Obama sworn in for second term in White House ceremony

WASHINGTON Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:10pm IST

U.S President Barack Obama (L) takes the oath of office from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as first lady Michelle Obama holds the bible and their daughters Malia and Sasha (L-R) look on in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S President Barack Obama (L) takes the oath of office from U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts as first lady Michelle Obama holds the bible and their daughters Malia and Sasha (L-R) look on in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, January 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

Related Topics

Polluted waters of China

Polluted waters of China

Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers, and factory wastewater have degraded China's water supplies to the extent that half the nation's rivers and lakes are severely polluted.  Slideshow 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama took the official oath for his second term on Sunday at the White House in a small, private ceremony that set a more subdued tone compared to the historic start of his presidency four years ago.

Gathered with his family in the Blue Room on the White House's ceremonial main floor, Obama put his hand on a Bible and recited the 35-word oath that was read to him by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts.

Obama hugged his wife Michelle and said, "Thank you," after she congratulated him at the swearing-in.

Obama, who became the first African-American U.S. president four years ago, will be sworn in publicly for his second term on Monday in a much bigger ceremony before an audience of as many as 800,000 people outside the U.S. Capitol.

Sunday's ceremony was needed because the U.S. Constitution mandates that the president take office on January 20. Planners opted to go with a private ceremony on the actual date and then hold the symbolic inaugural activities the next day.

Obama will have been sworn in four times, two for each term, putting him equal to Franklin Roosevelt, who served four terms. A second swearing-in was needed in 2009 when Roberts flubbed the first one.

Obama, who won a second term on November 7 by defeating Republican Mitt Romney, opens round two facing many of the same problems that dogged his first term: persistently high unemployment, crushing debt and a deep partisan divide over how to solve the issues.

This has taken some of the euphoria out of Obama's second inauguration, but he got a boost at a rousing service at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Washington where he and his wife Michelle, who is sporting a new hair style featuring bangs, clapped and swayed to gospel music.

"Forward, forward," shouted Pastor Ronald Braxton to his congregation, echoing an Obama election campaign slogan.

Early Sunday morning, Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, making her the first Hispanic judge to administer an oath of office for one of the nation's two highest offices.

Obama and Biden then joined forces to lay a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in a solemn remembrance of those killed in the line of duty.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Alistair Bell and Jackie Frank)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

WORLD SHOWCASE

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia.  Full Article 

'National Hero' Dead

'National Hero' Dead

Sierra Leone's top Ebola doctor dies from virus.  Full Article 

Malaysia Tourism

Malaysia Tourism

Malaysia tries to parlay appeal to Muslim visitors into medical tourism push.  Full Article 

Graft Crackdown

Graft Crackdown

Exclusive: China's Xi reached deal with former leaders to investigate ex-security chief - sources.  Full Article 

Cyber Attack

Cyber Attack

Israel's 'Iron Dome' makers were hit by hackers, expert says.  Full Article 

Campus Flooding

Campus Flooding

Massive water main break floods UCLA campus.  Video 

Quality Issues

Quality Issues

In China food testing, safety inspectors are often one step behind.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage