Obama Takes Official Oath for Second Term
President Barack Obama took the official oath for his second term Sunday at the House. It was a small, private ceremony that had a subdued tone compared to the historic start of his presidency four years ago.
President Obama was joined by his family in the Blue Room of the White House. The president placed his hand on a family Bible and recited the 35 word oath that was read aloud by US Chief Justice John Roberts.
It was a somber start to the first African-American US president’s second term. It would be dominated by budget fights with Republicans and attempts to reform immigration and gun control laws. On Monday, President Obama will be sworn outside the West Front of the Capitol that overlooks the National Mall in front of as many as 800,000 people.
A lot of streets were closed in downtown Washington. Police sirens blared and outside the White House, a presidential viewing stand with bullet proof glass was set up for President Obama and other VIPs to watch the parade.
The ceremony last Sunday was shown live on TV. It was needed because the US Constitution requires the president to take office on January 20. Planners opted for a private ceremony on the actual date and then hold the ceremonial inaugural events the next day.
When Monday comes, President Obama will have been sworn in four times, twice for each term. It places him equal to Franklin Roosevelt, who won four terms. A second Obama swearing-in was required in 2009 when Roberts made a mistake on the first one. On Sunday, Roberts read the oath carefully from a card and made no mistakes.
President Obama opens his second term facing the same problems that he faced during his first four years in office. These include persistently high unemployment rate, deep partisan divide on how to solve the issues, and high government debt.