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Obama sworn in for 4 more years in office

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 20, 2013 at 10:26 a.m. Updated January 20, 2013 at 11:12 a.m.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.

— Stepping into his second term, President Barack Obama took the oath of office Sunday in an intimate swearing-in ceremony at the White House, the leader of a nation no longer in the throes of the recession he inherited four years ago but still deeply divided.

The president, surrounded by family in the ornate White House Blue Room, was administered the brief oath of office by Chief Justice John Roberts. With Obama’s hand resting on a Bible used for years by Michelle Obama’s family, the president vowed “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” echoing the same words spoken by the 43 men who held the office before him.

About a dozen family members were on hand to witness Obama’s swearing in, including the first lady, daughters Malia and Sasha, the president’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and her family. Mrs. Obama’s mother Marian Robinson, and the first lady’s brother, Craig Robinson and his family. A few reporters also were in the room.

The president will repeat the swearing in ritual again Monday on the west front of the Capitol, before a jubilant crowd of up to 800,000 people.

Sunday’s smaller ceremony was a function of the calendar and the Constitution, which says presidents automatically begin their new terms at noon on Jan. 20. Because that date fell this year on a Sunday — a day on which inaugural ceremonies historically are not held — organizers scheduled a second, public swearing-in for Monday.

The mood in the nation’s capital was more subdued during this year’s inaugural festivities than it was four years ago, when Obama swept into office on a wave of national optimism, becoming the first black man to hold the nation’s highest office. Since then, he has endured fiscal fights with Congress and a bruising re-election campaign — and has the gray hair and lower approval ratings to show for it.

Ahead of his swearing in Sunday, Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, solemnly honored the nation’s fallen soldiers during a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. On a crisp, sun-splashed morning, Obama and Biden placed a large wreath adorned with red, white and blue ribbon, in front of Arlington’s Tomb of the Unknowns. Placing their hands over their hearts, the two leaders stood motionless as a bugler played “Taps.”

From Arlington, Obama joined his family at a church service celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. The president’s public swearing-in on Monday coincides with the national holiday marking the fallen civil rights leader’s birthday, and Obama has invoked King’s memory throughout the lead-up to the inauguration.

Biden took the oath of office earlier in the morning, surrounded by family and friends for a brief ceremony at the Naval Observatory, his official residence in northwest Washington. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, appointed by Obama as the first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court, administered the oath of office to Biden, who placed his hand on a Bible his family has used since 1893.

Among the 120 guests on hand to witness the vice president’s second swearing-in were Attorney General Eric Holder, departing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and several Democratic lawmakers.

The president’s address will set the stage for the policy objectives he seeks to achieve in his second term, including speeding up the economic recovery, passing comprehensive immigration and gun control measures and ending the war in Afghanistan. Aides said Obama would save the specifics of those agenda items for his Feb. 12 State of the Union address.

The president launched a weekend of inaugural activities Saturday by heading up a National Day of Service. Along with his family, Obama helped hundreds of volunteers spruce up a Washington area elementary school.


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Redlab says... January 20, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.

Obama is already sworn in and tomorrow is just a bunch of BS fluff that this country cannot afford but Obama doesn't care, he wants it all. He promised not to raise taxes but everyone paycheck had more taxes taken out so he is a liar and cannot be trusted. Wish people had seen this election day but they did not which is very sad. SMH

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HM2 says... January 20, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.

should have been sworn AT

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RonalFos says... January 20, 2013 at 6:59 p.m.

Obama is doing the same thing that Reagan did. Sworn in one day privately and the next day publicly. I didn't hear anyone complain about that once.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... January 20, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.

Only 800,000?

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cliffcarson says... January 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

About all you can hear on Mainstream media is who comes out best Obama or the Republican Party. Oh would I love for the Mainstream Media to pay attention to what is good for the American people.

But sadly it looks like the Republican Party is gearing up again to be an obstructionist Party, trying to continue to fail Obama instead of Governing for the good of America.

Saw a poll on TV today that said 40% of Republicans number one hope was that Obama would fail. Wouldn't it be great if that 40% would only hope for the American people.

Yes RonalFos, to hear many Republicans, this is the first time that any 2nd term President has every held a public Inauguration. Republicans will complain as long as the other skinned President lives in the White House.

I hope for America. That means I also hope for Obama. Finally that means that the Republicans are proving to you that they do not care about the American 99%.

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djigoo says... January 20, 2013 at 7:48 p.m.

I love how butthurt all the Baggers and Klansmen are about Barack HUSSEIN!!! Obama being sworn in for his second term.

I'd use the term "Schadenfreude," but I've heard that it's not nice to employ big words around simpletons.

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Redlab says... January 20, 2013 at 9:39 p.m.

RonalFos - The big difference is the economy and how much in debt we are, we were not in such a dire situation with Reagan and my comment was geared toward the economy aspect. Also I think when we do have a second term president, he should be sworn in without all the nonsense in the oval office. This should be done for all second term presidents and I have felt this way for many years. I find it interesting that you just picked Reagan and no one else hmmmmm.

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RonalFos says... January 20, 2013 at 10:06 p.m.

Most of the expense of the events tomorrow are paid by private funds and we have done these ceremonies in war or peace and in good times and bad. Don't watch if you don't like it.

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Redlab says... January 20, 2013 at 10:17 p.m.

RonalFos - I just asked you a question and yes you did answer it but your last sentence is uncalled for and unnecessary. Mind your manners!

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Redlab says... January 20, 2013 at 10:19 p.m.

RonalFos - Private contributions paying for the parties probably but not all the law enforcement that is being used in the area and from what I understand and read in the Washington Post, every law enforcement person is being used, no one is off, and this is from local and federal. The taxpayers are paying for most of this tomorrow not private contributions.

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