Obama sworn in today in private ceremony

AP Photo/The New York Times, Doug Mills
President Barack Obama is officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Sunday Jan. 20, 2013. Next to Obama are first lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson Family Bible, and daughters Malia and Sasha.
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WASHINGTON — Stepping into his second term, President Barack Obama took the oath of office today 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.

President Barack Obama is officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Sunday Jan. 20, 2013. Next to Obama are first lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson Family Bible, and daughters Malia and Sasha.  AP Photo/ Charles Dharapak
AP Photo/ Charles Dharapak
President Barack Obama is officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Sunday Jan. 20, 2013. Next to Obama are first lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson Family Bible, and daughters Malia and Sasha.

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.

The Rev. Jonathan V. Newton, an assistant pastor at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, prayed for God to prepare Obama for battle, “because sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way.”

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.

A crowd of up to 800,000 people is expected to gather on the National Mall to witness Obama’s second swearing-in, which will take place on the Capitol’s red, white and blue bunting-draped west front. Roberts, who famously flubbed the oath of office that Obama took in 2009, will administer the oath on Monday.

Once the celebrations are over, Obama will plunge into a second-term agenda still dominated by the economy, which slowly churned out of recession during his first four years in office. The president will also try to cement his legacy with sweeping domestic changes, pledging to achieve both an immigration overhaul and stricter gun laws despite opposition from a divided Congress.

But for one weekend at least, Washington was putting politics aside. Obama called the nation’s inaugural traditions “a symbol of how our democracy works and how we peacefully transfer power.”

“But it should also be an affirmation that we’re all in this together,” he said Saturday, as he opened a weekend of inaugural activities at a Washington elementary school.

Obama and Biden were to address supporters Sunday evening at an inaugural reception.

The president planned to save his most expansive remarks for Monday’s inaugural address to the crowd gathered on the Mall and millions more watching across the country and the world. Obama started working on the speech in early December and was still tinkering with it into the weekend, aides said.

Local officials were busy touching up Washington for all the hundreds of thousands of guests arriving for Monday’s swearing-in. Work crews were trimming overgrown grass and trash from walkways along city underpasses, erecting first aid tents and setting up traffic detours. Swarms of tourists easily roamed city streets Sunday ahead of the pedestrian gridlock sure to come with Monday’s full inaugural program.

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.

Obama wore rubber gloves, picked up a paint brush and helped volunteers stain a bookshelf.

Obama added the service event to the inaugural schedule in 2009 and is hoping it becomes a tradition followed for future presidents.

Mrs. Obama, speaking to volunteers Sunday, espoused the importance of giving back in the midst of the weekend of pomp, circumstance and celebration.

“The reason why we’re here, why we’re standing here, why we’re able to celebrate this weekend is because a lot of people worked hard and supported us, and we’ve got a job to do and this is a symbol of the kind of work that we need to be doing the next four years,” Michelle Obama said at Burrville Elementary.

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dichotomy
33058
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dichotomy 01/20/13 - 02:44 pm
7
4
I privately swore a little

I privately swore a little bit a couple of times this morning too.

happychimer
17720
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happychimer 01/20/13 - 04:16 pm
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2
We have a beautiful First

We have a beautiful First Family.May God bless them and our country.

CobaltGeorge
159354
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CobaltGeorge 01/20/13 - 04:53 pm
2
6
I Guess

the good Christian Bible is no long accepted.

CobaltGeorge
159354
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CobaltGeorge 01/20/13 - 04:54 pm
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4
Happy

Our country sure will need some God's blessing.

happychimer
17720
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happychimer 01/20/13 - 06:32 pm
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10
You survived the last 4

You survived the last 4 years, and you will survive the next 4 years. I am very proud of our President and the job he has done and is going to do. Time will be kind to him.God is in control, so I put my trust in Him. God knows best, and everything happens for a reason.

Fiat_Lux
15445
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Fiat_Lux 01/20/13 - 07:26 pm
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7
He used a Bible from Michelle's family

probably because he doesn't have one of his own he could use.

In my opinion, this man is a defilement of the presidency. What that says about so many of my fellow Americans is too distressing to think about for more than a few seconds at a time.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 07:34 pm
5
6
Lol, Fiat

That was priceless.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 07:40 pm
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5
And exactly like you know who

And exactly like you know who feels. He won't discuss Obama and this mess for more than 3 sentences.

