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Obama sworn in for 2nd term in White House

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By McClatchy Newspapers
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, 9:08 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — President Obama was sworn in for a second term on Sunday in a small private ceremony in the White House as the nation's capital prepared for a full inauguration on Monday.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered the oath to the 44th president in the company of only a few family members.

Obama will participate in the public swearing-in on Monday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, following the lead of his predecessors whose terms began on Sundays. As many as 800,000 people are expected to attend, compared with 1.8 million who poured into the city in 2009 to witness the swearing-in of the nation's first black president.

Obama begins his second four-year term with ambitions to overhaul the nation's tax code, rewrite immigration laws, tighten gun regulations and combat global warming.

He faces a fractured political climate as he confronts such challenges as boosting a lagging economy and winding down the war in Afghanistan.

At the brief ceremony on Sunday, there was little acknowledgement of the daunting tasks that lie ahead.

Obama, wearing a suit and blue tie, was joined by his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, just before noon in the Blue Room on the first floor of the White House. About a dozen other relatives, including the president's half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, and brother, Craig Robinson, watched from across the room.

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God,” Obama recited.

As he uttered the words, Obama placed his left hand on a Bible held by his wife and used by the first lady's grandmother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson, the first black female manager of the bookstore at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

After the one-minute ceremony, Roberts and Obama shook hands.

“Congratulations, Mr. President,” Roberts said.

“Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice,” Obama responded. “Thank you so much.”

Then Obama hugged his wife and daughters while his family clapped.

“Good job, Daddy,” Sasha whispered.

Obama responded, “I did it,” before Sasha said, “You didn't mess up.”

Obama followed presidential precedent in choosing the chief justice — a man he did not support for the Supreme Court and who, in 2009, botched the oath, requiring a do-over the next day.

A small group of reporters and photographers was present in the room to witness the proceedings.

It is the seventh time that inauguration day has fallen on a Sunday, and the first since President Reagan's second term began in 1985.

 

 
 


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