Obama takes humbler second oath
- Published: 21 Jan 2013 at 04.38
- Online news:
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama took the oath of office Sunday to begin his second term at a simple ceremony stripped of the hope and historic promise that greeted his inauguration four years ago.
Pageantry will come on Monday, when Obama retakes the oath in public at the US Capitol, but the stark swearing-in ritual at the White House epitomized the diminished resonance of a presidency forged in tough economic times."I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear..." Obama said, promising to "faithfully execute the office of President of the United States" and to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."Obama, with a slight smile, took the oath with his right hand raised, and his left on a family Bible held by his wife Michelle, wearing a blue dress, to match the decor of the oval White House Blue Room hosting the ceremony.Chief Justice Roberts, who stumbled when swearing in Obama to open his first term in 2009, slowly read each line of the oath out loud, before the president repeated phrases first intoned by George Washington, 224 years ago.Watched over by portraits of former presidents including Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Obama hugged his wife and children Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, before quipping: "I did it" to his youngest daughter.In tune with her social media age, Michelle Obama later sent a personal tweet saying: "Barack just took the official oath at the @WhiteHouse & used my grandma's bible for the ceremony. I'm so proud of him. -- mo."Obama, 51, will embark on a second term at a time of deep partisan division in Washington, and will face foreign crises testing his legacy, including Iran's nuclear program and resurgent Islamist militancy in North Africa.Senior aide David Plouffe said the president would use his second inaugural address Monday before an expected 500,000 plus crowd -- much smaller than in 2009 -- to stress the national truths Americans share."He is going to talk about how our founding principles and values can still guide us in today's modern and changing world," Plouffe said on the ABC News show "This Week.""He is going to say that our political system does not require us to resolve all of our differences or settle all of our disputes, but it is absolutely imperative that our leaders try and seek common ground."Obama took the oath of office on Sunday to comply with the US Constitution, which dictates his first term ends at noon on January 20.Tradition states that when that date falls on a Sunday, a private swearing-in...
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