News / USA

Huge Crowd Awaits Inauguration Ceremony

Spectators wave American flags on the National Mall in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, before the start of President Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Spectators wave American flags on the National Mall in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, before the start of President Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
After being formally sworn in for his second term at the White House in a brief ceremony Sunday, as required by the U.S. Constitution, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will appear at the U.S. Capitol Monday for a public celebration as they repeat their oaths of office again before hundreds of thousands of people on Washington's National Mall. 

It won't be as large as the crowd of 1.3 million people who witnessed the nation's first African-American president take the oath in 2009, but the more than 600,000 people expected will pack the huge mall stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.
Obama and Biden begin the day at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, where chief executives have attended services throughout U.S. history.

They then go to the Capitol.  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to the president.  The nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, swears in Biden.

President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.
x
President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.
President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.
Obama will put his hand on two Bibles - President Abraham Lincoln's from his 1861 inauguration, and another carried by the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The inauguration ceremony this year happens to occur on the national holiday established to honor Dr. King.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington and the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation that initiated the process of freeing slaves in America.

Giving the invocation will be Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, who was murdered 50 years ago in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi.

The Constitution requires that a U.S. president be sworn into office on January 20, so President Obama actually took the oath of office in the White House on Sunday.  His wife, Michelle, held a family Bible for Obama as he repeated the presidential oath, read by Justice Roberts.

Highlights

Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
x
Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Monday's public inauguration will feature musical performances by James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce, and a poem by Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco.  Obama and Biden will attend a traditional luncheon inside the Capitol building, then participate in the inaugural parade to the White House.  Later, they attend two inaugural balls.

After beginning his first term grappling with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Obama starts his second amid a mix of optimism and pessimism about the direction of the country.

Polls show there is more optimism about what he can accomplish in his second term.  A majority of Americans have a favorable view of the president.

But fewer than half believe Obama and opposition Republicans can end partisan bickering to prioritize reducing unemployment and fixing fiscal problems.

John Hudak is an expert in governance at the Brookings Institution.  He says Obama may be less concerned about his legacy, and more with getting things done.

"I think in a lot of ways what the president will be known most for has already happened: his health care law, his removal of troops from Iraq and a host of other areas.  What he is looking to do now is address problems," Hudak said.

Related video clip

Related video of Obama's second inaugurationi
X
January 21, 2013 3:54 PM
As many as 800,000 people are expected to crowd the National Mall to witness President Barack Obama's second inauguration. The crowds began gathering early in the morning -- many of them coming in by Metro.

Inaugural address

Aides say Obama has been editing and refining his inaugural address.  The White House is expected to release excerpts shortly before he speaks.

While he may make reference to political gridlock in Washington, Obama is not expected to adopt a confrontational tone in the speech.

In remarks to supporters late on Sunday, President Obama spoke about the significance of the inauguration to him.
 
"What the inauguration reminds us of is the role we have as fellow citizens in promoting a common good," he noted, "even as we carry out our individual responsibilities, the sense that there is something larger than ourselves, that gives shape and meaning to our lives.”

Obama's inaugural address occurs about three weeks before his State of the Union Address on February 12 to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a speech traditionally used to lay out specific policy objectives.

Obama's second term agenda includes continuing economic recovery, reforming U.S. immigration law, gun control legislation, and overseeing the drawdown of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid