The Note: Inauguration Eve

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INAUGURATION COUNTDOWN: 1 Day

NOTABLES

--INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES TO OFFICIALLY KICK OFF IN DC: Inauguration festivities are set to kick off on Thursday, with President-elect Donald Trump participating in a number of ceremonial activities in and around Washington, D.C. The soon-to-be commander-in-chief will start the formal inauguration schedule by laying a wreath at Arlington National Ceremony across the Potomac River in Virginia in memory of fallen soldiers. From there, Trump will cross back into D.C. to begin the more festive portion of the day with the “Make America Great Again!” welcome celebration. That will be held outside the Lincoln Memorial and include performances by country music star Toby Keith and rock band 3 Doors Down, among others. The event is slated to last for about two hours and Trump is expected to briefly address the crowd, ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY notes. http://abcn.ws/2jB4Jdf

--EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INAUGURATION: The countdown clock on the White House transition is winding down as specifics about Donald Trump's inauguration are being finalized. Here is everything to know about Inauguration Day: http://abcn.ws/2hO8qfo

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: A president-elect without any apparent fixed ideology would have himself a Cabinet full of ideologues – at least according to the Democratic strategy to define them. Rather than focus their energy on sinking one or two Trump nominees, to make a statement about their potential power even in the minority, Senate Democrats have used a scattershot approach that involves going deep into briefing books on virtually all of his picks. At Education, Justice, the EPA, Health and Human Services – point by point, the focus has been on how nominees would stray policy from the mainstream. (Energy, with Rick Perry’s hearing Thursday – after reports that he thought he’d be in charge or oil exploration, and is only now learning about the nuclear stockpile – might offer a twist on this script, but not much of one.) Yet with only 48 Senate votes, Democrats are unlikely to block any nominee unless questions of ethics or financial irregularities make confirmation untenable. That makes this a battle for the long haul, going at the ideological underpinnings of the incoming administration. It may pay off. But it may also misunderstand the source of Trump’s power: His base gravitated to him despite his ideology, not because of it.

--TRUMP’S INAUGURATION: CELEBRATION FOR SOME, STRESS FOR OTHERS (POLL): A day of celebration for Donald Trump’s supporters has another impact on his critics: for them, the inauguration brings stress. Stress soars, unsurprisingly, among Americans who preferred Hillary Clinton for the presidency: 65 percent of them in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say Trump’s election has increased their stress above its usual level. Thirty-nine percent report “a great deal” more stress. Among Trump supporters, by contrast, a mere 4 percent report extra stress caused by his attaining the presidency. To the contrary, 31 percent in this group say the opposite – that Trump’s election has decreased their usual stress. ABC’s GARY LANGER has more: http://abcn.ws/2k6PZ6A

--HAPPENING TODAY - RICK PERRY TO FACE CONGRESS IN CONFIRMATION HEARING: Donald Trump's 2016 GOP primary rival, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, will come before Congress today for his confirmation hearing for secretary of the Energy Department. Trump selected Perry last month to serve as his secretary of energy after a contentious primary season in which the two ran against each other. Perry, 66, is likely to face tough questioning from Democrats about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the controversial oil transportation expansion that President Obama rejected in November, but Perry supported during both of his presidential runs, according to ABC’s ALANA ABRAMSON. http://abcn.ws/2iDiUyT

SPEED READ with ABC’s ADAM KELSEY

PENCE SAYS 'OBAMACARE' USERS SHOULD HAVE 'NO ANXIETY' ABOUT LOSING INSURANCE. Vice President–elect Mike Pence assured Americans currently covered by the Affordable Care Act that they “should have no anxiety about losing their insurance.” “Any American who has insurance today, through an ‘Obamacare’ exchange or through the Obama plan itself, should have no anxiety about losing their insurance,” Pence told ABC’s MARTHA RADDATZ in an interview. Pence said he anticipates a plan to replace “Obamacare” will be brought forward in the “early weeks” of the new administration, ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL reports. http://abcn.ws/2japMzQ

PENCE NOW LOOKING TO GEORGE H.W. BUSH AS ‘EXAMPLE.’ Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who has previously pointed to Dick Cheney as someone he'd like to model his vice presidency after, told ABC’s MARTHA RADDATZ he has spent a lot of time thinking about the "life and example" of George H.W. Bush in the role. "I think then, as now, was a president taking office who came to Washington, D.C. to change Washington who had a bold and fresh leadership, and who had marshaled the support of millions of Americans that carried him into office," Pence said. ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL has more: http://abcn.ws/2joAm7v

