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Obama sworn in for 4 more years in office

By David Espo

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:10 a.m. HST, Jan 20, 2013

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama was sworn in for four more years today in a simple ceremony at the White House, embarking on a second-term quest to restore a still-shaky economy and combat terrorists overseas while swearing an age-old oath to "preserve, protect and defend" the Constitution.

"I did it," a smiling president said to his daughter Sasha seconds after following Chief Justice John Roberts in reciting the oath of office. First lady Michelle Obama and the couple's other daughter, Malia, were among relatives who bore witness.

The quiet moments were prelude to Monday's public inaugural events when Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol before a crowd expected to reach into the hundreds of thousands and a television audience counted in the millions.

The trappings were in place — the flag-draped stands ready outside the Capitol and the tables set inside for a traditional lunch with lawmakers. Across town, a specially made reviewing stand rested outside the White House gates for the president and guests to watch the traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

A crowd of perhaps 800,000 was forecast, less than the million-plus that thronged to the nation's capital four years ago to witness the inauguration of the first black president in American history.

The weather forecast was encouraging, to a point. High temperatures were predicted for the lower 40s during the day, with scattered snow showers during the evening, when two inaugural balls closed out the official proceedings.

The 44th chief executive is only the 17th to win re-election, and his second-term goals are ambitious for a country where sharp political differences have produced gridlocked government in recent years.

Restoration of the economy to full strength and pressing the worldwide campaign against terrorists sit atop the agenda. He also wants to reduce federal deficits and win immigration and gun control legislation from Congress, where Republicans control the House.

If he needed a reminder of the challenges he faces, he got one from half-way around the globe. An Algerian security official disclosed the discovery of 25 additional bodies at a gas plant where radical Islamists last week took dozens of foreign workers hostage.

In Washington, tourists strolled leisurely on an unseasonably warm day.

"I'm very proud of him and what he's trying to do for immigration, women's rights, what they call 'Obamacare,' and concerns for the middle class," said Patricia Merritt, a retired educator from San Antonio, in town with her daughter and granddaughter to see the inauguration and parade as well as historic sites. "I think he's more disrespected than any other president," she added, referring to his critics.

Sean Payton, an operations analyst from Highland Ranch, Colo., said he hoped to hear "a nice eloquent speech that makes people feel good about being an American."

Republicans lent a touch of bipartisanship to the weekend.

"We always want any president to succeed, to do well, that means America does well and Americans do well," Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Obama took the oath in the White House Blue Room where portraits of Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Tyler grace the walls. He placed a hand on a Bible held by his wife. His daughters stood nearby.

The nation's political divisions seemed scarcely to intrude as Obama, a Democrat, shook hands with Roberts, a Republican appointee, in a rite that renews American democracy every four years. Unlike four years ago, when Roberts stumbled verbally, the chief justice recited the oath without error.

Before the swearing-in, the president listened from a second-row pew at the 175-year-old Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church as the Rev. Jonathan V. Newman asked God's blessing for the him and his family. "But also prepare him for battle ... because sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way," he said.

Like Obama, Biden began his day early. He attended Catholic Mass at his official residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory a few miles from the White House. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice and an Obama appointee, administered the oath of office.

Biden then joined Obama at the cemetery, where the two men placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and observed a moment of silence as a bugler sounded "Taps."


Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Josh Lederman, Matthew Daly and Stacy Anderson contributed to this report.


