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

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Unlikely Before Monday

Tension builds over possible indictment of white police officer in shooting death of black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current Russian-backed rebels’ fight in east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid