Crowds Descend On Washington, D.C. For President Barack Obama's Second Inauguration

Category: US Politics / Jan 21, 2013 10:26AM EDT
Large crowds made their way through the streets of Washington, D.C. on Monday (January 21), to attend President Barack Obama's second inauguration. Up to 700,000 people are expected to attend the event, a much smaller number than the record-setting 1.8 million that attended Obama's first inauguration in 2009. The more subdued atmosphere reflects the country's tempered expectations regarding Obama's next four years in office. Lingering high unemployment, bitter political battles and a divisive re-election campaign have all taken their toll on the spirit of hope and optimism that characterized Obama's Administration when he first came to power. Obama will take the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, outside the U.S. Capitol at 11:55 a.m. EST (1655 GMT). It will be the second time he has taken the oath in the past 24 hours. He had a formal private swearing-in on Sunday (January 20) at the White House because of a constitutional requirement that the president be sworn in on January 20. So rather than stage the full inauguration on a Sunday, the main public events were put off until Monday. The focal point of the public ceremony will be Obama's inaugural address, in which he will outline his vision for the next four years. He is expected to stick to broad terms while shying away from any policy specifics. The inauguration ceremony will also include music. The singers James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce are all expected to perform. Vice President Joe Biden will also take the oath of office a second time after doing so already on Sunday.