Washington, Jan 21: Barack Obama was sworn in for a second time as the US President in a private ceremony at the White House on Sunday, Jan 20, reserved for oath-taking by the nation's head of the state. He was sworn in to "protect and defend" the US Constitution, officially accepting to carry out the duties of the President. Obama will repeat the oath in front of thousands on Monday, Jan 21.
The day will see gala ceremonies to mark the beginning of Obama's second term as the US President. The man, who rose to the pinnacle of power from a modest background, will be facing stiffer challenges during his second stint, both at home and abroad. The Democrat politician is the third successive US President to have been elected to the office for the second term, after Bill Clinton and George W Bush.
The President is likely to follow the recent tradition of partly walking back to the White House amidst cheers after taking the oath.
On Sunday, Obama took the oath shortly before noon in a brief ceremony and he was accompanied by his family. Putting his left hand on a family bible held by First Lady Michelle Obama, the President raised his right hand to utter the time-honoured words read out by the Chief Justice of the nation, John Roberts.
The oath-taking ceremony was a smooth affair, compared to that in 2009, when the Chief Justice erred while trying to recite from memory and had to repeat the exercise with Obama later. Monday's events are, however, expected to be moderate in scale compared to what it was previously. Then, 1.8 million people assembled into central Washington to witness history. Officials are expecting somewhere between 5,00,000 and 7,00,000 people to attend Obama's second oath-taking ceremony.
Barack Obama is officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington.
President Barack Obama with his family during the swearing-in ceremony on Sunday.
President Barack Obama is officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in Washington on Sunday. His family looks on.
President Barack Obama takes oath as the President of the US for his second term as First Lady Michelle Obama looks on.
President Barack Obama is officially sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington.
President Barack Obama embraces daughter Malia as first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha, right, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., look on after the official swearing-in in the Blue Room of the White House.
Vice President Joe Biden, with his wife Jill Biden holding the Biden Family Bible, takes the official oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, surrounded by family.