Obama officially nominates new Cabinet secretaries

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At the ceremony, the president joked to congressional leaders he was confident the nominations would be handled "at great dispatch."

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also appeared to snag one of the ceremonial pens being used to sign the official nominations. Observing the move, the president offered Reid a pen from his jacket pocket instead.

The White House also announced that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki would be the Cabinet official sitting out the inaugural festivities, a security precaution taken for large collections of top leaders. Shinseki is sixteenth in the presidential line of succession, above only Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Obama also signed a proclamation to commemorate the inauguration while at the Capitol.


—This post was updated at 12:50 p.m.