Inauguration of Barack Obama |
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Inauguration of Barack Obama

  • The DC Metro is giving out wristbands so #inauguration visitors remember where they came from.

  • DC Metro had an army of people deployed to help #inauguration visitors. Tourists commenting it is much less crowded today than in '09.
  • NEWS WE Need RT “@senatecafes: Need coffee??? Come to the Senate Carryout -- we are open for coffee sales. Hot food and oatmeal at 630am.”
  • Coffee is for sale at the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, but the shops in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are closed today - Inauguration Day. The city is much less crowded than it was four years ago. Security is ultra-tight. The scene inside the Capitol building is cheerful - Capitol police and secret service everywhere. I came across a group of members of the U.S. Marine Band - and a colorguard - finding their way to the platform.
  • DC Metro just sent out an alert asking that only customers with Inaugural tickets use the Federal Center SW station due to heavy traffic.
  • RT @gabrielsherman: Fox&Friends just announced today is the "most depressing day of the year."
  • From - President Obama averaged 49.1% job approval in his first term in office, including 48.1% in his fourth year. His first-term average is similar to Bill Clinton's, with only Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter having lower averages.
  • The inauguration crowds in front of the Capitol building and on the National Mall are getting large.
  • President Obama's motorcade just left the White House - he is on his way to church.
  • It is not a long motorcade trip - St. John's Episcopal Church is just across the park from the White House. He normally walks to services.
  • President Obama is accompanied to church by the first lady, his mother-in-law and his two daughters. Cheers as he waves to the crowd.
  • VP Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, are now walking into St. John's Episcopal church.
  • There's a ceremonial Inaugural joint session of Congress at 11:30 today - not expecting a lot of Republicans to be around.
  • Our Steve Holland reports on Michelle Obama's inaugural fashion. WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. first lady Michelle Obama chose a Thom Browne coat and dress for President Barack Obama's inauguration events on Monday.
    The fabric of the navy blue coat and dress was developed based on the style of a man's silk tie, according to the first lady's office.
    Her belt is from J. Crew and she wore a necklace designed by Cathy Waterman. She also wore J. Crew shoes.
    "At the end of the inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives," the first lady's office said.
    Obama's older daughter, Malia, was wearing a J.Crew ensemble while his younger one, Sasha, was wearing a Kate Spade coat and dress.
  • The section of the National Mall east of 7th Street for those without tickets is closed.
  • Showing my age - when I hear this Sousa march I think of the old Monty Python show. It's the first section of Sousa's "The Liberty Bell"
  • My colleague David Lawder ran into Senator Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, at a coffee shop in the Capitol basement, where Menendez was getting a yogurt parfait for breakfast. Watching a TV screen showing CNN inauguration coverage, he said the pomp and circumstance of a presidential inauguration never gets old. “This is always exciting,” he said. “There’s always the sense of a new beginning.”

    But he quickly turned to an embattled legislative agenda, saying he hoped the Senate would pass a long-delayed $60 billion aid package for victims of Superstorm Sandy this week. He added he was not sure how the Senate would deal with House Republicans’ gambit for a three-month debt limit extension that would require the Senate to pass its first budget in nearly four years by April 15. “I don’t know how you turn it down,” he said, but much depended on the conditions attached.
  • The inauguration crowds have amassed on the Mall - and I can hear the cheers as the president's motorcade makes it way to the Capitol.
  • The vice president and president are at the Capitol. President Obama walked in, followed by Chuck Schumer. "I missed this place," Obama says
  • Colleagues near the Capitol entrance reporting that Bill Clinton and a "well-rested-looking" Hillary have just come in.
  • The Clintons walk onto the platform, both looking rest, with big smiles. Hillary Clinton greets President Carter with a warm hug.
  • Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn arrive for the swearing-in ceremonies for President Barack Obama on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

  • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) departs the White House with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in Washington January 21, 2013, enroute The U.S. Capitol for his ceremonial swearing-in for his second term. Schumer is the Chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. REUTERS/Chris Kleponis

  • Vice President Biden is announced

  • Hundreds of thousands of people fill the National Mall for inauguration ceremonies in Washington. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

  • Recording artists Beyonce (R) and Jay-Z arrive ahead of the swearing-in ceremonies for U.S. President Barack Obama on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

  • President Barack Obama arrives for his swearing-in ceremonies on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. REUTERS/Jason Reed

  • First lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia watch as President Barack Obama is greeted by Vice President Biden as he arrives for his swearing-in ceremonies on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. REUTERS/Jason Reed

  • Obama looks "to finish what we started" as 2nd term begins by John Whitesides

    WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Four years after making history by becoming the first African-American president, Barack Obama will kick off his second term on Monday with a scaled-back inauguration that reflects the tempered expectations for his next four years in office.

    Lingering high unemployment, bitter political battles and a divisive re-election campaign have tempered the mood of optimism and hope that infused Obama's 2009 inauguration after he was swept into office on a mantle of hope and change.

    This time, Obama's inauguration will feature smaller crowds and fewer inaugural balls and parties to match the more subdued tenor of the times.

    But Obama, seeking to build on momentum from his decisive re-election on Nov. 6, will lay out a vision for the next four years in his inauguration speech while trumpeting several notable first-term achievements, including a healthcare overhaul, ending the war in Iraq and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

    Read on
  • Myrlie Evers-Williams leads inaugural invocation

  • President Barack Obama greets former President Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the presidential inauguration in Washington. REUTERS/Win McNamee/Pool

  • This time, the public swearing-in (amazing how quick it is) went off without a hitch.
  • The quick ceremonial swearing-in and then "Hail to the Chief." Quite a sight with the flag and the huge crowds. Cannons are going off.
  • He said "Barack H. Obama" - not Barack Hussein Obama. You don't hear his middle initial - or name - used that often.
  • Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to President Barack Obama during ceremonies in Washington. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

  • Prepared remarks for President Obama's second inauguration address

    Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

    Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

    For more than two hundred years, we have.

    Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

    Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

    Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

    Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

    Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

    But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

    This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

    For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

    We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

    We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

    We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

    We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.

    We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

    It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

    That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

    For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

    My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

    They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.

    You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

    You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

    Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

    Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.
  • President Obama is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Roberts, as first lady Obama and their daughters look on during inauguration ceremonies in Washington. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

  • Kelly Clarkson - a big Ron Paul supporter - is singing "My country tis of Thee."
  • And yes, for our British friends, the song she is singing does have the same tune as "God Save the Queen." (or King,depending)
  • Time lapse video shows crowds filling up the National Mall for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

  • Obama urges political cooperation, uplift of middle class

    WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama called for a focus on the prosperity of the middle class rather than the success of an elite few and urged politicians to set aside harsh partisan divides to address pressing economic problems.

    "America's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of the middle class," Obama said on Monday in his inaugural address.

    "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect," he said in his speech from Capitol Hill.
  • Spectators react on the National Mall during the 57th inauguration ceremonies for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the West front of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

  • Kelly Clarkson sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee" during swearing-in ceremonies for President Barack Obama on the West front of the U.S Capitol in Washington. REUTERS/Jason Reed

  • Beyonce sings the National Anthem as President Barack Obama and Senator Schumer listen during swearing-in ceremonies on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

  • Barack Obama took the oath of office and was sworn in for his second term as president of the United States. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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