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8086884254 wrote:
I LOVE my president! Yippee!
on January 20,2013 | 06:36AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
You are seriously delusional.
on January 20,2013 | 10:17AM
kawikakoike96819 wrote:
HatersGonnaHate GO OBAMA!
on January 20,2013 | 01:30PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Do not confuse hate with outright fraud.
on January 20,2013 | 01:50PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Yes party first, you're a fraud. TY
on January 20,2013 | 02:04PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Explain the "fraud" part without mouthing off something you learned from Fox channel!
on January 20,2013 | 09:15PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
We can only hope that Aretha won't wear the same hat.
on January 20,2013 | 08:11AM
serious wrote:
If you think HE inherit a mess four years ago just look at what he has now.
on January 20,2013 | 08:37AM
frontman wrote:
I hope America can survive 4 more years of tax and spend.
on January 20,2013 | 08:46AM
stingray65 wrote:
Frontman: Maybe America will survive this time, Obama cannot blame anyone before him, it was him started something and we hope he finish what he planned to change. All he need to do, cut off all foreign aids, he already planned to cut Military budget, cut down Welfare, and among other things. Maybe he can approve to dig more oil wells in United States.
on January 20,2013 | 09:49AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Have you looked at the market recently? The very essence of "capitalism" is at it's highest point in over 5 years! I hope they stay on the same course of "tax and spend as you like to call it" for 4 more years because my net worth will likely double again.
on January 20,2013 | 01:32PM
frontman wrote:
We will be in financial collapse like Greece, Spain, France and Ireland way before the four years are up. He can't tax us enough just to pay the bills he has created.
on January 20,2013 | 02:52PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Cry all you want while my net worth continues to go up! I, like most of Americans, also saw my taxes go down! Try breathing while you wait for the collapse - it may actually put some much needed oxygen into your head.
on January 20,2013 | 09:04PM
2Lolo wrote:
Your precious net worth, ladeeedah! Meanwhile OB and his Wall Street cohorts have been printing so much paper that your net worth is probably down a good percentile. In terms of real dollar value, the DJIA is somewhere in the mid 9000s. And how broad is the volume? Last year it went up and down like a yoyo whenever some real selling kicked in.
on January 20,2013 | 10:27PM
bsdetection wrote:
I agree! Bring back the Republican BORROW and spend policies that created the depression.
on January 20,2013 | 05:34PM
pastormatt wrote:
It's tough to blame republicans while the democrats are currently promoting the borrowing and spending attitude. Your words ring hollow and hypocritical.
on January 20,2013 | 07:28PM
oxtail01 wrote:
What's hypocritical is a guy named "pastor" blaming others! Get it?
on January 20,2013 | 09:13PM
pastormatt wrote:
Did not know that the president was calling himself pastor now. He is the only one still blaming others. The Democrats are currently spending more than they take in, while the republicans have learned to cut back. It is too easy to sit back and call names and argue about politics while the ones who are actually in charge and should be responsible are inciting their masses to defend them. Blind faith may be what you have in him, so maybe the president is your pastor...
on January 20,2013 | 10:21PM
menloboy wrote:
on January 20,2013 | 08:55AM
serious wrote:
My thoughts exactly--If you saw Meet the Press this morning, they all agreed, there could be a consensus, an agreement, in DC if he weren't so arrogant. It's them and us!!!
on January 20,2013 | 10:05AM
oxtail01 wrote:
He already did - God allowed Obama to win!
on January 20,2013 | 01:33PM
al_kiqaeda wrote:
Please don't treat God like an ATM or jackpot machine. God teaches how to deal things like losing and winning...not how to pray to get your way.
on January 20,2013 | 04:39PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Tell that to the right wingers!
on January 20,2013 | 09:05PM
jetset wrote:
Yes! God help us all because now we are all losers and we have four more years. I am not sure we will survive four more. What are some of you people thinking? Keep up the good work - are you insane?
on January 20,2013 | 04:39PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Please don't include the majority of Americans in your loser group!
on January 20,2013 | 09:10PM
HD36 wrote:
