Fulfilling the US constitutional requirement, Barack Hussein Obama took oath as president for the second term at a succinct White House ceremony.
Obama’s midday oath-taking on Sunday is part of a series of second-term inauguration celebration events that culminate at a grand public ceremony on Monday, when the first African-American president will take oath publicly and address an enthusiastic crowd of his backers at the capitol.
Sunday’s official ceremony took place in the White House’s ornate Blue Room, where he was joined by his wife, Michelle, and his two daughters. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Obama. Embracing his children after the oath, his younger daughter Sasha was heard saying “Good job Daddy!” “I did it!” the president responded.
The colourful ceremony and parade on Monday are likely to be attended by thousands of Obama supporters on the National Mall of the capital, which four years ago saw around 1.6 million converge on the first inauguration of Obama as president of the US.
The ceremony on Monday will coincide with African-American civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, which is a US federal holiday, marked on the third Monday of January each year. But under the US constitution, the president must be sworn in on January 20 to begin his White House four-year term.
The ceremony marks a moment of joy for Obama and his liberal followers in an otherwise deeply divided Washington, where Republicans and Democrats adhere to partisan politics on national issues. Meanwhile, Vice President Joseph Biden took his oath at an early morning ceremony at his residence at the Naval Observatory.
The US president and vice president made a trip to Arlington, where they jointly placed a wreath in front of Arlington’s Tomb of the Unknowns.