“I did it,” President Barack Obama told his daughter Sasha yesterday, after taking his oath of office in the White House’s Blue Room and then hugging his wife and daughters. This marked the official beginning of our 44th President’s second term.
According to the White House’s web site, the ceremony was small and simple, with only the President, his family, Supreme Justice John Roberts, and a handful of reporters and photographers present. The LA Times explains that Roberts administered the swearing-in ceremony Sunday due a technicality in the U.S. Constitution, which states that “a president’s term ends at noon” on January 20th. “When that date falls on a Sunday,” presidents have traditionally taken the oath on Sunday, and moved the more formal and lavish festivities to the following Monday.
Also of note is that the President swore his oath of office on a Bible from the First Lady’s parents, the Robinsons. WBEZ 91.5 reports that Fraser Robinson III gave the Bible to LaVaughn Delores Robinson as a Mother’s Day gift in 1958. University of Chicago Sociology Professor Omar McRoberts — award-winning author of Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighbrhood — told WBEZ this offers a unique insight about our President:
“It’s a statement about his private identity, that is, his personal identity. As someone who identifies closely with his wife’s family’s African-American Christian heritage.”
The 57th Inaugural ceremony begins Monday, January 21st, at 11:00 a.m. (EST) with a re-enactment of Obama taking his oath of office, followed by the Inaugural Parade at 2:35 p.m., and the Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball at 7:00 p.m. In his public swearing-in, Obama will use two other Bibles; one of which belonged to 16th President Abraham Lincoln — who won the Civil War and ended slavery — and the other to celebrated civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. As The Huffington Post points out (did this writer imagine a hint of glee?), thanks to Roberts’ infamous fumble with Obama’s first oath of office back in 2009, Obama will have “matched President Franklin Roosevelt’s record of being sworn in as the nation’s leader four times.”
Here’s the video from the White House website:
|Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, or follow her on Twitter. For more articles by Elisabeth, click here.|