IVANKA TRUMP SAYS SHE WILL NOT BE FILLING IN AS 'FIRST LADY.' Ivanka Trump dispelled speculation that she would be filling in as a surrogate first lady or occupying the East Wing office of the White House, traditionally reserved for the president’s wife. ABC’s LAUREN EFFRON and JOHN SANTUCCI have more: http://abcn.ws/2jClGne

ANALYSIS: A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW IN A TOUGH JOB. Melania Trump has a tough act to follow. Michelle Obama leaves the White House with sky-high approval ratings after a campaign season where enormous and enthusiastic crowds jammed into her every appearance, shouting that she should to run for office.But in fact, just about every first lady comes into office at a disadvantage, ABC’s COKIE ROBERTS writes. http://abcn.ws/2jCFIy9

WHAT TO EXPECT IN TRUMP'S FIRST 100 DAYS. After Donald Trump is inaugurated on Friday as the 45th president of the United States, he will immediately face the first test of his presidency: his accomplishments in the first 100 days in the White House. ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS and ALANA ABRAMSON look at a few of the big issues to watch in the early days of the new administration. http://abcn.ws/2k3GfWH

TRUMP'S OMB DIRECTOR NOMINEE FAILED TO PAY EMPLOYEE TAXES ON TIME. In a disclosure that could derail his confirmation, Donald Trump's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget said he failed to pay over $15,000 in taxes for his family's nanny. South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a Republican, said he discovered his failure to pay taxes during the confirmation process. Mulvaney also states in his questionnaire that he paid the federal taxes "upon discovery of that shortfall." ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI, KATHERINE FAULDERS and ALI ROGIN have more. http://abcn.ws/2jaHmUv

OBAMA REVEALS HIS ADVICE TO TRUMP IN FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE. In his final White House press conference, President Obama said he's emphasized to President-elect Trump the importance of surrounding himself with a strong team of advisers, ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS reports. "This is a job of such magnitude that you can't do it by yourself," Obama said. "You are enormously reliant on a team: your cabinet, your senior White House staff, all the way to fairly junior folks in their 20s and 30s, but executing on significant responsibilities.” http://abcn.ws/2jwr8bR

OBAMA TALKS MANNING COMMUTATION, WIKILEAKS AND HIS DAUGHTERS' REACTION TO THE ELECTION. President Barack Obama defended commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning during his final news conference of his administration. The commutation of Manning was announced Tuesday prompting questions about what will happen to other people who leak government information, notes ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY. "I feel very comfortable that justice has been served and that a message has still been sent that when it comes to our national security," Obama said Wednesday. http://abcn.ws/2jy7Na3

TRUMP'S PICK FOR EPA TESTIFIES THAT CLIMATE CHANGE IS NO HOAX. President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, testified Wednesday at his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, telling lawmakers that climate change is no hoax and acknowledging that human activity is a contributing factor to the phenomenon. "Science tells us that the climate is changing and that human activity in some manner impacts that change," he told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS has more: http://abcn.ws/2jo1svx

TRUMP'S HHS PICK SAYS IT'S 'NOT OUR GOAL' FOR AMERICANS TO LOSE HEALTH COVERAGE. Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, told senators in a confirmation hearing Wednesday that the incoming Trump administration aims to prevent Americans from losing their health care in a transition from the current system to any GOP replacement. "There has been a lot of talk about individuals losing health coverage," Price said. "Nobody is interested in pulling the rug out from under anybody," he said of Republicans seeking to repeal and replace the health care law, writes ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL. Price was also questioned sharply by Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee concerned about a series of health-related stock trades while working on health legislation in Congress. He denied any impropriety. http://abcn.ws/2jKzpWM

WHAT TRUMP'S EDUCATION SECRETARY PICK SAID ABOUT GUNS IN SCHOOLS. Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Education Secretary, raised eyebrows during her confirmation by refusing to say guns shouldn't be in schools and quipping that in one case in Wyoming, they would help protect against grizzly bears. When asked by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) during the hours-long hearing Tuesday night whether she thinks guns have any place in or around schools, DeVos said the issue is “best left to locales and states to decide,” ABC’s MORGAN WINSOR notes. http://abcn.ws/2jzhGE5

