize, justify every penny, validate every investment made," the governor says.
11:56 a.m. by
OK finally the plane has left the airspace above us. Inauguration staff and security folks were frenzied and shaking their heads the whole time as the Spark Energy plane buzzed around... but too late to do anything about it now, I suppose.
"You might say historians will look back at this century and call it, the Texas century," says Perry.
12:02 p.m. by
Justin our photog overhears Milton Rister, now of the Governor's Office, on the phone with Spark Energy (the name on the propeller plane banner). He doesn't sound happy.
12:04 p.m. by
Perry concludes with a big "God bless Texas!" Someone in press row says, "He should have added, and go EAT BARBECUE!" (The barbecue lunch is set up in the tent on the west side of the lawn. But sorry, tickets are all out, from what I was told this morning.
12:08 p.m. by
Basketballer David Robinson is giving an excellent benediction. The man is towering over the podium, hunched over in order to speak into the mic.
12:12 p.m. by
I haven't gotten an official crowd estimate, but looking out onto the lawn, it appears a lot of ordinary folks are standing outside the event fence watching the ceremonies. It's safe to say several hundred folks are gathered.
12:15 p.m. by
Okay, that's it from here folks. Barbecue now commences.