Hours after Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in to begin his second term of office on Sunday, Barack Obama placed his hand on his wife’s family Bible and did solemnly swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and officially began his second term as President of the United States.
Sunday’s private ceremonies – required by the Constitution to take place on Jan. 20 – were in anticipation of Monday’s public swearing in of the country’s top officials and the attendant formalities and festivities, which are expected to attract 800,000 people.
Obama was sworn in just before noon by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in the White House Blue Room, with only the President’s immediate family – wife Michelle, daughters Sasha and Malia – and a few reporters in attendance.
The President said, “I did it!”
The Vice President took his official oath shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday at the Naval Observatory, his official residence. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor presided.
After Biden’s swearing in, he and President Obama made the trip to Arlington National Cemetery for a traditional wreath-laying ceremony.
Abraham Lincoln’s family Bible will be used for the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol Steps on Monday, as will Martin Luther King Jr.’s.
The last time the calendar and Constitution dictated that there be Sunday and Monday Presidential ceremonies was in 1985, to begin the second term of President Ronald Reagan.