President Obama Officially Begins Second Term

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 20 2013 12:29 PM

President Obama Officially Begins Second Term With White House Swearing-In Ceremony

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President Barack Obama takes the oath of office in the Blue Room of the White House

Photo by Larry Downing-Pool/Getty Images

President Obama became the 44th president Sunday after he took the oath of office in an intimate ceremony at the White House. And there were no mistakes this time. Four years ago, Obama retook the oath out of an abundance of caution after Chief Justice John Roberts said one of the words out of sequence. This time, it all went off without a hitch and was over in less than 30 seconds. He will repeat the oath in public Monday. The smaller ceremony this year was because the Constitution explicitly states new terms begin at noon on Jan. 20 and inaugural ceremonies are historically not held on that day, explains the Washington Post.

Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in in earlier in the day at his residence at the Naval Observatory before 120 guests. Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath to Biden, who used a Bible that has been in his family since 1893, reports the Associated Press.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.