SFCRET85
4998
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SFCRET85 01/20/13 - 08:24 pm
4
7
KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 08:32 pm
4
5
Guess we can identify the

Guess we can identify the downers.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 08:31 pm
4
5
How come the two girls looked

How come the two girls looked so glum in the pics? Moo had a big grin.

happychimer
17720
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happychimer 01/20/13 - 08:48 pm
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5
Yall sound like fox news.

Yall sound like fox news.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 08:49 pm
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5
Poor Obama

He is probably the first American president to be sworn in with so few members of his family he could invite. Surely his mother's parents had siblings and he had American cousins. Where are they? Were they all only children?

Or perhaps their existence, or nonexistence, is sealed, like his records.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 08:51 pm
4
5
Whatever happened to the

Whatever happened to the illegal alien aunt? Is she still here or has she been deported?

What am I thinking. Of course she has not been deported.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 08:53 pm
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5
If you are referring to me, I

If you are referring to me, I don't watch Fox News. I do my own research.

happychimer
17720
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happychimer 01/20/13 - 08:54 pm
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5
This was a private ceremony.

This was a private ceremony. the big one is tomorrow. If you read the article, you will know why there are 2 ceremonies.

happychimer
17720
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happychimer 01/20/13 - 09:10 pm
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7
SFCRET85 I like that song. It

SFCRET85 I like that song. It is very suited for those who refuse to face the fact that the voters chose Barack Obama.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 09:36 pm
5
5
Why do you think I don't know there are 2 ceremonies?

His people not considered good enough to attend the private one?

So you are saying he doesn't consider his family members worthy of the private ceremony? Perhaps not worthy of associating with his children and his wife's family? They are sealed, like all of his records?

I would love for any 0 supporter to explain this behavior. Or the media? If this was about a Rebup, they would be digging out every possible detail.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 09:24 pm
6
5
Are Obama supporters actually

Are Obama supporters actually embarrassed about the illegal alien aunt and the live in a box half brother? Or are you embarrassed he has not taken care of them? Does it not fit with his generosity reputation?

Young Fred
17467
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Young Fred 01/20/13 - 10:45 pm
5
4
I may be wrong, but it seems

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the Obama supporters, blindly support the man. Politics and blindness are a dangerous combination, at least from what I've seen in my short lifetime.

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/20/13 - 11:22 pm
5
5
Young Fred

They listen to what he says, but pay no attention to what he later says and does.

OpenCurtain
10049
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OpenCurtain 01/21/13 - 08:11 am
3
2
The next 4 years will test

the strength of our US Constitution vs. a Presidents socialist agenda.

Remember he WILL appoint at least 1 Supreme Court Justice, likely 2. So he may still get his way with a stacked deck.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 01/21/13 - 09:21 am
3
3
Happychimer....what exactly
Unpublished

Happychimer....what exactly has he done that you are so proud of?

SPARKSTER83
259
Points
SPARKSTER83 01/21/13 - 10:06 am
1
0
JESUS IS MY PRESIDENT
Unpublished

JESUS IS MY PRESIDENT EVERYDAY ,NOT JUST FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS!!!!!

freeradical
1078
Points
freeradical 01/21/13 - 10:28 am
4
3
Another 200 + rounds of golf

Another 200 + rounds of golf , Haiwaian / martha vineyard vactions

while he deeply contemplates the ever expanding food stamp nation

and loses sleep over the disappearing " middle class "

That George Bush makes me so mad !

rebellious
20780
Points
rebellious 01/21/13 - 11:11 am
1
2
2 swearing ins

hopefully two swearing in ceremonies will make the president more apt to follow and support the Constitution of the United States of America

KSL
130050
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KSL 01/21/13 - 02:06 pm
0
3
I wouldn't count on it,

I wouldn't count on it, especially based on the words that have come out of his mouth.

Fiat_Lux
15445
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/21/13 - 06:38 pm
0
2
Honestly, I don't think he's going to prevail on some things

like overturning the 2nd Amendment to any remarkable extent. He just won't likely be able to get that further than executive branch tyranny.

I'm a lot more worried that he may try to pull something to extend his time in office, in which case, we probably will have a civil war on our hands once more. That would be very bad indeed, but I don't think Obadnews would really care very much.

I just hope the joint chiefs and all the officer corps recall that they swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, not to protect any particular public or elected official.

happychimer
17720
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happychimer 01/21/13 - 09:25 pm
1
0
Angela I don't have to

Angela I don't have to explain to you what all our President has done for me to be proud of him.My thoughts are mine, and they sure aren't bitter thoughts.

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