MLK's speech rings out today : America be warned "You are too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways I will rise up and break the backbone of your power and place it in a nation that doesn't know my name. Prophetic. The backbone of our power was our economic might, and the country that's rising is China.
on January 20,2013 | 09:14AM
stingray65 wrote:
China owns America already!!
on January 20,2013 | 09:50AM
jussayin wrote:
Yup, invest in China.
on January 20,2013 | 10:21AM
oxtail01 wrote:
Have you ever been there? I have been in China over 20 times already and what you see is Chinese being more capitalistic than US. They don't own us - WE OWN THEM!
on January 20,2013 | 01:34PM
frontman wrote:
Pass the pipe..........we own nothing but 16 TRILLION of debt.
on January 20,2013 | 02:54PM
HD36 wrote:
You said it oxass, the Chinese are more capitalistic than America. Your logic is perverted at best. The creditor owns the debtor.
on January 20,2013 | 08:13PM
oxtail01 wrote:
It's like the banks - you owe them a little and they got you by the b.....s, you owe them a lot and you got them by the b....s!
on January 20,2013 | 09:06PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Congratulations Mr. President.
on January 20,2013 | 10:18AM
IAmSane wrote:
Please work hard to better our country, Mr. President. Congratulations!
on January 20,2013 | 10:59AM
pastormatt wrote:
Although this should be a story of great joy, it is filled with despair as we look forward to more failed leadership, blame, division, and hate come from the highest office of our land. My prayers are for our country and that Obama might have learned and may even change his destructive ways. God help America at this time.
on January 20,2013 | 11:13AM
oxtail01 wrote:
you are a disgrace to all religions if indeed you are a pastor!
on January 20,2013 | 01:35PM
maya wrote:
You are a disgrace to all oxtail soups.
on January 20,2013 | 02:31PM
IAmSane wrote:
You are a disgrace to all calendars.
on January 20,2013 | 03:37PM
pastormatt wrote:
Because I tell it like it is without being blinded by the fact that he is from Hawaii or some other pop status. We need an actual leader who will work with both parties, negotiate, compromise, and do what is best for our nation. We had that in Clinton, Bush, Reagan, and all of the previous Presidents. Obama is completely infatuated with himself and inflated with arrogance. I keep hope however, maybe he will change.
on January 20,2013 | 07:02PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Just look at what you wrote then tell me you're not blinded by hate for the first minority Prez!
on January 20,2013 | 09:08PM
pastormatt wrote:
Have no hate for the first minority Prez, just wish that he would not choose the limelight and celebrity because of his pop status, but rather seek to lead and help our nation to unify and heal following the horrific terrorist attacks from non-Americans and the extravagent living of Americans. This has nothing to do with race but practicality and reason. Allowing this to devolve into some racial debate negates all reason and simply plays on pure emotion and fear. When there is no rational response, play the minority card and hope that everyone will be blinded by fear that they cannot respond or are unwilling to respond any longer.
on January 20,2013 | 10:28PM
BillD wrote:
LOL, the people who think that Obama is a Kenyan, Socialist, Muslim are the ones calling him divisive. Please continue the great work President Obama, it will help our country and continue to drive the wingnuts crazier.
on January 20,2013 | 02:46PM
64hoo wrote:
again they call him the first black president in American history 4 years ago. whats the matter with AP writer hes not the first black president to have this job. he is half white so sorry people he is not black. I go by blood not by pigmentation of the skin. so we never had a black president yet.
on January 20,2013 | 04:35PM
Mana07 wrote:
Great work? LOL. You mean taxing, spending, and giving you free stuff? LOL. I truly fail to understand a mind that wants to be taxed more and have less freedom. Hopefully, the impeachment will happen soon.
on January 20,2013 | 11:02PM
blackmurano wrote:
The worst President this country ever had.
on January 20,2013 | 06:07PM
HD36 wrote:
The powers that control the president behind the scenes are the Federal Reserve, Big investment banks, military industrial complex, and mega corporation. Follow the money and you can see who controls what.
on January 20,2013 | 08:19PM
Mana07 wrote:
Three facts. 1. Obama is black (partly). 2. Obama is a terrible president. 3. The first 2 facts have nothing to do with one another.
on January 20,2013 | 11:04PM
Mana07 wrote:
So what word leads to my comment needing approval? It has to either be Hussein or Psycho..what's up with that? Boy talking about censorship...I guess any anti conservative stuff would be cool though..
on January 20,2013 | 11:10PM
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