Obama officially begins second term with swearing-in ceremony at White House

President Obama was sworn in for his second term on Sunday, accompanied by his family in a short ceremony in the White House.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Obama in the Blue Room. The swearing-in was watched by a press pool and broadcast by cable networks.

ADVERTISEMENT
Obama followed presidential precedent in choosing the chief justice to administer the oath of office to him.

The 44th president used a Bible from first lady Michelle Obama’s family to swear in for his second term. The first lady held the Bible during the ceremony, as the Obamas’ daughters, Sasha and Malia, stood between her and Roberts.

For the swearing-in, Roberts read the oath of office from a piece of paper. In 2009, the Supreme Court chief justice and the president flubbed the 35-word oath.

“Congratulations, Mr. President,” Roberts said after administering the oath, and was thanked in turn by Obama.

The president then hugged his wife and daughters.


“Congratulations,” the first lady said.


“Thank you, sweetie,” Obama responded.

“Good job, Daddy,” said Sasha.

“I did it,” said Obama, only to have Sasha jokingly respond, "You didn't mess up."

Obama quickly thanked the assembled guests and left the room with his family to applause.

As required by the Constitution, the president and vice president have to be sworn in on Jan. 20; hence the swearing-in ceremonies for Vice President Biden at the Naval Observatory and for Obama at the White House on Sunday.

But the president and vice president will repeat their oaths Monday as the capital celebrates the occasion with the ceremonial public swearing-in and the inaugural parade.

Biden was officially sworn in earlier Sunday by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a ceremony at his official residence.

Obama joined Biden at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, shortly after the vice president's swearing-in. The president and vice president were accompanied by Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, according to a White House pool report.

Following the tribute at Arlington, Obama and his family worshipped at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington before his own oath.

At the church, the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton used the “forward” theme of the Obama reelection campaign for his sermon focusing on the story of Moses, according to a pool report.

“I'm a witness that the God of Moses, with miraculous power, still moves on behalf of humankind,” Braxton said. “Forward was the only option.”

The church has hosted two pre-inaugural services in the past, for former President Bill Clinton and his vice president, Al Gore.

In the evening, Biden and Obama will attend an inaugural reception at the National Building Museum, where they will deliver brief remarks.

Roberts will also administer the oath of office to Obama on Monday.

Meghashyam Mali contributed.

This story was last updated at 3:43 p.m.