News

Tight Security Expected for Bush Inauguration

Security is expected to be very tight in Washington when President George Bush is inaugurated for a second term on January 20.  Security planners are concerned about terrorists and protesters.

The president seems anxious to begin his second term and start tackling some of the campaign pledges he made to reform the tax system and the government pension program known as Social Security.

"I like to confront problems," said Mr. Bush.  "I like to work with people so that we can say we left behind a better America after it is all said and done, and I do not have that much time here in Washington, so I am ready to work."

But before the work can begin in earnest, the president must take the constitutionally required oath of office on January 20, an American political ritual that has taken place every four years since George Washington was sworn in as the nation's first president in 1789.

This will be the first presidential inauguration since the 2001 terrorist attacks and security will be extremely tight.  Security officials are saying little about their plans to counter the threat of both terrorism and protesters, but thousands of police are expected to be on hand for the inauguration ceremony, parade, and formal balls.

Anti-war activists are planning extensive protests around the inaugural.  Gael Murphy is with a group called Code Pink, Women for Peace.

"I would say that it is going to be quite difficult to disrupt events," she noted.  "But I think that it is critical for our voices to be heard, not just for this administration to hear our voices, but for the rest of the world to know that we are still mobilized, that we are still opposing the Bush policies."

Historically, presidential inaugurations have been opportunities for the incoming or re-elected president to heal the political divide from the election just past and unify the country.

President Bush made an attempt at that four-years ago following his narrow victory over Al Gore.

"And this is my solemn pledge.  I will work to build a single nation of justice and opportunity," he said.

Mr. Bush won a more convincing victory this time, by winning 51-48 percent of the vote over Democrat John Kerry.

Marvin Krantz is a historian at the Library of Congress in Washington.  He says many Americans view a presidential inauguration as an important symbol of the continuity of democracy.

"But clearly, the presidential inauguration marks a kind of change and it is part and parcel of what we are as Americans because we accept this sense of change," he said.  "We know it is a legitimate change and we accept it, even in times of stress, we recognize this.  And those of us who might be in opposition who comes into office, he is still the president of all of us and we have to live under the new rules that are established."

But some political analysts believe the president faces a daunting challenge in trying to bring the country together in the wake of another close election.

Professor John White is an expert on U.S. presidents at Catholic University in Washington.

"I am sure the president will try to do that [bring the country together] with this inauguration.  But given the deep divisions within the country, divisions that have only deepened in the past four years, I think it is going to be harder for him to try to bring the country together even though he won a decisive victory," said Mr. White.

The president will take the oath of office around midday on January 20 at an outdoor ceremony in front of the U.S. Capitol building.  Mr. Bush will then review a parade that includes 10,000 marchers and features 45 marching bands.  In the evening, the president and First Lady Laura Bush will attend several inaugural balls where supporters will celebrate his re-election victory in November.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs