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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

Last updated on: January 22, 2013 04:51 IST

Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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Four years after scripting history by becoming America's first black President, Barack Obama on Monday began his second innings at the White House after being ceremonially sworn in as the US President with budget troubles, gun control and immigration issues lurking ahead.

Obama's Inauguration Speech

Standing before a crowd of thousands braving the chill at the iconic white-domed Capitol building draped in stripes, Obama renewed his oath of office for the second day in a row at the 57th inauguration ceremony of an American president.

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Image: Obama speaks during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the US Capitol
Photographs: John Moore/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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51-year-old Obama was sworn in for a second four-year term by the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at the grand ceremony attended by his family, Congressmen, friends and staff and tens of thousands of people.

Obama was officially sworn in on Sunday as per the constitutional requirements under which the new term of the president begins on January 20 noon.

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Image: People attending the public ceremonial swearing-in ceremony
Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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Since this day happened to be on a Sunday when all the federal offices are closed, the ceremonial inauguration was held today; which is only for the seventh time in the US history.

While the clouds of economic crisis and war that hovered over his first inauguration has vanished to a large extent, the mood of optimism and hope that infused his 2009 inauguration was missing to a large extent.

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Image: Barack Obama is sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts
Photographs: John Moore/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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While last time, there were an estimated 1.8 million onlookers, the crowd today hovered around a mark of about 600,000.

His historic ascendancy to the White House in 2008 came with soaring public hopes and expectations for a new kind of governance that would close the vast partisan gulf developed in recent decades.

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Image: Singer Beyonce performs the national anthem as Obama looks on
Photographs: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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Obama kicked off his second inauguration day by attending a service at a church near the White House where the pastor thanked him for comforting the nation during times of tragedy and called him the "Pastor in chief." Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, joined the first couple at the service.

Obama went to St John's Church before heading to the Capitol Hill for his ceremonial second inauguration, as has been the tradition for presidential inauguration. He was joined by his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia.

Thanking Obama for work he did after Newtown shooting tragedy, Pastor Andy Stanley said he should be called the "Pastor in Chief."

Pastor Stanley set up the rest of the message with "What do you do, when you're the most important person in the room? You are the decision maker."

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Image: People attend the presidential inauguration
Photographs: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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Obama took the oath of office for his second term on two historic bibles -- that of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King.

He looked confident and was seen smiling before his ceremonial swearing in and waved to the lakhs of cheering crowds.

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Image: bama speaks during the public ceremonial inauguration
Photographs: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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"This is the celebration of our great democracy," said Senator Charles E Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, as he invited Obama and the Chief Justice for the ceremonial swearing in.

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Photographs: Rob Carr-Pool/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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"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," Obama said with his hand on the historic bibles being held by First Lady Michelle and the two daughters Sasha and Malia standing alongside.

"So help me God," he said. "Congratulations Mr President," the Chief Justice said.

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Image: Obama and Biden's limousines present new licence plateslicen
Photographs: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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The first family of the United States showed up in style for President Barack Obama's second inauguration. First Lady Michelle Obama wore a navy and black checkered Thom Browne coat for Obama's second inauguration, which was attended by lakhs of people at the Capitol Hill and millions being watched by people across the world.

She accessorised her outfit with a J Crew belt and shoes, and a necklace by Cathy Waterman.

"The First Lady is wearing a navy Thom Browne coat and dress. The fabric was developed based on the style of a man's silk tie," a White House official said.

"The belt and gloves she is wearing are from J Crew and her earrings are designed by Cathy Waterman. She is also wearing Reed Krakoff boots," the official said adding that at the end of the Inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives.

The fashion bug also bit the Obama daughters, too. Daughter Malia was wearing a J Crew ensemble, while Sasha was wearing a Kate Spade coat and dress.

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Image: US President Barack Obama, First lady Michelle Obama and US Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) clap
Photographs: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance.

In 2009, President Obama became the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861.

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Image: US President Barack Obama salutes as he arrives during the presidential inauguration
Photographs: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in by the Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Delivering a speech after his inauguration, Obama asked a divided America to join as 'one nation' and 'one people'

"Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people," Obama told the gathering.

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Photographs: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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Obama said: "We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully - not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear."

"America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation," the 51-year-old president said.

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Photographs: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Barack Obama takes oath for second term

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Obama said Americans still believe that their obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.

"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms," he said.

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Photographs: John Moore/Getty Images

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"The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries -- we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks," Obama said.

"That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared," said Obama, who was flanked by First Lady Michelle and the two daughters Sasha and Malia.

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Image: People gather near the US Capitol building on the National Mall for the Inauguration ceremony on January 21
Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty," Obama said.

"The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well," he said.

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Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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Obama pushed the case for equal rights for women and gays and a better system to welcome new immigrants to the US.

"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal -- is the star that guides us still," he said.

"It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts," he added.

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Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

"Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity."

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Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Obama vowed to "support democracy -- from Asia to Africa, from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom."

"And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice -- not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice."

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Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Americans, Obama said in concluding the roughly 2,000-word address, "have the power to set this country's course." He urged people to fulfill their citizenship by meeting "the obligation to shape the debates of our time -- not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals."

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Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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And after four years of hyper-partisan struggle, during which he has repeatedly tussled with Republicans, he challenged Washington to change the tone of its politics.

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

Without making specific policy recommendations, Obama said the US must overhaul the tax code, reform its education system, revamp the voting system, and address climate change.

"Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms," he said.

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Photographs: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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