Anchorage Mayor Takes Oath Under Hawaiian Sun

Monday, Dan Sullivan was sworn in for a second term as the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska. Host Scott Simon speaks with Sullivan about his decision to take the oath of office via Skype from Honolulu, Hawaii.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Dan Sullivan was sworn in for a second term as the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska this week.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me. I, Daniel Sullivan...

MAYOR DAN SULLIVAN: I, Daniel Sullivan...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Solemnly swear or affirm...

SULLIVAN: Solemnly swear...

SIMON: The mayor sounded a little distant. He was. Nearly 3,000 miles from Anchorage - in Honolulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Dan Sullivan took the oath over Skype. He didn't wear a suit and tie or Alaskan-style plaid shirt and boots, but instead a Hawaiian shirt. He was wreathed by a lei.

SULLIVAN: It was funny because the AP story recounted it as me wearing a splashy Hawaiian shirt. It was a black Hawaiian shirt with some gray markings, which is about the most sedate Hawaiian shirt you can find in Hawaii.

SIMON: Dan Sullivan's wife is Hawaiian. He said they had long-planned family reunion there, so he left the temperate climes of Anchorage, which was in the 60s and headed to the temperate climes of Honolulu.

SULLIVAN: My wife being a teacher, the only time she can come visit her family for more than just a week is in the summer when school's on break.

SIMON: It was a transpacific tele-press conference following the ceremony and every question the Anchorage reporters asked had to do with: why are you taking the oath in Hawaii? Mayor Sullivan explained the law says only that the oath must be taken by July 1, which was a Sunday, or as soon thereafter as practical. He doesn't think there's any kind of oath gate question.

SULLIVAN: Oh, you know, I really don't take it very seriously. None of the people who support me have any concern whatsoever about where I take the 20 second oath of office.

SIMON: Mayor Sullivan says he was glad his Hawaiian family had the chance to see him sworn in, but he'll also take the oath of office again when he returns home to Anchorage, where it's in the 60s today - not quite Hawaiian shirt weather.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Mahalo. You're listening to NPR News.

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