PHOTOS: Obama takes oath, speaks of 'limitless' possibilities for the nation

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has begun his second term by declaring that the nation's "possibilities are limitless."

Speaking before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall, Obama said a decade of war is ending, and the nation's economy is recovering.

Moments after taking the oath of office on a crisp day in the nation's capital, Obama said, "We are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together."

In his second inaugural address, Obama didn't dwell on any first-term accomplishments, but instead looked to hard work ahead in a country still grappling with a sluggish economy. And he urged Washington to find common ground over his next four years.

He rejected the idea that the nation "must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."

He also said the nation must "respond to the threat of climate change" and tackle the issue of immigration reform. And he said it must protect its children from the kind of violence that erupted in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

Obama earlier placed his hand on two Bibles -- one that was used by Martin Luther King and the other used by Abraham Lincoln -- and recited the oath of office.

Vice President Joe Biden was also sworn in for his second term.

Obamas host coffee with congressional leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Could a blend of inaugural excitement and fresh coffee be the stimulant Washington needs to break political gridlock?

One could only conjecture as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their wives played host Monday to congressional leaders of both parties at the White House.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies joined the Obamas and the Bidens before official ceremonies began at the Capitol.

The panel is comprised of House and Senate leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, both Republicans, and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is the committee's chairman. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who is not a member of the committee, also was invited.

Obama hears pastor's advice ahead of swearing-in

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A pastor used a morning church service to counsel President Barack Obama to use his power for the benefit of others.

That was part of the sermon delivered Monday morning at St. John's Episcopal Church across from the White House. The president attended with his family before taking the oath of office for his second term.

Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., delivered the sermon. He asked what one should do when they realize they are the most powerful person in the room.

The answer, Stanley said? Leverage that power for others.

To the president, Stanley said: "Mr. President you have an awfully big room."

Obama starts Inauguration Day with visit to church

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and his family are beginning inauguration day by attending services at St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House.

The presidential motorcade arrived shortly after 8:30 a.m. under crisp, cold skies outside the sanctuary. The president and first lady Michelle Obama emerged to pose briefly for photos with their daughters Sasha and Malia before entering the church. The first family sometimes attends Sunday worship at the church, which is across Lafayette Park from the White House.

Vice President Joe Biden and his family also were attending.

Meanwhile crowds were gathering at the National Mall to watch Obama take the oath of office later in the morning for his second term.


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