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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid