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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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
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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid