Obama launches 2nd term, calls for new era of widespread prosperity

Presidents calls for using the federal government to shift the benefits of the country and its economy to the poor and middle class and away from the wealthy.
Wire
Jan 21, 2013

Barack Hussein Obama launched his second term as the nation's 44th president Monday, urging the nation to pivot from a period of war and economic peril to a new era of growing and widespread prosperity.

"This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun," he said in his inaugural address to an audience of several hundred thousand in front of the Capitol, and to countless millions watching online or on television.

"America's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive, diversity and openness, an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention," he added. "My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together."

Obama sounded the themes of his recent campaign as a call for using the federal government to shift the benefits of the country and its economy to the poor and middle class and away from the wealthy.

"We, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it," he said. "We believe that America's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class."

He delivered his address in a festive outdoor ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

Obama, 51, was sworn into office just before noon on a crisp, sunny day steeped in the tradition and pageantry that mark America's quadrennial transition of power. He was joined by first lady Michelle Obama and daughters, Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14.

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. administered the 35-word oath -- the same one recited by every American president since George Washington -- at the West Front of the Capitol, which was draped with red, white and blue bunting.

Obama placed his hand on two Bibles -- the burgundy velvet-covered Lincoln Bible and Martin Luther King Jr.'s traveling Bible. Obama also had used the Lincoln Bible four years ago, the first to do so since it was used by Abraham Lincoln himself.

Singers Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor performed. Richard Blanco, the youngest ever inaugural poet and the first Hispanic or gay person to recite a poem at the swearing-in ceremony, recited his own work. Civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams delivered the invocation.

Minutes before Obama's oath, Vice President Joe Biden had been sworn in by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and fourth female judge to administer the oath.

A sea of spectators, from across the city and across the globe, packed the National Mall to watch the first Democrat in seven decades to twice win a majority of the popular vote inaugurated.

Noticeably grayer than when he first took office, Obama had officially started his second term 24 hours earlier, after a brief private ceremony at the White House. Monday's ceremony followed the tradition of delaying the public inauguration a day when the official date prescribed by the Constitution falls on a Sunday.

The nation's 57th inauguration consisted of five days of patriotic parades and fancy balls, solemn prayers and countless for receptions for donors and supporters.

Monday's events were jubilant, but they didn't have the same level of excitement as four years ago, when a young senator promising hope and change became the nation's first black president at a moment of economic peril.

Officials estimated that 600,000 to 800,000 people turned out for the festivities, far short of the nearly 2 million in 2009 but an above-average audience for a second-term inauguration. The Washington subway system reported late Monday morning that ridership into town was about 60 percent of what it was in 2009 at the same time.

Still, the crowds led to a maze of street closures, clogged subways, heightened security, the National Mall filled with 1,500 portable toilets and five large-screen TVs and 6,000 members of the National Guard in town assisting with crowd control.

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In his second term, Obama faces a political climate that seems to be growing more polarized every day, which no doubt will mean an array of domestic and foreign policy challenges and goals will be difficult to accomplish.

He face a series of fiscal issues -- tax revisions and spending cuts -- and pressing international obligations: stopping Iran's nuclear program, navigating an end to the war in Afghanistan and avoiding tensions with China over the administration's "pivot" to Asia. And he has his own lofty ambitions: rewriting immigration laws, tightening gun regulations and combating global warming.

Obama starts his second term with a higher job approval rating than much of the last four years while Republican leaders and Congress itself are viewed unfavorably and criticized as the least productive in six decades.

Afterward, Obama and Biden were headed to the Capitol's Statuary Hall to dine on steamed lobster and hickory grilled bison at a luncheon attended by 200, including Supreme Court justices and congressional leaders. The tradition dates to President William McKinley in 1897.

Later, the Obamas were to lead an inaugural parade featuring eight official floats, 59 groups, 9,000 people, 1,500 service members and 200 animals the 1.7 miles from the Capitol down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. They'll sit in a reviewing stand adorned with bulletproof glass and the presidential seal in front of the White House.

They'll attend two official inaugural balls, one for members of the military and another for the public. About 40,000 ticketholders were expected to fill the Washington Convention Center to hear Alicia Keys, Usher and Soundgarden and, hopefully, to catch a glimpse of the first couple.

The Obamas and Bidens started their day with a prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church, a few blocks from the White House, where every president since James Madison has worshiped.

___

By Anita Kumar and Lesley Clark - McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

(c)2013 McClatchy Washington Bureau

Visit the McClatchy Washington Bureau at www.mcclatchydc.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

Swamp Fox

Like watching the Titanic leave the dock, many promises, disaster ahead...

jack langhals

It was like watching old history movies, of the people in Germany hailing Hitler !He too surrounded himself with children when he disarmed Germany !

propman

"a new era of growing and widespread prosperity"
FOR WHOM!
Those on welfare? GOVERNMENT? Ilegal Aliens?
With all the taxes and regulations He is placing on us who work it sure will not be for us.

Contango

As was said in Soviet Eastern Europe:

Socialism makes us all equal; equally poor.

Contango

Pres. Obama:

"America's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands:"

Unfortunately, economics tells us that resources are not "limitless."

The GOA recently issued a report which went unnoticed by the Liberal Media Network:

“...the comprehensive fiscal projections in the 2012 Financial Report make clear that our federal government’s long-term fiscal path remains unsustainable without further policy changes.”

http://www.gao.gov/press/financi...

arnmcrmn

Over the last 4 years:
Taxes are up.
Government is bigger.
Welfare is up.
Foreclosures went up.
Debt is significantly up.
Insurance premiums for your avg. person...up.

Here's your growth people.

blackek

Swears oath to uphold the constitution, First lie of second term.

Brock Lee

more free stuff with obama money

Warped

Presidents calls for using the federal government to shift the benefits of the country and its economy to the poor and middle class and away from the wealthy.

Seriously people, are there really people who have drunk so much of the First Malato's kool-aid that honestly believe that this is what's happening?? I consider myself middle class and my paycheck took a huge hit as of Jan 1st. He may say he's after the wealthy.... but he's hitting the middle class too. EVERYONE except the people on govt programs are going to get hosed by this guy!! Four more years of this and there will be a hammer and sickle flying over the white house

E.Cartman

Speaking of hosing guys........don't forget all the rainbows and sugar plum fairies in his vision for America.

Windy

Warped, I agree . . . The United States of CHINA here we come.

jack langhals

Well,he is still in position to help his Muslim Buddies and Morsi to destroy Israel and the US.How can so many be so stupid ?

hit the road jack

I'd say Ester's dress maker is enjoying some prosperity! to do her up for the ball probably cost US $50,000 just to dress her up.

Warped

^^^^^^^
What about the 2 dresses for the kids??? You think they bought those off the rack?? I think not.....add another 50 for the two I'm guessing

Contango

"The dresses"?

Barack Obama:

"I'm going to press on for the sake of our children. I'm going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I am going to press on."

Remember: He "really" cares and he celebrated for YOU!

Swamp Fox

Now we understand how Custer must have felt...

Dr. Information

Whe you are loaded with money as each and every person in the White House is, it's easy for them to attack people who are worth a million on paper but have 90% of that money tied up in a business. The only way we fix our debt problem and strengthen this nation is for everyone to pitch in. There are not enough rich people to tax, that's the facts. Middle class here Obie comes.

Contango

Enjoyed the video goin' around from the luncheon.

Michelle sits and eats like a "truck driver." What class! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S...

Apologies to any truck drivers with good table manners. :)

jack langhals

I can see where a truck driver could be offended .

jack langhals

Does it bother anyone in this country that this person bypassed congress and sent foreign aid to Egypt and F16 fighters after his Muslim Brothers over threw Mubarak.Congress at least had put a hold on the aid.Morsi has vowed to destroy Israel and the US and this nut case still supports him.You think unemployment is a problem?

propman

Too many here will say,
"why have a beef about that, the only place talking about it is fox news. Why would anyone believe them?"
How long do you think it'll be til Israel is attacked?

jack langhals

I have never heard that on Fox News.I don't watch Fox at All,anyone that would hire that other idiot Kuncinich.I don't watch the regular News at all because they are now run by the Commies.The Russians are rattling their sabres at Israel not to attack Iran I would tell them where to go.Is anyone concerned that Ovomit is giving the Military leaders Litmus tests as to who will fire on us when they come for your guns?The ones that won't are being removed.