President Obama Begins His Second Term

President Obama Begins His Second Term

President Barack Obama is sworn in for a second term during a formal ceremony at the U.S. Capital. He officially took the oath of office in a private ceremony at the White House on Sunday.
President Barack Obama issued a call to unity in his second inaugural address, urging the nation to move past the divisions that marked the last four years in politics and complete the work of living up to America's founding principles.

The president, in a speech that blended together post-partisan rhetoric and policy declarations, highlighted the progress made during his first term to end foreign wars and turn around the economy.

But Obama said that there was much unfinished work ahead, and he used Monday's speech to urge political leaders to finally rise above bitter squabbling -- a recurring theme of his first term, and a mark of how difficult it has been for Obama to live up to his 2008 vow to change Washington's business as usual.

"Our journey is not complete," Obama said during one refrain in his speech.

"We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate," Obama said. "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."

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, respectively, shortly before noon; Monday's oath of office was ceremonial, following their formal, constitutionally-prescribed swearing-in on Sunday.

President Barack Obama publicly took the oath of office for his second term, before thousands of jubilant well-wishers.

Monday's ceremonies coincided with the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Obama nodded to the slain civil rights leader during his speech, and the nation's first African-American president used one of King's Bibles during today's inauguration.
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