For the 57th time in American history, a U.S. President was sworn into office. On Monday January 21, incumbent President Barack Obama took the Oath of Office before more than one million people on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The only thing that could have made the day more perfect would have been warmer weather. However it was a much warmer compared to four years ago. The President actually took the oath as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution on Sunday in the Blue Room of the White House. The ceremony which only took a few minutes officially kicked off the second term of President Obama. Monday’s pomp and circumstance was for the People and keeping with a long held tradition.
Today’s inauguration was filled with many firsts which includes a poem from an openly gay Cuban immigrant, Richard Blanco. He is also the youngest poet to recite at an inaugural. President Obama becomes the first two-term President to take the Oath of Office four times. Some may remember the debacle during the first inauguration when Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts made a mistake during the oath and they did a do over to prevent a Constitutional crisis. Well with the President taking the oath both Sunday and Monday, he’ll go down in history as being the first modern day Commander in Chief to recite the oath a fourth time.
As expected the ceremony was filled with music performed by the United States Marine Band, PS 22 of Staten Island, New York, the Lee University Festival Choir of Cleveland, Tennessee, James Taylor, Kelley Clarkson sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and Beyonce performed “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
In his address to the nation, the President more confident touched on several key issues which included gun control, civil rights, climate change and immigration. President Obama said,
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; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.
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. 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 no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. 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
Pundits believe that the President has outlined his agenda for the next four years. It’s an aggressive plan that he may have been unable to or afraid to tackle during his first term when the country was facing more immediate problems. As one commentator put it, the gloves are coming off as this administration moves forward.