President Barack Obama sworn in for second term | News | DW | 20.01.2013
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President Barack Obama sworn in for second term

President Obama has officially been sworn in for his second four-year term. The ceremony, along with Vice President Biden’s swearing in, precedes Monday's showpiece on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington.

President Barack Obama was officially sworn in for his second term as President of the United States of America just before midday, local time, on Sunday.

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office in the White House's Blue Room with the First lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha and a few reporters in attendance. Obama's swearing-in met the constitutional requirement that he take the oath by noon on January 20.

With his right arm raised and his left hand on a family bible, President Obama recited, "I Barack Hussein Obama do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

Chief Roberts flubbed the oath the first time in 2009 during Obama's public inauguration outside the Capitol, when Obama became America's first black president.

Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in for his second term in Washington earlier in the day by US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at his official Washington residence, the Naval Observatory.

Sotomayor became the first Hispanic judge to ever officiate for the US nation's two highest offices.

Biden's ceremony was attended by family, 120 guests including House of Representatives minority Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi and a few reporters.

Biden swore to protect the United States using a bible with a Celtic cross on its cover that has been in his family since 1893.

Between Sunday's two small inaugural ceremonies, Obama and Biden visited the Arlington National Cemetery to lay a memorial wreath.

Preparations outside Capitol

Outside the US Capitol, workers on Sunday put the finishing touches to viewing stands along the parade route and erecting security barriers.

In his inaugural speech on Monday, Obama is expected to talk about the need for political compromise where possible - a nod to the Republican-led House of Representatives over current divisive issues such as the budget and gun control.

Monday's public ceremony will fall on the United States' national holiday remembering civil rights leader Martin Luther King who was assassinated in 1968.

ipj/hc (AFP, Reuters)