News / USA

US Excitement Tempered for Obama's Second Inaugural

Dress rehearsal for military participation in the 57th presidential inauguration, western steps of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, Jan. 13, 2013.
Dress rehearsal for military participation in the 57th presidential inauguration, western steps of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, Jan. 13, 2013.
President Barack Obama will be inaugurated for a second four-year term in office before a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people gathered Monday near the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
 
“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord," Obama told the nearly two million gathered to witness the swearing in of the country’s first African-American president in January of 2009.
 
But four years later, the national mood has been tempered by political realities of a divided government that has frustrated voters around the country. Like many second-term presidents, Obama faces the challenge of rallying support for the next four years after bruising first-term battles with Congress.
 
Tempered Excitement For Obama's 2nd Inaugurali
X
January 16, 2013 11:18 PM
President Barack Obama will be publicly inaugurated for a second four-year term in office on Monday (January 21st) before an expected crowd of hundreds of thousands of people gathered near the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The national mood is noticeably different for this year’s inauguration compared to when Mr. Obama was first sworn into office four years ago. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone reports from Washington.
“Four years later, most presidents have discovered it is not as easy to bring about fundamental change," says presidential historian Richard Norton Smith. "You pick up a lot of scars in the course of four years, let alone eight.”
 
But regardless of changed political sentiments, each inauguration provides the country an opportunity for national unity and a pause in Washington's partisan battles.
 
“It is something that takes place every four years, war or peace, no matter what," says Marvin Kranz, who has researched presidential inaugurations for years with the Library of Congress, and describes the event as a kind of ritual of "American civil religion" in which the orator has a chance to make their mark on history.
 
Franklin Roosevelt did it in 1933 with his first inaugural address at the height of the Great Depression: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
 
President John Kennedy did it in 1961 with a famous appeal for citizens to engage public service: “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
 
According to Republican analyst Scot Faulkner, President Obama will be thinking of his place in history as he delivers his second inaugural address.
 
“Obama is looking at legacy now," says Faulkner. "He is not looking at re-election, and he has got the [upcoming] State of the Union message where he can deal with a much more detailed legislative agenda. So my assumption is his inaugural address will be one for the ages.”
 
The U.S. Constitution says about specifics of a presidential inauguration, other than requiring the president to take an oath swearing to “faithfully execute the Office of President” and “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”
 
The other rituals now associated with presidential inaugurals – the inaugural address, the parade and formal balls – evolved as traditions over time.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More