Former Louisville Mayor Abramson reflects on inauguration and time working with President Biden

“I just teared up and was really excited once again to be an American citizen with great energy and hope for the future,” Abramson said.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While eyes around the country and Louisville were glued to the inaugural events for the 46th President, Former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson had tears in his eyes. 

“I really got tears in my eyes as I listened to the incoming president of the united states talking about positive things, talk about uniting the country,” Former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said. “I just teared up and was really excited once again to be an American citizen with great energy and hope for the future.”

Behind him since the beginning of his campaign, five-term Louisville mayor and former Kentucky Lt. Governor for Gov. Steve Beshear, Abramson said there’s few people better prepared to be president than Joe Biden.

“He just looked in the camera and looked at the folks throughout the United States and said ‘just give me a chance,'” Abramson said. “That’s really what he was saying.  ‘Give me a chance. Those of you who didn’t vote for me, listen to my heart. See how I act and see if we can find common ground.'”

Abramson served two and a half years as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs during Obama’s administration, also working closely with Biden at times. He said Biden is the “right person at the right time for this position.”

“I think what you’re going to find is this president is going to focus on the issues that are top of mind for all of us,” Abramson said. 

Abramson shared anecdotes of his time working with Biden, recalling when the then- vice president asked Abramson to ride with him to an event in Texas after helping work on the speech together. 

“Vice president says you want to go on Air Force Two, you take it,” Abramson said laughing as he shared what Biden said after they returned from the trip. “He says ‘we’re the two oldest people in the West Wing, we’ve got to hang more together. So I always had a good relationship with him.”

Biden also visited Abramson several times in Louisville, including once when he was a senator. Abramson said he remembers telling Biden he talks too much. Now, Abramson said Biden is a “tremendous listener.”

“He’s a listener, he’s an engager, he doesn’t see the world black and white,” Abramson said. “He never held a grudge. Those kinds of things, I think, will be very beneficial for him now as president.”

Abramson said he thinks one challenge facing President Biden will be balancing all of the country’s current challenges.

“I know that pressure cooker called the white house. More specifically I know the pressure cooker called the West Wing because I was there two and a half years,” Abramson said. “He’s going to really have to pace himself.”

Confident in his character, Abramson said he has nothing but hope for Biden’s presidency.

“He really wants to hit the ground running,” he said. “And if he’s successful, then our country will be successful.”

►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users. 

Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed