WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) – President Barack Obama’s second term officially got underway Sunday.
As CBS News’ Danielle Nottingham reported, President Obama wrapped up the first day of his second term at a candlelight celebration at the National Building Museum in Washington Sunday night.
Obama used a speech to hundreds of supporters to remind the crowd that “what we’re doing is celebrating each other and celebrating this incredible nation that we call home.”
He encouraged the crowd to enjoy the inauguration and said he needs them to work as hard as they can on issues important to them.
“After we celebrate, let’s make sure to work as hard as we can to pass on an America that is worthy not only of our past, but also of our future.”
Obama said the inauguration is a reminder that “there is something bigger than ourselves.” He kept his comments brief and quipped that he has to save some of his lines for his speech at the inauguration ceremony Monday.
Earlier, just before noon, President Obama took the oath of office Sunday in an intimate swearing-in ceremony at the White House, the leader of a nation that, while no longer in the throes of the recession he inherited four years ago, remains deeply divided.
The president, surrounded by family in the ornate White House Blue Room, was administered the oath by Chief Justice John Roberts. With Obama’s hand resting on a Bible used for years by Michelle Obama’s family, the president vowed “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” echoing the same words spoken by the 43 men who held the office before him.
“I did it,” Obama whispered to his youngest daughter, Sasha, as he wrapped her in a hug moments later.
The president said the oath in just minutes before noon on Jan. 20, the time at which the Constitution says new presidential terms begin. There was little pomp and circumstance Sunday – Obama walked into the room flanked by his family and exited almost immediately after finishing the oath.
He’ll repeat the swearing-in ritual again Monday on the west front of the Capitol before a crowd of up to 800,000 people.
Only about a dozen family members were on hand to witness Sunday’s swearing in, including the first lady, daughters Malia and Sasha, the president’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her family. Mrs. Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, and the first lady’s brother, Craig Robinson, and his family were also on hand, along with a few reporters and photographers.
Yet the mood in the nation’s capital was more subdued during this year’s inaugural festivities than it was four years ago, when Obama swept into office on a wave of national optimism, becoming the first African-American to hold the nation’s highest office. Since then, he has endured fiscal fights with Congress and a bruising re-election campaign — and has the gray hair and lower approval ratings to show for it.