POLL SHOWS HILLARY CLINTON LEADING HYPOTHETICAL RACE FOR NYC MAYOR. It's far from likely that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will run for mayor of New York City next year, but a new poll from Quinnipiac University shows she'd be a strong contender for the job, reports ABC’s RYAN STRUYK. The new poll shows the former secretary of state garnering 49 percent of the vote in an independent bid vs. only 30 percent for current Mayor Bill de Blasio. Most of the rest say they wouldn't vote or don't know who they would choose. http://abcn.ws/2k57unY

'I DON'T LIKE TO LIE' AND OTHER NOTABLE QUOTES FROM TRUMP'S PRE-INAUGURATION INTERVIEWS. In the days before the Inauguration, Donald Trump gave a number of interviews, touching on a range of topics from how he likes to receive his intelligence briefings to lying. The president-elect also showed that he's not only thinking about the big day this Friday but looking four years ahead as well, teasing his re-election's campaign slogan. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY has a roundup of six of the most interesting morsels that came out the interviews that Trump granted in the past days: http://abcn.ws/2k5aAbm

'GIVE THE GUY A CHANCE' IOWA TRUMP SUPPORTERS SAY. Iowa has played an important role in the presidential election process for decades as a swing state in the heart of the Midwest, and this year it swung for Donald Trump. Now Trump supporters are excited to see how their pick pans out. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY and JOSH HASKELL have more. http://abcn.ws/2k5hzBf

HOW TRUMP HAS USED TWITTER AS A BULLY PULPIT AND TO BLOCK USERS. Trump’s use of Twitter, both prolific and provocative, has stoked global feuds and controversy at home. It’s one of the main tools he has wielded in his rise to power, his megaphone aimed, not just at the powerful but at individual citizens. ABC’s JUJU CHANG, MEAGAN REDMAN and RACHEL WHITE have more. http://abcn.ws/2iCMKU1

RYAN HOPES WHITE HOUSE WILL BE 'TEMPERING AGENT' FOR TRUMP. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he believes the White House will be a "tempering agent" for President-elect Donald Trump and get him to focus on work rather than picking fights on social media. "We're different people," Ryan said of him and Trump in a nearly 60-minute sit-down interview with Charlie Rose on Wednesday, ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL and KARMA ALLE note. "We constantly communicate and that ... has done a lot to build trust." http://abcn.ws/2k6gEAL

TRUMP EXPECTED TO NAME FMR. GEORGIA GOV. SONNY PERDUE AGRICULTURE SECRETARY. President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture, two senior transition officials tell ABC News. Perdue's nomination must be confirmed by the Republican-led Senate. The nomination will complete Trump's proposed cabinet, ABC’s KATHERINE FAULDERS and JULIA JACOBO report. http://abcn.ws/2k5BJeo

SHOP ACROSS FROM WHITE HOUSE TO SELL PRO- AND ANTI-TRUMP INAUGURATION SWAG. The owner of a gift store across from the White House has been selling presidential merchandise since the '80s and has his own way of predicting who will win the election every four years -- button sales. “Since 1988, I’ve been predicting who would win based on button sales that year," White House Gifts store owner Jim Warlick tells ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL and HAYLEY WALKER. "We predicted it right every time except for Gore in 2000. And this time we got it wrong.” http://abcn.ws/2iVIv4C

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

FLOTUS POSTS ROMANTIC FAREWELL PHOTO WITH THE PRESIDENT. With just hours remaining until Michelle Obama goes from being first lady to mere mortal, she took to her social media accounts Wednesday to bid adieu to her soon-to-be former life, notes ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN. http://abcn.ws/2k5Wir5

WHO’S TWEETING with ABC’s NOAH FITZGEREL

@JenniferJJacobs: Trump hotel in DC says its 263 rooms sold out; offered $500k inauguration package with 1st-class air, custom Brioni suits, private dinner.

@OversightDems: .@RepCummings: I want to be a witness to history. This is our watch. We need to protect this democracy. It's bigger than #TrumpInauguration

@timkaine: Memorial Bridge too compromised for #Inauguration & #WomensMarch. We must fix this. Improving crumbling infrastructure has R and D support

@FrankLuntz: The menu for the 1865 inaugural ball for Abraham Lincoln. Vegas should aspire to this. #Inauguration

@BCAppelbaum: 1) Rick Perry wants to kill Energy Dept. 2) Perry wants to run Energy Dept. 3) Perry learns what Energy Dept. does. http://nyti.ms/2jNcGcI