The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Obama Takes Oath Of Office In White House Ceremony

President Obama's second term officially begins Sunday: He took the oath of office in an intimate ceremony at the White House, fulfilling the constitutional requirement to take the oath before noon on Jan. 20.

NPR's Ari Shaprio reported on the swearing-in for our Newscast unit. Here's what he said:

"Family and a few close friends gathered in the Blue Room of the White House. The president placed his hand on a family Bible and recited the oath with Chief Justice John Roberts.

"The president hugged his wife and daughters and said, 'I did it.' The vice president was sworn in earlier in the day. They will repeat the oaths in public on Monday."

Witnesses to the ceremony included first lady Michelle Obama, their daughters, Malia and Sasha, Obama's sister, Maya Soetero-Ng, and her family; his mother-in-law, Marian Robison, and his brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, and his family.

As NPR's Nina Totenberg reported for Weekend Edition Sunday, Obama and President Franklin D. Roosevelt "will be the only two presidents to have taken the presidential oath four times — Roosevelt because he was elected four times, and Obama because he will have taken the oath twice the first time and twice the second."

Here's more from Nina's story:

"Obama took the oath twice in 2009 because he and Chief Justice John Roberts messed it up a bit the first time and redid it a second time in private to quell any questions about Obama being president.

"The president is taking the oath twice this time because technically, Inauguration Day falls on Sunday, Jan. 20, and the modern tradition has been that when that happens, the president takes a private oath on Sunday and does it again in public for the big ceremonial event on Monday."

As The Associated Press reports, Monday's swearing-in will take place on the west front of the Capitol; some 800,000 are expected to watch.

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